Well, we've always known that Sean Hannity has a penchant for nuzzling right up next to conspiracy theories from folks like noted Birther Jerome Corsi and promoting them in a secondhand fashion without completely diving off the deep end, as his early-evening colleague at Fox is inclined to do.
But last night, defending Donald Trump for his admission that he believes in the Obama birth-certificate theories, Hannity dove right in and embraced his inner Birther. It was something to behold.
Terry Krepel and David Shere at Media Matters have the complete rundown:
HANNITY: What do you think about this birth certificate issue? I mean, it has not been my main issue, but it kind of does get a little odd here after a while. Can't they just produce it and we move on?
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): Well, obviously, there's some value to the White House not producing it. I don't know what that could be. This easily could be ended, could have been ended a couple of years ago. I don't know --
HANNITY: Jerry, that's a reasonable position. Is he right?
JERRY SPRINGER (talk show host): Well, no. I'll tell you why.
HANNITY: Release -- do you have your birth certificate?
SPRINGER: No, I finally -- well because I was born in England, and it was during the war, and really, I had to go through a whole process for my Social Security -- because I'm on Medicare now. I had to finally get --
LEEANN TWEEDEN (model and Fox Sports host): You had to track it down, and you did, right? And you had to produce it, right?
SPRINGER: But i found it. I found it. I found it. But because I was born in England, I can't be president anyway.
The best moment came when Springer tried to point out the obvious -- no previous candidate for the presidency had faced these kinds of questions about his citizenship, and it is no coincidence that it happens to be the first African American president. Hannity hastily sprang into action -- block that point!
SPRINGER: But you know what, I understand why there's a resistance to it.
SPRINGER: Because isn't this interesting? Of all our 43 presidents, of the 43 presidents --
HANNITY: Don't bring up race. Do not bring up race. Do not bring up race. It is a constitutional requirement.
SPRINGER: I understand, but why have not of the 43 people we had run -- be president of the United States, never once were you asking, "Where is your birth certificate? "
BURGESS: It was an issue -- it was an issue for John McCain.
As Springer continued trying to make the point that conservatives have fought against racial justice and ethnic equality at every turn of the nation's history, Hannity tried making the dishonest argument that the Civil Rights Act passed in 1965 because of Republicans -- which is true enough, but obliterates the fact that these were liberal Republicans, a now-extinct creature, not to mention the fact that the Southern Strategy completely transformed the GOP after the 1960s into the wholly right-wing faction it has been for at least a generation now.
But then, we always knew Hannity was basically dishonest. Now we get to see his inner extremist come bubbling to the surface.