Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hannity, Discussing Gumbel's Comment Against The GOP, Relies On False Claims. (And He's A Hypocrite, Too.)

On last night's edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, conservative pundit Sean Hannity asked why the mainstream media isn't "outraged" over a comment last week from sports commentator Bryant Gumbel.

Gumbel, remarking on his HBO show Real Sports that he never watches the Winter Olympics, said, “So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”

But in spite of Hannity's question, the media has hardly rallied to defend Gumbel's comments. For example, a USA Today columnist said Gumbel's comments "don't ring true." A Knight-Ridder Newspapers columnist implied that Gumbel's comments were racist. A columnist for the Annapolis (Md.) Capitol agreed. The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch called Gumbel's comments "harsh."

Of course, Hannity doesn't really care about the "paucity of blacks" at the Turin Olympics. The reason he brought up the Gumbel comment was to launch a defense of the GOP, and to imply that the "liberal media" is giving Gumbel a free pass because they hate President Bush.

So Hannity relies on a false claim -- no "outrage" against Gumbel -- to refute the notion that the GOP has a "paucity of blacks." On that point, Hannity said last night that Gumbel's comment was "not accurate" and not "productive."

But, in fact, the Bush Administration has a "paucity of blacks" when compared with the Clinton Administration.

While Bush has made several high-profile appointments of blacks, most notably Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell as successive Secretaries of State, a 2004 analysis of the 2,800 political posts that form an administration found that blacks held 7% of administration jobs under Bush, compared with 16% of administration jobs under President Clinton.

In other words, Hannity makes a false claim in order to make ... another false claim.

***

Beyond relying on false claims, Hannity is a hypocrite.

Which is worse: Gumbel's comment about the GOP, or conservative pundit Ann Coulter's "joke" that liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned?

Even if you think the two comments are of equal concern, would you be surprised to find out that Hannity, while outraged over Gumbel, said nary a word about Coulter?

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said at a January speech at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

Coulter appeared on Hannity & Colmes the next night, but neither Hannity nor guest co-host Bob Beckel asked Coulter about her "joke."

16 Comments:

Anonymous DainBramaged said...

Hannity and Coulter
I'd rather swim in a cesspool than devote 2 seconds to a discussion about them.

Watch me jump in.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous gratuitous said...

Not to mention the subtext of Hannity's comments which is basically, "Black people are too stupid to figure out for themselves that the GOP is the better political party to belong to, so I have to tell them how much better off they are under the racist, punitive policies of the GOP than they are with the Democrats, who actually have some black people in their power structure, not just as window dressing."

Yeah, it's a run-on sentence, but Hannity is none too bright, and that's the best I could translate while channeling his crazed thoughts.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Canuckistanian said...

But Bush has black people in his cabinet!

There's Condi and.... hey, where'd that other black guy go? The military fella?

10:55 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

It's like so many other things with this administration ...

They say the right thing, but there's no follow-up.

They say, "we want better schools," but no funding follow up

They say, "clean air," "healthy forests," etc., but improper follow up

They say, "look at Condi and Colin" but no follow up at lower levels.

This is what happens when you put marketing concerns above making good policy.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Canuckistanian said...

It's all a big sideshow

When the lights are turned off and the backdrops are rolled up, it's back to business... literally.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous conservativehippie said...

"While Bush has made several high-profile appointments of blacks, most notably Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell as successive Secretaries of State, a 2004 analysis of the 2,800 political posts that form an administration found that blacks held 7% of administration jobs under Bush, compared with 16% of administration jobs under President Clinton."

If it were the other way around, you would be defending Clinton, on the basis that he appointed blacks to higher, more important positions, and therefore values them more. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

Conservativehippie, that sort of EMPTY SPIN may make you feel better. But you have NO EVIDENCE to back up your claim.

Rather than accept that HANNITY LIED, you blame the messenger? Is that the BEST DEFENSE you can come up with?

2:10 PM  
Anonymous conservativehippie said...

Angelina's Evil Twin:

No, it's the response that immediately ran through my mind when I read this garbage. This entire blog is an outlet for you guys to bitch, instead of actually doing something. Whatever happened to people being proactive?

So, let's use your logic. You say Hannity lied, and even though I disagree, for the sake of argument, let's say he did. It's only right-leaning journalists who lie? A left-leaning journalist has NEVER lied? NONE of them are hypocrites?

