Sean Hannity hosted Senator John McCain tonight - mostly to attack President Obama over pending cuts to the military and layoffs in military contract firms. But while he was at it, Hannity asked McCain to comment on Dick Cheney’s recent remarks about Sarah Palin. Cheney had said that McCain made a mistake in picking Sarah Palin as a running mate because she was not “ready to take over.” McCain responded that he “appreciated” what Palin did for the party and the ticket. But he never argued that she was either qualified or even a good choice. Afterward, Hannity spun the recent contretemps between the Romney campaign and the press by disingenuously conflating it with President Obama’s tart response to an unprofessional Daily Caller reporter who interrupted him with hostile questions during a presidential statement.
But first, McCain offered up his own version of the Romney campaign dog whistle: “This is a president who does not understand America’s role in the world and requirement for a strong military.”
After exploiting that subject to what Hannity undoubtedly felt was its maximum anti-Obama potential, he moved on to play a clip of Cheney saying, “I like Governor Palin… She’s an attractive candidate but based on her background – she’d only been governor for about two years, I don’t think she passed that test… of being ready to take over and I think that was a mistake.”
“Any reaction to that?” Hannity asked.
Nah, listen, I’ve admired and known Dick Cheney for years. I think he was one of the really outstanding Secretaries of Defense during Operation Desert Storm and other work that he did. And, look, I just don’t see the point in going, keep going back four years ago. I’m proud of Sarah Palin. I’m grateful for the way she energized our party. And I will always appreciate what she did for our party and for our ticket.
But Hannity made sure to close the segment on another politically-expedient note – and truth be damned. This time, GOP Special Victim Hannity “defended” the Romney campaign’s refusal to speak to the press during his gaffe-filled trip abroad by “forgetting” a Romney-aide’s outburst of “kiss my ass,” pretending that Romney’s snubbing of the press was analogous to President Obama rebuking a rude and unprofessional reporter from the Daily Caller and wrapping it up with a whine about the “pretty glaring difference” between the way Romney (and Republicans) are treated and the supposedly non-stop favorable treatment of President Obama.
Hannity may be a liar and a bigot but he’s not stupid or ill-informed about his candidate. He surely knows full well that Romney has antagonized the press. Heck, even Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren was so annoyed she blogged that she felt “a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo” as she sat “trapped” in a bus with no access to the candidate.
In Politico, Jonathan Martin wrote that Romney created his own press problem:
(H)e made the situation worse by effectively hiding from his traveling press corps for much of his trip, taking three questions at the beginning but then not holding a single other press conference. He conducted a series of TV interviews but offered significantly less access than Obama did on his overseas campaign trip four years ago.
Romney is in the midst of a harmful, self-reinforcing cycle in which he commits a gaffe, grows angry at the press for covering it and punishes them by refusing to take questions because he doesn’t want to be asked about the gaffe.
This has created an almost toxic relationship between Romney and his traveling press corps.
But while Hannity is undoubtedly aware of all these things, he’ll play the victim, point the finger at Obama, attack the media – say almost anything rather than hold a frank and honest discussion about Romney’s missteps with the press.
It reminded me of Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes:
GRAMPS: “Nah, listen, Iâve admired and known Dick Cheney for years. I think he was one of the really outstanding Secretaries of Defense during Operation Desert Storm and other work that he did. And, look, I just donât see the point in going, keep going back four years ago.”
TRANSLATION: “She’s a reality-show idiot, Sean. You know it, and I know it — so, let’s not dwell on it.”