Hannity first came to the national spotlight as a frequent guest host for Rush Limbaugh while he (Hannity) was hosting a radio talk show on an AM station in Atlanta. Indeed, given Rush's lagging popularity and— or perhaps because of— personal problems (the admitted drug addiction, the end of his third marriage, possible jail time if prosecuted for his illegal use of prescription pain killers), Hannity seems poised to take over as the new posterboy for America's radical religious right.
Hannity has been described as "[m]ore militant, more religious" than Limbaugh and his "drop-dead gorgeous" appearance appeals to the a wider audience than Limbaugh— particulary women. Another aspect of Hannity's appeal is to number himself among the "average Americans", and yet, as this incident regarding transportation to St. Louis to speak to students at Washington University shows, Hannity wants to live the high life. Hannity also downplays many of the things that plague the "average American", like lack of health care and a living wage.
Like all of the other mouthpieces for the radical religous right, Hannity has written some books. The latest, published in 2004, is called "Deliver Us from Evil", a line taken from the Bible in Matthew 6:13. Hannity's definition of "evil" though is far from universal. Jimmy Carter, perhaps the most Christian and moral president this country has seen in the last 100 years, is, according to Hannity, evil.
Indeed, Hannity is so intent on convincing the reader that the world is so full of evil that he uses the word "evil" to an excess, especially in the first several chapters of his book. Throughout the book Hannity pulls the same tricks that all mouthpieces pull: diverts attention from the real issue by positing strawman arguments¹, uses fear-mongering, emotional/spiritual manipulation² and villifies those who hold views different from his, even if they don't actively oppose him (like former President Jimmy Carter). Yet these same people will be the first to scream about how the "liberals" and the "left" and the "Democrats" spew hatred and vitriol. A definite case of the pot calling the usually non-existent kettle black.
That Hannity is a spokesman for the radical religious right can't be denied. None of the other mouthpieces profiled here received the kind of glowing tribute that Hannity received from Rebecca Hagelin, a contributor to the Heritage Foundation, one of the largest "think tanks" of the radical religious right. She even states that, "...far beyond the view of the casual observer, those who work with Sean admire him most for the way his life is a reflection of his deep Christian faith." A devout Catholic, Hannity has stated on his program that the US Constitution does not contain any idea of separation of church and state. He supports a ban on abortion, allowing school prayer and a whole lot of the other planks of the radical religious right platform.
After Katrina hit New Orleans and left thousands stranded, many reporters, even those on FOX (who by all rights deserves its own page on here as a mouthpiece for the RRR), became angry and were asking over and over where the promised help was. Even Geraldo broke down in tears at the scenes he was witnessing. [Contrary to what this misadministration is trying to spin by placing blame on the local authorities, the Department of Homeland Security says on its website that it had primary responsibility for "ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."] But not Sean. Hannity was doing his best during this broadcast to make it appear as if the response was adequate and that people were getting all the help they needed. Which only makes him that much more of a shill for this misadministration.
Why, when the actions of these mouthpieces go so against the grain of the American ideals, when their hypocrisy is exposed over and over again, do so many people still listen to and— worse yet— believe them? For an answer to that, please read my thoughts on the issue.
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|¹ A strawman is an unrelated argument intended to change the focus of the debate. For example, it's a strawman argument to say that legalizing gay marriage (which is unconstitutionally illegal) will force churches who oppose gay marriage to marry gays. Religious freedom is not removed by legalizing gay marriage: divorce is legal, but the Catholic church won't marry a divorced person and no one is suing them to make them do it.|
|² Something along the lines of "If we allow gay marriage, we're going against God's word and damning our entire nation and our children to a living hell!", which is not a quote or even a paraphrase of something Mr. Hannity has said— merely an example I came up with to demonstrate what I mean by emotional/spiritual manipulation.|
|Click on any of the links below to read more about Sean Hannity. It's not much, but he's kind of like the new kid on the block.|
||The Document Sean Hannity Doesn't Want You To Read|
|Synopsis: When Hannity challenged American Progress CEO John Podesta to come up with just one instance where he (Hannity) had strayed far from the facts, he was given these fifteen examples.|
|Synopsis: When American Progress CEO John Podesta presented the above list to Hannity on his show, Hannity changed the subject and then accused Mr. Podesta of lying. Find out what he edited from the transcript of that show to make it seem like he was right and Mr. Podesta was wrong. (I'm kind of curious as to when this kind of deception became part of the "deep Christian faith" Rebecca Hagelin spoke of in her glowing tribute.|
|Synopsis: A review of "Let Freedom Ring" that demonstrates that Hannity, like other pundits (on both sides according to the article), doesn't "let facts stand in the way of a good partisan screed."|
||Sean Hannity Is a Moron|
|Synopsis: This blog acts as a sort of "catch all" for articles and news items about Hannity. It has some good links to other organizations fighting the radical religious right.|
All text © 2004-12 Shelly Strauss except where quotes with references are provided.|
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