The First Amendment under attack: a wake-up call for conservatives.
Sean Hannity has had enough.
Good for him.
The other day, after being falsely accused of sexual harassment — an accusation that was hastily withdrawn the moment Hannity announced he was hiring lawyers to defend himself from this slanderous inanity — Sean spent some time on his television show on April 26 talking about not just the attacks on President Trump but about an increasingly serious problem: media fascism. Among other things, he said this of the Left:
They’re expanding their attack to target media outlets and individuals who refuse to push their biased talking points and fall in line with their agenda. They hate Fox News. They hate talk radio. And they hate you, if you support our president and his policies.
I am calling it “media fascism.”
As you may know, I have become the target of a smear and slander campaign. The radical, alt-left, destroy-Trump media immediately picked up on lies told about me — even though the person with whom they originated recanted. They wanted a cheap headline.
A simple Google search would have ended the witch hunt against me. These lazy so-called journalists would have discovered this individual has severe credibility issues and has targeted and tried to smear and slander me for well over a decade.
Like President Trump, I can fight back. But this is about more than either of us. The dishonest media is out to silence every conservative voice in the country. Trump’s election has made them come unhinged, and now they are coming after all of us.”
This response followed another that he had made the day before on his radio show, this one specifically on the phony sexual harassment allegation. Sean said this in part:
LET ME BE CLEAR — THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual are 100% 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 and besmirch my reputation.
The individual has not just slandered me over the years but 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.
In this fiercely divided & vindictive political climate, I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.
Note well that line that “I see a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views.”
Shortly after Hannity went public, news arrived that Ann Coulter had been prevented — by threat of violence — from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley. What does that have to do with Hannity? Everything. And Sean was quick to quite correctly make the connection. This time he said this:
We are at a huge turning point when it comes to freedom of speech in the United States of America, and it is time to take a stand against liberal fascists out to silence conservative voices.
Violent, radical snowflake liberals at University of California Berkeley have succeeded, at least for now, in shutting down another conservative speaker. Ann Coulter was supposed to give a speech on that campus tonight, but the threat of violence has scuttled those plans. Berkeley, which in the 1960s, fashioned itself as the home of free speech, is now the home of fascistic intellectual intolerance.
The idea that the alt-left is tolerant and inclusive is a big myth and lie. In fact, the First Amendment means nothing to these people. It’s just a yellowed parchment they care nothing about. Their goal is simple: Shut down every conservative voice in America, by any means necessary.
Ann Coulter is only the latest target this week. Liberal fascists are carrying out a well-funded and carefully orchestrated smear campaign to try and take down President Trump and anybody and everybody that supports him and his policies. I’ve also become a target, as the alt-left media repeats lies about me even though the original liar has since recanted. Why fact check when it might get in the way of ruining my career? They want to destroy me and get me off the air, once and for all.
He went on:
It’s not just about me, but by fighting back, I am hoping to use my case to expose what’s really happening. In case you don’t know, here’s what happened. Six days ago, just two days after Bill O’Reilly parted ways with the Fox News Channel, an individual with serious and glaring credibility issues fabricated completely untrue, ridiculous claims about me that go back more than a decade.
The alt-left press could easily have checked this person out and learned it wasn’t the first groundless attack against me. But that could have gotten in the way of their agenda. They ran with it.
“Sean Hannity denies right-wing blogger’s sex harassment claim,” was NBC News’ headline. “Is Hannity next to fall? Fox guest says the anchor tried to pressure her into hotel room sex,” was the headline on a website called Raw Story, and by the way, the individual didn’t even say that in the first place.
So far, none of these outlets have updated their headlines to correct the story and tell their viewers or their readers that this highly questionable individual has since recanted these completely false claims.
There is no surprise here in how left-wing media outlets deal with conservatives in the media.
By now, conservatives are increasingly aware of how the Left does their work.
