Sean Hannity has cut short his vacation to race bait, I mean discuss the NYPD shootings tonight. Predictably, Hannity is featuring not just an all-white lineup but an all-white lineup of people who have shown antipathy toward African Americans. But the producers will undoubtedly throw a liberal or two in the mix somewhere. If that liberal doesn’t say the name “Cliven Bundy” and demand Hannity’s accountability for those police shootings, then they have no business being there. The name “Dr. George Tiller” would be a good addition, too.
As I’ve previously noted, Sean Hannity – and Fox News – deliberately promoted Bundy’s armed insurrection against federal law enforcers last summer. What stopped them was not any concern for the safety of the law enforcers but the fact that Bundy was outed as a virulent racist. Even though Fox almost surely knew beforehand.
Furthermore, while Fox is busy blaming African Americans protesters and their sympathizers for the deaths of the NYPD officers, Fox overlooked the direct connection between Bundy, Fox News and the right-wing killers of police officers in Las Vegas right around the time Hannity was promoting Bundy as a hero.
In June, Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert wrote about the executioners of two police officers in Las Vegas, Nevada (Bundy’s home state) by Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda:
Six days earlier, the right-wing shooter had posted a manifesto of sorts on Facebook where he announced “we must prepare for war.” Jerad Miller, who traveled to Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring to join the militia protests against the federal government, declared that in order to “To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed.”
The Facebook rant was just one of many clues about the shooters’ radical political leanings. Jerad Miller “left behind social media postings that show his concerns over Benghazi, chemtrails, gun control laws, and the government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy,” Raw Story reported. (One of the viral images Miller shared online carried the caption, “Jeez, it’s no wonder liberalism’s regarded as a mental disorder.”) The shooter had talked to his neighbor about his “desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers,” according to NBC News. (my emphases)
Primetime hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity both ignored the shocking cop-killer story last night, while Megyn Kelly devoted four sentences to it. (By contrast, the story covered extensively during CNN and MSNBC’s primetime.) Fox talkers on Monday were still far more interested in debating the prisoner swap of Bowe Bergdahl than they were examining the political ambush in Las Vegas.
…In the 36 hours after the shooting, Fox News tread lightly around the Las Vegas story, producing regular news updates about the crime spree. But Fox provided almost no commentary, no context, and certainly no collective blame for the executions. (my emphasis)
Hannity’s lineup tonight all but guarantees a continuation of the kind of race-baiting, inflammatory coverage we’ve already seen on Fox. It includes the regular cast of Fox News race baiters: Rudy Giuliani, Bo Dietl, Mark Fuhrman and Ainsley Earhardt. If you’re not familiar with Earhardt’s less flashy feelings on race, let me remind you that she helped Hannity promote segregation in Westchester County in 2011.
Hannity was not the only Fox host whose inflammatory rhetoric preceded a right-wing murder. Bill O’Reilly repeatedly called abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, “Tiller the baby killer.” He also sent his producer to ambush and harass Dr. Tiller. When Tiller was gunned down in church in 2009 by an anti-abortion zealot how did O’Reilly react? By playing the victim and attacking liberals.
This is not just hypocritical but potentially dangerous. Fox has always gone for maximum inflammatory divisiveness. But at this volatile moment, there’s a critical need for ramping down tensions, not revving them up.
No liberal guest should fail to call Fox out on it.
Images of O’Reilly and Hannity by Nina Brodsky.
And I’m amazed at the sheer gall of Limbaugh and Hannity crying crocodile tears over the murder of these police officers, when they were AWOL about the same issues regarding Bundy and that situation. I agree that anyone going on Hannity’s show would be well advised to come in with the Bundy counter. I also note that Hannity and Limbaugh want to somehow tie these policemen’s deaths to an angry mob scene and to President Obama and Mayor de Blasio.
Hannity even admitted he was using the prhase “blood on their hands” I this way, saying that he had a right to do that if anyone was going to say that Sarah Palin’s rhetoric with the gunsights meant she had blood on HER hands for what happened to Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona. Which then brings up another good counter – if Hannity is going to say that, does it mean he’s now acknowledging Sarah Palin’s responsibility for those shootings? Is he now acknowledging Bill O’Reilly’s culpability in George Tiller’s murder? That’s an interesting trade-off. I’d offer him the debate that he can say what he likes, as hateful as it is, about President Obama and Mayor de Blasio, but then he must within the same breath say that he accepts Palin, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and his own responsibility for his own hateful rhetoric. But you know he’ll never allow a debate to get to that point.
“LOSE FOX NEWS CHANNEL OR YOU’LL LOSE MY BUSINESS!”
Always remember: $$$$ TALKS —BULLS**T WALKS!
What’s just absolutely horrifying to me is the non-stop, relentless race baiting and racial bigotry on display on both Fox channels for the last month or so. It used to be only an occasional feature, now it’s nightly and unrelenting.
Tonight’s Hannity didn’t even have the usual captive black conservative, it was all older white guys wailing about black people (and de Blasio, who’s an honorary black guy because of his wife and kids) accusing white people of racism. It’s as if these people never graduated from the 1960s, and it’s flat-out disgusting.
The sad fact is that shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley was nothing but a two-bit gangbanger who had a lot of crap like “Burn the flag” on his social media, but didn’t start talking about killing cops until after he plugged his girlfriend. Grabs of his feed make him sound like someone who thought suicide by cop would somehow make him noble, which makes it kinda puzzling that he killed himself afterwards. Or maybe he bit the bullet because he was hoping to get killed shooting at them, and even he was shocked his idea worked.
And really? Trained assassin? Precision strike? Are we talking about the same guy who literally advertised his actions, then ran up to his target like he as playing Call of Duty? Does that sound like someone who’s precision trained, or some moron who got lucky? Seriously… his success was a perfect storm of luck. The proposed timeline for the strike has at least 20 ways he could have been stopped if anyone cared what he had to say during his bragging, and 15 opportunities for someone to tackle him/knock his aim off-kilter. If that other moron that their gun jammed got shots off, would he be some kind of highly trained whatever? No, he’s just some moron with a gun, who was lucky enough to get a squeeze off.
Bottom line: They’re not some kind of special forces genius, unless they’re actually special forces. Quit making him sound like black James Bond.
God, there’s just so much wrong with these narratives!