I just think you are generalizing an entire outlet and cherrypicking one instance.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Conservativehippie:

This blog has a specific purpose, just like Hannity does. It does not try to be all things to all people. Just as I doubt you call up Rush Limbaugh and tell him to be more even handed when talking about Democrats, you shouldn't come here and demand that JABBS go against its stated goal.

The difference here, though, is that JABBS actually backs up his opinion pieces with facts. Lots of facts. Lots of attribution. You can decide for yourself if he's taken something out of context, or misreprestentd a fact -- because he offers you his sources.

So when you say, "you say Hannity lied, and even though i disagree" I have to ask, "On what basis do you disagree?" JABBS gives you the reason he thinks Hannity is wrong, and cites a source. What is your alternative source to defend Hannity?

And if you want to debate a left-leaning journalist -- albeit try to stay on topic -- then go ahead. But don't just throw out a stereotype with no factual back-up. That doesn't help the debate one bit.

As for "actually doing something," I think this blog serves a real purpose. Why do I come here every day? Because I know that I'm going to get interesting, topical analyses that counter the endless spin from the White House and conservative talk radio and television. I like knowing what the truth is -- don't you?

And no, I'm not on the JABBS payroll. :)

4:40 PM  
Anonymous BOSSHOG said...

sean always is outraged
when someone tells the truth. Paucity of blacks in the gop? That's the truth. Lack of blacks at a gop convention? More truth.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous spooky3 said...

Gumbel's comment is right on target, except that I believe the achievements of the best of the athletes that are there are remarkable. I'm sure he didn't mean to denigrate them but just to note that there are a lot of people, many of whom are black, who don't have the opportunity to participate for economic and other reasons, and thus it's really not fair to say they are the world's best. As for the GOP convention--a very apt comparison.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous FreedRadical said...

This reminds me of the Bill Cosby comments

Boy didn't they love To parade that bullshit around not saying what they meant. I have been getting a strange feeling that racism is my fault even though I am not part of the majority. And, if I make the mistake of bringing up the issue I am jumped on as trying to blame the past on them. Big NO NO. I just have to say that just because I'm not being called N..... doesn't mean socially and politically I am not being treated like one.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous underpants said...

What is the sound of one side arguing?

My Republican boss brought that up to me (the Cosby thing) and he went on to tell me about how upset all of those in attendance and all of the black community was....I heard the same thing later on Fox. I then listened to what I could find coming out of the black community and asked all the blacks that I know and work with (there are many) they all agreed with Cosby.

The right had a whole conversation with themselves. This is an old RW radio tactic-talk about how the other side (LIBERALS) feel and are saying about a given topic.

The Schiavo debacle was more of the same.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous FreedRadical said...

It can only be fair to say thats right

The one thing we as Americans have a hell of a time doing is taken responsibility of this issue. No matter witch side of the issue. Just as me now, to Begin this conversation defensively sends it down hill from the start.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous conservativehippie said...

Okay, Cutiepie.

JABBS backs up his arguments, I'll give him that. However, I don't think Hannity lied. He made a vague statement about the media not making a big deal out of Gumbel's comments. Compare it to the ruckus the media made over Cheney, or Ann Coulter's comments (and take your pick, she has plenty of insane ones). I think his outrage stems from the fact that Republicans are often branded as minority-haters. Gumbel made an ignorant comment, stereotyping a very large group of people.

Hannity has also pointed out in other broadcasts that there are other minorities besides blacks and they contribute to society as well. For example, the logic that blacks can't get ahead economically because of persecution is ridiculous. Asians were persecuted much later in our nation's history and a higher percentage of Asians graduate from higher education institutions than caucasian males.

JABBS does make an unfounded claim, however, when he states that, "Of course, Hannity doesn't really care about the "paucity of blacks" at the Turin Olympics." How could he possibly know that?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

JABBS does make an unfounded claim, however, when he states that, "Of course, Hannity doesn't really care about the "paucity of blacks" at the Turin Olympics." How could he possibly know that? >>

Because Hannity made no other reference to the Olympics during the show.

Hannity didn't make "a vague statement." He made a specific statement, one that he didn't back up with facts.

Your point about blacks vs. other minorities is interesting, but Hannity didn't make the point last night.

It's unfortunate that Hannity had to make false claims in order to make a point. How weak is his argument if it's not based on actual facts?

10:48 PM  

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