All of Sean Hannity's show Thursday night was an exercise in whining babble. You almost had to have a translator to understand all of his nonsense about taxes and cliffs and the vaunted values of conservatism. But right in the middle, he took a time out to spend a few minutes smearing...the Occupy movement.
Now why would he do that, do you think? After all, the Occupy Wall Street folks have been instrumental in organizing and getting assistance to people in the hurricane-ravaged areas of New York.
Aside: Hannity spent a full five minutes earlier in the show interviewing angry residents of Staten Island as though he had sympathy for them before he brought on a guest to explain why they were all victims of liberal "gimme-ism." No sympathy for YOU, little folks, but if he can use them to slap President Obama while slapping them, he sees it as a two-fer, I guess.
Indeed, the OWS people have been hard at work organizing and doing good things to effect change in their communities. From their hurricane relief efforts to their debt relief efforts, they've definitely been a force for good, not evil.
If you're Sean Hannity and you actually believe there are "rape tents," which is nothing more than a fantasy in fevered conservative minds, augmented and planted there by Breitbart's Ghost and a whole host of sock puppets spreading it through social media, then it makes perfect sense to bring on a FBI informant and his pal, the heir to Breitbart's throne, to pimp a film about it. It didn't succeed at the box office and it's getting little traction online, so why not have Hannity use it to fearmonger and spread hate? He does it so well.
I confess to being surprised at first that they would put Brandon Darby up there to speak righteously for FBI informants everywhere. If you're not familiar with Darby, you should go read this excellent piece at Mother Jones. Really, it's far more interesting than anything you're reading right now.
Brandon Darby is an "out" FBI informant, former anarchist, self-proclaimed lefty turned right. He helped Lee Stranahan and the Breitbots make this film about Occupy Wall Street after setting up a couple of kids who went to the 2008 Republican convention looking to make a statement and were angered enough to decide they should formulate a violent response. Very bad choice on their part, and worse when they discovered Darby was the guy who turned them into the FBI.
Foolishness of those kids notwithstanding, I am old enough to remember the COINTELPRO operations during Nixon's reign of terror, so I view the activities of people like Darby with about the same level of dislike I reserve for James O'Keefe and his merry band of film lotharios. And as the MoJo article notes, the FBI isn't scaling back those operations. Darby is evidence of that.
Brandon Darby is one of the reasons the RNC looked like Baghdad on a quiet afternoon. He stoked up the fear factor for attendees, claiming the Occupy folks were going to "take down" emergency medical services. No evidence necessary, of course. Any target will do. He's become the darling of the right, capturing racist Robert Stacy McCain's imagination along with those who ask themselves how a guy who had a reputation as a left-sided do-gooder during Hurricane Katrina turned into a right-wing FBI informant who sympathizes with patriot groups and other far-right agitators.
Brandon Darby is someone who shifts with the political winds. In 2006, he was a lefty. In 2009, he's right wing. What changed? The administration, from Bush to Obama. Anarchist might best describe him.
What was the point of this Hannity exercise in smears and lies? To raise money? To raise visibility for a movie that should be dead and cremated with ashes scattered across the desert? I doubt Hannity moved the audience fear meter much more than a tiny needle notch, given that OWS isn't out in their communities doing good for people while Hannity calls it evil.
He did, however, give Darby and Bannon a few minutes of free ad time on Fox News prime time air to reassure viewers that they should always be very afraid, even if the FBI is on it.