Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV
Even by the sleazy standards of Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity is a notable bigot and demagogue. He proved it again Monday evening with an astounding 20-minute display of Negrophobia that could be used to recruit for the Ku Klux Klan.
After opening his show with a free airing of a Republican commercial attacking President Obama, Hannity used racial quotes from Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the New Black Panther Party to suggest that the President sides with those urging a "race war."
"What I hear here is coming real violence against innocent people," Hannity said.
As is often the case in the Fox frame of real life, Hannity revealed a great deal by what he left out of his show. While stoking white fears about African-Americans, he neglected to mention a critical current story about racial violence on his "fair and balanced" air.
The day before, police arrested two white men accused of killing three black people and wounding two more in a racially-motivated shooting spree that terrorized the black community of Tulsa, Okla., over Easter weekend.
A court hearing for them took place Monday morning, in plenty of time for Hannity to report. Later Monday, the Associated Press reported that the two men confessed to the crimes, according to a police affidavit.
But in Hannity’s 20-minute race segment, and throughout his 60-minute show, he neglected to mention any of this.
However, he did find time to twice brag Monday about his access to George Zimmerman, who shot and killed a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in February in Sanford, Fla.
"I actually spoke to him today," Hannity said of Zimmerman. "I won’t talk about the nature of the conversation."
We can only guess. Since Martin’s death, Zimmerman -- a citizen watchdog with a gun and a history of violence -- has gone free. Hannity especially and Fox in general have taken the shooter’s side in the case, blaming the victim for his own death.
In one of his common, smarmy ploys Hannity brought on two African-American commentators who -- Surprise! -- agreed with Hannity.
"These are domestic terrorists," David Webb said of the Panthers.
The other, Deneen Borelli, warned of "race relations being ginned up in our country and it’s a very dangerous game to play."
Earlier in the show, Hannity’s first guest -- political hack Dick Morris -- warned darkly of a "deliberate, orchestrated effort by the Obama White House to promote racial division."
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