Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich spent so much time blaming the terrorism attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on President Obama and the American left, you might easily have thought Istanbul was in the U.S. and not in Turkey.
Hannity opened his Fox News show last night with a brief report on the attack, followed by a clip of Trump blowing the “secret Muslim” dog whistle, saying something “really, really bad” is going on in our country. There was no clip of Hillary Clinton’s reaction. Then Hannity and likely Trump running-mate Gingrich spent the next six minutes more specifically blaming President Obama and liberals.
Hannity started the blame-Obama-first ball rolling.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, as we look at these images again tonight, this is not the JV team as Obama said. They are not contained as he said before Paris. It’s Brussels, it’s France, it’s Orlando, it’s San Bernardino, it’s everywhere. And, you know, this obsession with not saying “radical Islam.” They’re not “workplace violence,” “overseas contingencies,” “man-caused disasters.” How could they be so wrong so often?
That’s a truth that they’re not willing to acknowledge here. Not only as evidenced by what they say – you know, man-caused disasters or trying to turn Orlando into gun control – but that’s releasing Gitmo detainees so they can go back on the battlefield and try and kill more people. That’s giving $150 billion to the number one state sponsor of terror, Iran. That’s giving Mohammed Morsi - a guy that once referred to the Israelis as descendants of apes and pigs, tanks - F16s and a billion dollars and these are the same people that want to bring in refugees in spite of what our CIA director, FBI director, assistant FBI director, special envoy to defeat ISIS, all warn us that ISIS will infiltrate that population and they’re willing to gamble with the lives of every American.
Let’s pause for a brief fact check and Hannity Hypocrisy alert. While it’s true CIA Director John Brennan recently warned of ISIS infiltrating refugees, he was talking about the west, in general, not Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. That’s probably because FBI Director James Comey, while acknowledging some challenges and risks involved, considers our lengthy and extensive vetting process effective.
Yet while Hannity holds himself up as some kind of champion of American lives, he can’t wait to risk those lives in wars. Hannity was not only an ardent supporter of the Iraq war, he hopes for a new war with Iran. And Hannity cares more about gun rights than the lives of people killed because of easy access to guns.
But without any sense of irony, Hannity continued, “There is a disconnect here that is bordering on pathological.”
Gingrich’s response was notable not just for the level of hate mongering and demonization but for how he already thinks of himself as part of Donald Trump’s administration. While he was at it, Gingrich did a little stumping for a down-ballot candidate:
GINGRICH: Right. So the thing we’ve got to figure out, the thing that Donald Trump has to figure out, and the Republicans at every level in the country have to figure out, is how do you draw the contrast between reality, what you and I are watching tonight tragically from Turkey and the insanity of the Democrats.
Take for example the race with Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. Russ Feingold’s a very attractive, a very pleasant, very nice guy whose views of the planet are deranged. And somehow, we’ve got to get across to people this is a man whose economic, diplomatic, and military policies are gonna get a lot of people killed.
Now, that’s politically incorrect. One’s not allowed to say that. But I’m here to tell you, if we don’t start telling the American people the truth, we’re gonna pay in dead Americans for our unwillingness to have a fierce, direct national debate.
Somehow, that didn’t satisfy Hannity, who seemed to want another dog whistle.
HANNITY: Mr Speaker, when you put it in its totality now… there seems to be no concern about putting the American people’s lives at risk here. What is the reason for this lack of understanding of the world as it really is?
GINGRICH: Well, I think that both Barack Obama and, to be candid, Hillary Clinton, represent a hard-line, left-wing world view in which the problems are always America.
Gingrich irony alert! This is the guy who spent the entire interview smearing and blaming a foreign tragedy on our president and that half of the country that’s liberal. Who really hates America, Mr. Cheater?