“Who is Elizabeth Warren: An in-depth look” promised the Fox News web site. But Hannity’s segment last night on the Democratic candidate for the Massachusetts Senate certainly wasn’t “in-depth;” it concentrated entirely on one thing – whether or how she and Harvard exploited her claim to Cherokee ancestry.
Last month, Fox News was making dubious “jokes” about her having fabricated her Native American ancestry. At least now they’re granting that her great-great-great grandmother did list herself as Cherokee. Hannity concentrated instead on an inconsistency in Warren's messaging: the fact that “for months” Warren said she didn’t know Harvard law school started reporting they had "a Native American female professor" in the year when she was first hired, and that she didn’t know where they got their information. “But now,” said Hannity, (Now? It was more like two weeks ago, gentle reader) “her campaign has released a statement saying, quote, ‘At some point, after I was hired by them, I provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.’ She still insists that it has nothing to do with why she was hired and that she has not benefited from that label.”
Hannity then brought on Michelle Fields from the Daily Caller and they tried to make some sensational hay out of how she “misrepresented the truth.” How big a deal is this? Big, Fields replied. “This calls into question her integrity and her character…There are moderates and conservative Democrats who are now -- for affirmative action who are now saying, hey, I don't want to vote for someone who gamed the system, who took advantage of economic opportunities and took advantage of the history and the struggles of Native Americans.” (Ooh. Are they really saying that? Despite the controversy, polls say Warren and Republican incumbent Scott Brown are in a dead heat.)
"What does this say about a liberal university like Harvard University" asked Hannity (affecting a snooty upper-class accent while Fields giggled obligingly) "where, you know, they were using this to go out there and say, we've got a Native American female professor -- did they know better?" They should be the ones condemning her, Fields replied sanctimoniously. "And the liberals and progressives who say they are for diversity, who are for affirmative action, they should… condemn her for taking advantage of those ideals and the advantage of those programs."
Why try and make hay out of this story? Maybe because, as Hannity said in his introduction, “the balance of power in the United States Senate is hanging by a thread as Democrats hope to keep their slim majority. And it could all come down to one state.” I.E. Massachusetts. So I would humbly conjecture that the Fair and Balanced Fox pundits are hoping to sink a strong Democratic candidate by keeping the controversy on life support.