The rumor is bottom-dweller commentator (and I use that word lightly) will sink to new lows this evening, digging deep into the muck "to air a very important documentary about Barack Obama, Sunday at 9:00 PM. He (Hannity) stated on the air ... that no one in the news media was willing to do this."
"This" includes the typical "radical professors, friends and spiritual advisors" rant spewed forth against Obama via the Hannity daily propaganda broadcast.
In preparation for the man who spends most of his broadcast day blasting hot air in order to fill dead air (as evidenced by the severe lack of listener call-in), join Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik in his critique of Hannity's recent "interview" of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Hannity hits new low (even for him) with Palin-McCainAs servile and journalistically bankrupt as Fox News host Sean Hannity behaved three weeks ago during a conversation with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, it was merely prelude to the role he took on Wednesday night in an "interview" with Palin and her running mate, Sen. John McCain.
It quickly became apparent that the session was not aimed at defining issues and candidate positions, or probing the candidates on the several crises facing the nation today in hopes of giving voters information that would help them make an informed choice. Instead it became an exercise in Hannity methodically going point by point over what appeared to be a list of things McCain wished he had said in Tuesday's debate with Sen. Barack Obama -- but didn't.
It got far worse, however, when Hannity shifted to a new role of using interviewer queries not as softballs for the candidates to hit out of the park, but instead using the questions to give voice to unsubstantiated accusations against Obama. Under the false guise of journalism, Hannity used questions Wednesday to say things about Obama too nasty for even the candidates to say about their opponent -- without risking widespread press condemnation and voter turnoff. This had more to do with political theater, show trials in totalitarian regimes and the darkest edges of propaganda than it did journalism.
Here's the way it went on the Fox News Channel Wednesday after Hannity brought up Obama's past relationship with 1960s radical William Ayers, and then characterized it as on-going with this bit of innuendo: "You know they sat on multiple boards together. We know they've given speeches together. We know there's been sort of a back and forth financially. Ayers contributing to Obama, Obama sort of working some money back through them."
And then Hannity really got down to business.
HANNITY: "... And I guess my question is, should the American people be concerned that he’s (Obama) capable in a post-9/11 world of fighting terrorism, when he is friends with an unrepentant terrorist?"
MCCAIN: "Well, I think that's also part of the judgment the American people make. But first, I think we ought to have a full and complete examination of the relationship. And then the American people can make a judgment. And so far, I think it's very clear that he was a lot more than just a guy in the neighbor (sic)."
HANNITY: "You think this needs to be asked more in your next debate? Do you think it should have — because a lot of us in the media are sitting back thinking... that this is something that needs to be vetted out."
MCCAIN: "Well I hope it's vetted out, if it needs to be vetted out. And I think the American people understand whether Senator Obama has been truthful and candid about his entire relationship with Mr. Ayers, and with others very frankly."
HANNITY: "Let's talk about others."
MCCAIN: "Including the ACORN organization."
HANNITY: "Well, we've got — this is now part of a larger narrative that's emerging. And the Obama campaign seems very, very defensive about this. They don't want any questions, how dare you ask, this is unfair. But he's friends with Father Pfleger, a radical — fairly radical figure in Chicago, Tony Rezko, a convicted slumlord, we have him on tape. And we know that he spent 20 years in the pews of Reverend Wright, who has said the most outrageous things, including G.D. America and ‘America's chickens have come home to roost’ after 9/11. What does that tell you, Governor, about Senator Obama and his radical associations?"
PALIN: "It goes right back again to the candidate's judgment and who he chooses to associate himself with in the past, perhaps the present. It makes me question who he would associate himself with in the future."
HANNITY: "Yes. And we should — Americans should be concerned about it."
PALIN: "I'm concerned about it."
And on it goes, McCain and Palin acting statesmanlike, while Hannity, sounding like their deputy minister of propaganda, does the dirty work of slander and innuendo.
We have seen this before with the journalists who served the Red-baiting, Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s as he tried to destroy the careers of any who dared oppose him.
Just as McCarthy was ultimately censured by his colleagues in the Senate, many of those journalists ended their careers in shame.
Hannity this week, reportedly signed a new contract that will keep in a starring role at Fox through 2012.