Sean Hannity and the company he keeps

As most folks know by now FoxNews and Sean Hannity have been talking about Senator Barack Obama and his former minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Rev. Wright recently retired from the Trinity United Church of Christ. There are quite a number of videos, including a link to one video posted at ABC News.com that I posted here a few days ago that shows Rev. Wright damning the United States.

Many folks felt that Rev. Wright spewed alot of hatred, especially towards white folks. But I have a question. What about Sean Hannity and the company he keeps? While lurking at one particular website earlier today someone had mentioned Sean Hannity’s friendship with a white supremacist by the name of Hal Turner. I checked him out at Wikipedia, read about him and then saw a link to an article titled Hannity’s Soul-Mate of Hate at The Nation. This article came out in 2005.

This year a man named Hal Turner sat before his computer at his suburban home in North Bergen, New Jersey, posting bomb-making tips on his website, hailing the firebombing of an apartment containing “Savage Negroes” and calling for the murder of immigrants. “When enough illegal aliens get killed they will stop coming to the country!” Turner wrote.

Turner was once a prominent activist in New Jersey’s Republican Party. To area conservatives, he was best known by his moniker for call-ins to the Sean Hannity Show, “Hal from North Bergen.” For years, Hannity offered his top-rated radio show as a regular forum for Turner’s occasionally racist, always over-the-top rants. Hannity also chatted with him off-air, allegedly offering encouragement to Turner as he struggled to overcome a cocaine habit and homosexual leanings. Turner has boasted that Hannity once invited Turner and his son on to the set of Fox News’s Hannity and Colmes. Today, Turner lurks on the fringes of the far right, spouting hate-laced tirades on his webcast radio show. Hannity, meanwhile, remains mum about his former alliance with the neo-Nazi, homing in instead on the supposed racism of black and Latino Democrats.

And there’s more.

WABC tapped Sean Hannity to fill Grant’s seat in the broadcast booth. For Hannity, who had spent his career in the wilderness of the right-wing radio circuit, the gig was like a dream. “I’d grown up listening to Bob Grant…one of the most entertaining hosts I’d ever heard,” Hannity wrote in his 2002 book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism. Hannity started out as a broadcaster at the liberal University of Santa Barbara. “But it didn’t last long…. The left-wing management had a zero-tolerance policy for conservative points of view. And I was promptly fired,” Hannity wrote. “They didn’t like the comments one guest made on the show,” he added, without specifying what those comments were. From there, Hannity was hired by the right-wing WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama, and then by WGST in Atlanta, where he filled in for his friend, the “libertarian” broadcaster Neil Boortz. By the time WABC brought him on board, he was already co-hosting Fox News’s newly minted Hannity and Colmes, which, as of May, was America’s second-rated cable news show, with 1.3 million households viewing each night.

On WABC Hannity inherited Grant’s fan base of angry white males, who listened to his show in the New York City area. Hannity recognized his audience’s thirst for red meat, racist rhetoric. However, he knew that if he wanted to avoid Grant’s fate, he needed an air of deniability. When “Hal from North Bergen” began calling his show, Hannity found he could avoid the dangers of direct race-baiting by simply outsourcing it to Turner.

During an August 1998 episode of the show, Turner reminded Hannity that were it not for the graciousness of the white man, “black people would still be swinging on trees in Africa,” according to Daryle Jenkins, co-founder of the New Jersey-based antiracism group One People’s Project. Instead of rebuking Turner or cutting him off, Hannity continued to welcome his calls. On December 10 of the following year, Turner called Hannity’s show to announce his campaign to run for a seat in the US House of Representatives from New Jersey, and to attack his presumptive opponent, Democratic Representative Robert Menendez, as a “left-wing nut.”

You can read the entire article here.

What gets me is how Sean Hannity of all people can criticize Senator Obama, his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ and Reverend Wright yet nothing is mentioned about Hannity’s former friendship with a white supremacist. Why hasn’t the media brought this up? Has Hannity rejected and renounced Hal Turner and his beliefs?

One response

  1. Sean Hannity is a Hypocrite! I recently found this article – The SEAN HANNITY AND LAURA INGRAHAM HYPOCRISY.
    Very Interesting take on the Right’s attack on Obama and his Reverend.

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