As scrutiny intensifies on Donald Trump’s connections to the white nationalists known as the “alt right,” Sean Hannity and Fox guest Michael Needham are sneakily promoting a myth that there’s an alt left that's just as extreme.
The Associated Press defined “alt right” and prescribed its usage today:
The “alt-right” or “alternative right” is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States in addition to, or over, other traditional conservative positions such as limited government, low taxes and strict law-and-order.
[W]henever “alt-right” is used in a story, be sure to include a definition: “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism,” or, more simply, “a white nationalist movement.”
There is simply no comparable movement among the left. But Sean Hannity, a blatant white-rights enthusiast and anti-immigrant nativist (despite his ridiculous claim otherwise), is now trying to suggest that anyone to the left of him is part of an “alt left.”
On the Hannity show last Wednesday, I caught the host using the “alt-left” or “alt radical left” term 10 times throughout his show.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And welcome to “Hannity.” And tonight, President-elect Donald Trump beats down the abusively biased alt radical left mainstream media. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway will join us in a few minutes.
Mr. Trump should keep in mind that a few days before this meeting [The New York Times] praised former Obama adviser, now a CNN contributor, Van Jones, as a, quote, “star” of the 2016 campaign. By the way, the same Van Jones who was a member of the alt radical left and who viciously attacked Donald Trump on a consistent basis.
Also on Hannity’s alt-left smear list? Black Lives Matter and President Obama:
HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY. So throughout the 2016 election many in the liberal mainstream media, they’ve been pushing this new term, I never heard of it before, alt-right to describe anyone they think is extreme or too conservative. Recently I sparked a debate on twitter with BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray. I asked her, quote, “Rosie, when will you use the term alt radical left to describe the Occupy movement, MoveOn.org, and Black Lives Matter?” And that group that said “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.” And, by the way, why did Obama invite radicals to the White House.
Yesterday, I found out it’s not just Hannity perpetuating this myth. At the end of a Fox News Sunday discussion, host Chris Wallace brought up the presidential election recount. While the panel tsk-tsked Hillary Clinton for going along with a recount initiated by Jill Stein of the Green Party, nobody mentioned the recount demanded by Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina. Apparently, only Republicans are allowed recounts on Fox News.
But then guest Michael Needham, who has led obstructionist efforts to repeal Obamacare, suddenly decided he’s all about accepting reality and admitting defeat.
NEEDHAM: The whole [recount] thing is just—it’s a lot to take. I mean the weeping and gnashing of the teeth from the left, if anything remotely similar had gone on from a Republican, especially Donald Trump, would just be endless. It would have been—and when you want to look at why people across the country feel like cultural elites, like our media establishment, just don’t get them. The notion that this is going on, the notion that Hillary Clinton is joining in, the notion that her campaign is—it’s just, stop it. Donald Trump won the election. Donald Trump is going to be the president of the United States. The alt-left needs to move on from this nonsense.
Wait a minute! Asking for a recount is not the equivalent of being a white nationalist. It’s not even close. But nobody on the Fox panel – not Wallace, not The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib, not Julie Pace, of the “liberal media’s” Associated Press and not Fox News correspondent James Rosen – objected.
In fact, nobody even seemed to notice.
But I guarantee you, this will not be the end of this effort.
Watch the sleight of hand above, from the November 27, 2016 Fox News Sunday.
Crossposted at Newshounds.us