Memo to Sean Hannity: The Fox News employees pushed out of Fox News were sexually-assaulting conservatives, accused by conservatives and eventually ousted by conservative Rupert Murdoch. Furthermore, the woman who accused you of sexual harassment is a conservative. So quit blaming liberals for the rot inside your own organization!
As I’ve previously reported, conservative pundit Debbie Schlussel suggested that she had been sexually harassed or treated inappropriately (or something) by Sean Hannity. Schlussel’s accusation came in the wake of the ouster of conservative Bill O’Reilly (after millions of dollars were spent settling harassment claims against him) and less than a year after conservative Fox chief Roger Ailes was pushed out (after millions of dollars were spent settling harassment claims against him). That's not counting the ouster of Fox News Latino vice president Francisco Cortes, terminated after he allegedly sexually assaulted a Fox News contributor (who reportedly received a $2.5 million settlement). Cortes' politics are unknown but he was reportedly close with Ailes.
For the record, I have always been skeptical of Schlussel’s latest claim. And, if he is innocent, I don’t blame Hannity for being upset.
But to blame liberals for the problem just makes Hannity – sexual abuser or not – look as scummy as some of the other people he works with. Or used to.
On Monday night, Hannity very deliberately and duplicitously suggested that Schlussel is a liberal in his opening commentary (transcript excerpts below via FoxNews.com, with my emphases added):
HANNITY: I want to start with the war on freedom of expression today in America and the attempts by liberal fascists to silence conservative voices. That is tonight’s very important “Opening Monologue.”
I have to start by tonight addressing a well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country that is designed to silence every conservative voice and by any means necessary.
Now, I’ve worked for radio for 30 years. I’ve been right here at the Fox News Channel for 21 and a half years—I’m very proud of that. And during this time, there’s always been efforts and attempts to smear and slander and besmirch me and other conservatives, but it has never been as intense and completely insane as it is right now.
Now, I want you to understand, every single minute, every single second I am on the air, radio, TV, there’s somebody—likely being paid—recording and monitoring every single word that comes out of my mouth all in the hopes that I may say something they can twist and distort and use against me and try and destroy my reputation to get my conservative voice off the air.
Since Hannity has indirectly included me in this group previously, I’ll speak up here about the purpose of my monitoring. It is not in the hopes he’ll say something to use against him and get him off the air. It’s for the purpose of informing people what he does. I do not even know of any efforts to get him off the air.
But it’s worth pointing out that Hannity never cited one smear nor besmirching nor what, exactly has become so “intense and completely insane” lately. One can only assume he’s referring to the sexual harassment and racial discrimination accusations against Fox. Yet the racial discrimination complaints came from 13 people working for or who have worked for Fox. Are they all liberal moles?
But speaking of monitoring people in the hopes of destroying them, where was Hannity when ACORN, a non-profit devoted to helping poor people, was destroyed because of the illegal recording and deceptively edited undercover videos of two conservative activists? Oh, that’s right, Hannity was cheering them on.
HANNITY: Quite simply, these liberal fascists—they can’t stand conservative voices. Now, for those of you who don’t know me well, I have a pretty thick skin. I call out people, I say things, I give my point of view four hours a day, and for all these years, well, there has been endless, unrelenting attacks against me.
HANNITY: But now in light of recent events, I’ve come to the conclusion I can no longer remain silent and I can no longer let the left’s slander against me slide.
What slander? He never said. However, he appeared to be referring to Schlussel, who has had some kind of grudge against Hannity for years, including accusations about his freedom concerts. Yet, without any evidence, Hannity suggested she’s in some kind of a cabal with liberals:
HANNITY: So from now on—and I want you to be informed of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it—if there’s any person, any group, any organization, any media outlet that slanders, lies about me, besmirches me or my character, I’m going to be calling them out because at this point, enough is not. I have hired a team of some of the best attorneys in this country to work with me and on my behalf.
Now, the breaking point for me came this weekend when an individual who for over a decade has made the most outrageous, unfair, untrue allegations against me has now resurfaced by making ridiculous and completely untrue claims. Now, this person went on a radio show on Friday and made more unfounded accusations against me which this person is now, interestingly, recanting after I made my statement, but it was only after I responded to these baseless and false smears.
This is not the first time I’ve had to deal with this individual. Now, this person has repeatedly spread lies about me. I’ll give you an example: Back in 2010, remember I was raising money for the Freedom Alliance, a charity that offers college scholarships to the children of killed veterans, severely injured veterans and their families. And in a blog post, the individual falsely accused me and members of the charity of skimming and stealing money that was donated. This, of course, was easily proven false. And in spite of the fact that we proved each and every single allegation to be untrue and inaccurate at the time, I was never given an apology. There is no correction that was issued.
Now this person has made yet another slanderous accusation. And in response, I released this statement, which now the press has picked up and I’ll read it for you:
“Let me be clear: The comments about me on a radio show this week by this individual are 100 percent false and a complete fabrication. This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear, besmirch my reputation. The individual has not just slandered me over the years but also many people who this individual disagrees with. This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric. My patience with this individual is over. I have retained a team of some of the finest and toughest lawyers in the country who are now in the process of laying out the legal course of action we will be taking against this individual. Now, in this fiercely divided and vindictive political climate, I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see this now to be a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by any and all legal means available to me as an American.”
A coordinated effort to silence conservative views? What kind of coordination is being alleged here? Or is this smarmy insinuation OK – even as Hannity supposedly takes a stand against such a thing – so long as it’s aimed against your enemies?
HANNITY: This is not about Sean Hannity. This is not about one person. There is now a coordinated attempt to silence the voice of every outspoken conservative in this country. If we don’t stop it right now, there won’t be any conservative voices on radio and television left.
Now, I’m not the only one that these liberal fascists routinely target. Like me, conservatives are monitored on radio and TV, every word they say, and contrary to the alt-radical left stated position, they’re so open-minded liberals. Not true. Liberal fascism is alive and well in America today. Their goal is simple: They want to shut up, shut down, completely silence all conservative voices by any means necessary.
Please note, this isn’t about me. This is about the left concocting boycotts all in an attempt to silence prominent conservative voices. If we don’t take a stand now, if we allow this to happen now, I am telling you America as we know it—freedom of speech as we know it—is over. Let’s stop the boycotts. Let’s stop silencing opposition voices. Let all Americans make their own decisions.
Presumably, Hannity is railing against the advertiser boycotts that fueled Bill O’Reilly’s downfall. Personally, I wasn’t thrilled with the boycotts either. But if Hannity is such an opponent of silencing the opposition, why does he allow so few guests who disagree with him? And why did he block me and NewsHounds on Twitter?
But there’s a bigger issue here. If Hannity thinks boycotts of The O’Reilly Factor were inappropriate, what did he think should have been done in response to O’Reilly’s and Ailes' behavior? Just overlook it? Or is Hannity suggesting that we should all tolerate sexual harassment? While he’s at it, maybe Hannity should explain why he loves Donald Trump so much despite his boast about being a sexual assaulter.
And, by the way, let’s not forget that it was conservative Gretchen Carlson whose accusation against Ailes is what started the avalanche of complaints coming out against Fox News. If she’s a liberal, she’s done a great job of hiding it.
Watch Hannity’s dissembling above, from the April 24, 2017 Hannity show.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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