Fox's Sean Hannity Confronted Over Relationship with Neo-Nazi Hal Turner
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The folks over at NewsHounds have been watching their Fox News Channel quarry dither over Senator Barack Obama's associations with pastor Jeremiah Wright, and noted Fox's own Sean Hannity getting himself tripped up in the guilt-by-association tango. Seems that one of Hannity's close chums is a neo-Nazi named Hal Turner who used to be a radio host, is apparently the top man in Bergen, NJ white-supremacist circles, and probably spends a lot of his time in his basement with Star Wars action figures acting out Holocaust-denier versions of The Return of the Jedi . In short, just the sort of person with whom you'd imagine Sean Hannity spends a lot of formational time with.
Anyway, a few days ago, Hannity brought Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party on the show. Shabazz and his organization had previously chosen to endorse Barack Obama, who subsequently rejected the endorsement. It was up to Hannity to make some hay out of this, but the tables got turned very quickly. From NewsHounds:
Hannity added, "What I don't think you're understanding here, Malik, is that when you hear the minister of him for 20 years, when you hear the associations with Louis Farrakhan, one of the biggest racists and anti-Semites in the country, what you're not understanding is, America hears extremism at its worst."
Shabazz responded, "Let me ask you this. Are you to be judged by your promotion and association with Hal Turner?"
Hannity waved his arm around. "I don't know anybody named - this is nonsense. I don't..." Then Hannity changed his tune. "Sir, sir... That was a man that was banned from my radio show ten years ago, that ran a Senate campaign in New Jersey."
Then, as Shabazz refused to stop talking or back down, Hannity, in a tacit admission, said, "I'm not running for president."
"A neo Nazi, you backed his career," Shabazz said.
Hannity answered, "That is an absolute, positive, lie and you've been reading the wrong websites..., my friend. Good try."
Well, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary ( Max Blumenthal's piece in Nation is good for a start), but it hardly matters, because don't you know, days later, Turner himself was doing his pal a total solid by coming out and stating, "Oh, yeah! We're best of buds!"
Jason Linkins is an associate editor at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, DC.