Back there in the mists of time I wrote in this space about “The Plot to Get Rush,” saying, in part, this:
Leftist French Revolutionaries launched the ‘Reign of Terror,’ dragging terrified opponents to the guillotine. The moment Lenin’s triumphant Communists overwhelmed Russia, notes The Black Book of Communism, the triumphant left “institutionalized the notion of ‘enemy of the people.’” People so identified were to be “arrested immediately,” charged with “crimes” like “abuse of one’s position” — essentially the American left’s charge right now about Rush Limbaugh. In short order, millions of Soviet citizens in the new order were shot outright when not sent to the Gulag. In the 1930s the newly powerful National Socialists of Germany — aka the Nazis — began sending storm troopers to terrify Jews by painting crude yellow signs reading “Not for Aryans” on the windows of Jewish shopkeepers.
Eventually, Jews were forced to wear a yellow patch in the shape of the Star of David, bearing a single word Jude — Jew. In Mao’s China, this leftist fanaticism appeared as the “Cultural Revolution,” which targeted all manner of dissenters with both psychological intimidation as well as physical violence. One of the favorite weapons of Mao’s Red Guards was “Chinese Roulette.” The game? A group of dissenters would be rounded up and delivered to a firing squad — but at the last minute only a random few would be pulled from the group and shot. The rest who had survived were said to have suffered something worse than death: a “bullet” of fear and repression inside the brain.
In America, the leftists beneath the hoods of the Ku Klux Klan lynched terrified blacks at night while running America’s Democratic Party by day. No less than future president Ronald Reagan was threatened with having acid tossed in his face if he didn’t cease fighting the infiltration of Communists in Hollywood. Today SEIU thugs are captured on video beating up those who dissent on Obamacare, calling their victim the ’n–word’.
Fear. Intimidation. Bullying. Racism. Hatred of the “other.” Without these tactics, the left is naked in the war of ideas.
This is exactly what is going on in today’s America with the American Left. Among other things in that piece on “The Plot to Get Rush,” I wrote this of one Angelo Carusone , a leftist activist who is now with Media Matters, quoting directly from a 2010 piece in the far-left Raw Story that featured Carusone’s campaign to get Glenn Beck. Raw Story noted this:
Carusone is mounting similar campaigns targeting Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and CNN.
As Sean himself has said, he has been targeted by the left for years before that. With a bow to National Review’s Jonah Goldberg and his excellent book of the same name, Sean has correctly pinned this drive to get conservatives off television and radio air exactly for what it is: “Liberal Fascism.” Or, with regard to the media, “media fascism.”
How does the Left play this game? In “The Plot to Get Rush” I used the words of Carusone himself plus the work of the Daily Caller to list the specifics of how Leftist media fascism works:
- Disrupt Relationships with Sponsors
- Keep Lists to Intimidate Sponsors
- Propagandize the Media
- Social Media
By now, conservatives are increasingly aware of how the Left does their work. And the case can easily be made that there is a backfire effect. Indeed, it is clear this is already at work in Hannity’s case as effectively noted here in a new Bloomberg story. Notes Bloomberg of all the turmoil at Fox: “But if anyone has come out a winner, it’s Hannity.”
Of course. His audience is instinctively rallying to Hannity because they know without doubt of his conservatism, they trust him — and they are not going to sit idly by and let the Left bring him down. There is a difference — a huge difference — between the normal, everyday competition of networks, shows, and hosts and the far left targeting of conservatives in the media to remove them from the air. In fact, Sean has specifically said of his own ten p.m. CNN competitor (and my CNN colleague and friend) Don Lemon — whom Sean met for the first time the other night — that Don is a nice guy and, to the point, the thought would never cross Sean’s mind to demand that Don be removed from the air for expressing a liberal point of view. Exactly right.
A version of this targeting is exactly what was done to Ann Coulter at Berkeley. In Ann’s case it was flat-out violence that was threatened — in the style of those old leftist heroes like the Ku Klux Klan or the Weathermen.
There is an irony here. This Saturday the White House Correspondents’ Dinner will be held in Washington. Awards will be presented to several journalists by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (full disclosure also my colleague at CNN). According to the website for the group: “No one is better suited to speak about the importance of a free and independent press than Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.”
I agree. And I hope that Woodward and Bernstein will take a moment to address the concerns of conservatives that there is a movement afoot to banish media conservatives from the airwaves — not to mention using the threat of violence to keep them from speaking at places like Berkeley.
One way or another, Sean Hannity under attack has typically stepped up to the plate to not only fight back against those coming after him but to lead the larger fight for the First Amendment — for free speech and a free press.
And amen to that.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons