Sean Hannity has again proved himself to be the Great American Free Speech Hypocrite with his continued attacks on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Hannity has also proved himself the Great American Ignoramus because he obviously has no idea (or else ignores) what the play is about.
As I’ve previously written, the right-wing poutrage over a Shakepeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, which depicts the assassination of a Trump-like Caesar, is 100% bogus. Media Matters explains (with my emphases added):
Caesar’s assassination is not glamorized in the production—indeed, the message of the play is that misguided political violence will inevitably breed disastrous consequences. “Likening Shakespeare’s monarchs and politicians to real-life figures is a long-standing performance practice, seized by directors with sometimes illuminating, sometimes boneheaded results,” Slate’s Issac Butler noted after the initial complaints, pointing out that performances of Julius Caesar have featured then-President Barack Obama in the titular role without incident.
But Hannity – the same Hannity who boasts about his support for free speech – thought it was just great that two alt-righters interrupted the performance and that one of them, a woman named Laura Loomer, stormed the stage. And after tweeting his love for Loomer’s disruption, he followed up by slobbering over her on the air last night.
Loomer may excel at hate mongering but she stinks at understanding literature. Either that or she’s a big liar as she claimed that the play promotes violence against conservatives. Consistency isn’t her strong suit either because first she claimed the shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise last week was a “consequence” of the play, then moments later, made it clear she didn’t know.
Transcript excerpts via FoxNews.com, with my emphases added:
LOOMER: This is been really important to me because the left has systematically and programmatically used free-speech and artistic expression as a pretext to incite violence against the right and promote the assassination of President Donald Trump, and that is really problematic. You can see the consequence of this play and just the liberal mainstream media using political violence against the right of this past week when Representative Steve Scalise was shot in in assassination attempt on House Republicans. This was of course carried out by a liberal who watched MSNBC, was a fan of the liberal mainstream media, and who knows, maybe he was influenced by Kathy Griffin and “Julius Caesar.”
LOOMER: This is assassination porn, right? So the left is taking pleasure in watching an assassination attempt on President Trump. Shakespeare once said that violent delights lead to violent ends, right? And so when you’re going to delight in the assassination of our president, it’s going to have a violent end.
Loomer even offered a hilariously self-aggrandizing justification for her assault on free speech:
LOOMER: I am protecting the president’s life. I am protecting our Constitution. I’m using my constitutional right of free speech and protest to protest against the bastardization of Shakespeare, really, just an attempt to continue the normalization of political violence against the right. And it is absolutely absurd.
Or maybe she was just after some money and publicity. Media Matters also noted:
The incident has the hallmarks of a grift: The disturbances came after “alt-right” personality Mike Cernovich offered a $1,000 bounty to anyone who successfully interrupted the performance, and Loomer is seeking to crowdfund $25,000, supposedly for her legal defense.
But Hannity acted as though Loomer is some kind of modern-day Nathan Hale
HANNITY: In light of what happened last week, you took a very courageous political stand. It was nonviolent. You are making a very strong point. I applaud you for what you have done, and you did it knowing what the risks are, and good for you.
What do you think the chances are that Hannity would have found Loomer’s actions so brave had she rushed the stage during, say, a Ted Nugent concert when he urged Barack Obama to “suck on my machine gun?”
I’d peg them as the same as the chance that Hannity will fulfill his pledge to undergo waterboarding for charity and prove that it’s not torture.
Watch the discussion below, from the June 19, 2017 Hannity.
Is he saying that the Right Wing’s tantrum about this play is not free speech? Is he saying that they don’t have the right to embarrass themselves as they’ve been doing? I believe they do have that right, but that everyone else has the right to call them out for their childish behavior. And if they try to physically disrupt the performances or attack the performers, as they have done, then they should be arrested for assault, among other crimes.
I’m also confused as to what he thinks he’s saying about the quality of Shakespeare’s text for The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The play has been considered a classic for centuries and is part of a rotating group of Shakespearean classics that regularly are presented at schools, festivals and repertory theaters all over the world. I don’t remember anyone referring to it as a “rotten play before”. Or does he mean that he believes the frantic Trump supporters now think this text is rotten?
And, by the way, the play is a classic that has endured for centuries with various modern figures in the role of Caesar, as Kevin Koster noted below.
The fact that suddenly the right wing can’t stand it when Trump is in the role speaks volumes about the thin skin from the same people who supposedly love Trump because he is willing to be “politically incorrect.”
It also speaks volumes about willful ignorance because as Kevin also noted below, the play does not endorse violence toward Caesar.
In other words, the right-wing snowflakes haven’t read the play and they don’t know what they are whining about.
And just so we remember the actual facts here – Julius Caesar is regularly done in modern dress, with whoever the current President happens to be in the role of Caesar. This has been a consistent fact over the entire history of this country. It’s a regularly performed play in the Shakespeare canon, likely done at least 10 times every year, and it’s common to see a current political figure subbed in for the title character. President Obama was presented as Caesar multiple times in multiple productions. There was the Guthrie production during the 2012 election campaign, which was sponsored by Delta. There was also a production in Chicago in 2013 – and there were many more. He was president for 8 years – I’d venture to say he got to be Caesar a good 20-30 times, including international productions since Shakespeare is performed around the world. And let’s not forget that in 2015, DC saw a production of Caesar where the title character was a Caucasian female – an older woman wearing white pants suits. And I never heard the Right Wing say a peep about any of these productions.
The point of Julius Caesar is that its a cautionary tale about Brutus and how the best intentions lead to the worst results. It’s about how Brutus thinks he’s saving democracy in Rome, and in reality, he’s participating in a bloody murder that causes a massive amount of bloody mayhem, causes the deaths of everyone around him and himself, and actually destroys the very democracy he thought he was defending. It’s not even ironic to me that people like Hannity don’t understand this.
Sean Hannity is a liar, a fraud, and a coward.
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist; it was just WAY tuu easy!!!)