Sean Hannity, Bad American

Sean Hannity is a great American. You can hear it every day on his national radio show, where the standard caller greeting to the host is, “Sean, you’re a great American!” The catchphrase is so well-known, it’s been commercialized!

And who is more patriotic than Hannity, who uses his daily radio and Fox News Channel shows to maintain a vigilant watch over the slightest hint of anti-Americanism or subversion? Who warned you more often or at more earsplitting volume about how Barack Obama’s life was littered with anti-American friends and associates advocating for the violent overthrow of the United States government? Who sounded the alarm (Hannity’s America, 4/13/08) over Bill Ayers and his leadership role in the 1960s Weather Underground group, “whose mission was the overthrow of the United States government”? And who keeps you current on who’s who among the anti-Americans: the U.N. (Hannity & Colmes, 9/23/08), the Rev. Jeremiah (Hannity & Colmes, 8/5/08), the Air America radio network (Hannity & Colmes, 6/25/07), Michael Moore and his film Sicko (Hannity & Colmes, 6/17/07)?

That’s why we were truly shocked to learn that Hannity’s website is hosting a discussion where his fans can vote on the best way to violently overthrow the U.S. government:

“There’s a lot of talk on this board about armed revolt,” writes the Hannity.com regular centerscroll (who’s posted more than 1,700 times on the site). So he started an online poll (2/23/09) to find out “what form of such a revolt the revolutionaries would prefer”–listing as choices a “military coup,” in which “the military deposes the government and declares itself in charge”; an “armed rebellion,” where “the fed-up civilian population attacks their enemies forcibly…to ultimately depose the government and install one that follows their own ideals”; or “war for secession,” meaning “individual states try to secede and perhaps ultimately must arm to do it.”

centerscroll did not provide any options for those who saw no need to overthrow the Obama administration, or who preferred to resist the government through nonviolent means. As of 4 p.m. on February 27, 76 Hannity.com participants had voted, with 18 choosing the coup option, 31 picking armed rebellion and 27 opting for a war of secession.

Hannity better hope his Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly doesn’t see this poll. When some Huffington Post readers celebrated a report about Nancy Reagan having an injury–in an online thread that was deleted by the blog–O’Reilly likened the blog’s founder Arianna Huffington to the Nazis and the KKK (Media Matters, 2/28/08):

Arianna Huffington is the editor of this. She knows it comes in, puts it up, along with a lot of other vile stuff. I mean, the whole thing is a sewer…. And don’t you think Americans should start holding people like Arianna Huffington accountable for this?… She’s allowing that stuff to go on.

Do you suppose O’Reilly would hold his colleague Sean Hannity to the same standard?

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.