Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sean Hannity and His Bigot Friend

This past weekend was the second part of Sean Hannity's exposé on the "real" Barack Obama entitled, "Barack Obama: A History of Radicalism." In this two-part series Hannity sought to expose who Barack Obama really is (i.e. a radical with ties to terrorists and other extremists who will overthrow the government from the highest seat in the country) by weaving together all of Obama's connections and showing images of Obama next to images of people like Louis Farrakhan, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while playing imposing music.
Many people saw the viral video of Barack Obama’s campaign advisor Robert Gibbs on Hannity and Colmes Tuesday, Oct. 7 turning the guilt-by-association table on Hannity. When Hannity asked Gibbs about Obama’s association with former Weather Underground terrorist, and current college professor William Ayers, Gibbs turned the questions on Hannity and asked if he was an anti-semite. His reason for the question was because Hannity had as a guest on this past week’s Hannity’s America, a very vocal anti-semite named Andy Martin. Hannity apparently was prepared for this coming back to bite him as he immediately began shouting over Gibbs once Martin’s name was mentioned. Hannity’s defense was that he has had plenty of people on his show that he strongly disagrees with–mentioning New Black Panther Malik Shabazz, Al Sharpton, and other controversial figures.
(Notice on the bottom on the screen the results of the Fox News poll of viewers as to who won the debate. Despite the general consensus among the sane that Barack Obama won the debate, 86% of Fox News viewers thought McCain won.)

But he didn’t mention that Martin was not brought on the show because Hannity disagreed with him. Instead, Andy Martin was brought on the show to serve as an expert source of information on Barack Obama. Hannity must have thought he could get away with nobody noticing that one of his big sources of information is essentially a nutjob who has had it out for Obama for several years now.

Martin is careful to say things like, "I believe," and "I feel," and "In my opinion," while making claims which are exactly that, opinion. It is obvious that he has no actual knowledge of what happened or what the relationship was between Barack Obama and Ayers and others, and the claims are so outlandish that it is unbelievable that Hannity would have even considered putting this guy on his show.
Here’s a little information about Hannity’s source of information:
Since 1977 Martin has run for different elected office 13 times in three different states and at different times as a Democrat, a Republican, and as an Independent. He ran for President twice: first as a Democrat in 1988 and then as a Republican in 2000. He first ran in ’77 unsuccessfully for Mayor of Chicago and he is currently running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. The New York Times reported that Monday that, “the Republican Party of Florida decided against backing his bid for the State Senate in 1996 after receiving documents from his Congressional race 10 years earlier in Connecticut listing the purpose of one of his political committees as ‘to exterminate Jew power in America and to impeach the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City.’” 1
Mr Martin is notorious in the legal world for filing frivolous lawsuits and has actually been barred by judges from filing further lawsuits without special permission from the court. His cases are usually brought under his legal name “Anthony R. Martin-Trigona” and Googling his name brings up numerous lawsuits brought by Mr. Martin. In one case the court stated he “had shown ‘an extraordinary pattern of vexatious and
harassing litigation pursued over several years.’” In the 1993 case Martin-Trigona v Shaw the court had this to say:
4 As amazing as the volume of Anthony Martin-Trigona's litigiousness has been, where he has truly distinguished himself has been in "the style of litigation he has adopted and by the cunning and malignant sophistication he has brought to his avocation." … Martin-Trigona has displayed an "ugly strand of personal animus and unjustifiable vituperation," id. at 1248, and he has used litigation as a cruel and effective weapon against his enemies, who are more often imagined than real. Id. at 1248-51 ("his choice of targets is not rational; rather, he is apt to fasten on anyone who has suffered the slightest contact with him.").
5 Anthony Martin-Trigona has sued literally hundreds, if not thousands, of attorneys, judges, their spouses, court officials, and other human beings. In summarizing the district court's findings, which it was careful to point out considerably understated his activities as a litigant, the Second Circuit said that:
6 Martin-Trigona is known to have filed over 250 civil actions, appeals, and other matters throughout the United States, which have been pursued with "persistence, viciousness, and general disregard for decency and logic." He has used legal pleadings to ventilate his contempt and hatred of persons of Jewish heritage and to level accusations which "have often been personal, have often emphasized racial or religious affiliations, and have often involved the members of ... judges' and counsel's families."

Martin currently has a warrant out for him to serve the 16 months in jail after mistakenly being let out of jail after only serving one month of a seven-month contempt of court sentence.
Gibbs, of course, mentions Martin’s history of anti-semitism, but fails to mention his personal history of attacks against Obama, which began after he ran against Obama for Senate.
In 2004 Martin created the rumor that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A June 28, 2008 article in the Washington Post about the rumor says, “In an Aug. 10, 2004, article, which he posted on Web sites and e-mailed to bloggers, (Martin) said that Obama had concealed his Muslim heritage. ‘I feel sad having to expose Barack Obama,’ Martin wrote in an accompanying press release, ‘but the man is a complete fraud. The truth is going to surprise, and disappoint, and outrage many people who were drawn to him. He has lied to the American people, and he has sought to misrepresent his own heritage.”’
On March 28, 2007 Martin Published an article on entitled “Free Obama’s White Grandmother,” in which he postulated that Obama had imprisoned his white grandmother to hide the fact that he is mixed raced and not fully black. In the article Martin says, “She is the ‘Prisoner of Obama,’ and of Obama's racist myth that he is ‘Black’ and not ‘Black and White.’” He later says, “Barack Obama is one of the most racist politicians in America today. And we let him get away with it.” (Note: After Gibbs confronted Hannity I went to Newsmax one week ago where there story was easily accessible in the archives. Now a search of the article on brings up a page that reads, "Sorry, the page you requested could not be found.")
None of these things was mentioned when Martin appeared on the Hannity’s America episode entitled “Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism.” Instead Martin was identified as an “Internet Journalist,” and unlike the others Hannity mentioned, he never once questioned Martin’s views. As usual on Hannity’s (distorted) America no opposing viewpoint was offered and guests like Martin were allowed to claim that when Barack Obama was a community organizer it was “training for a radical overthrow of the government.” Hannity invited this notorious anti-semite and Obama smear-monger onto his show hoping that people wouldn’t know who he was. This is part of Hannity’s long campaign to destroy Barack Obama politically and personally. Just go to the Hannity and Colmes site to see all of the writers they’ve had as guests who have written books with their own agendas against Obama. He has made his career over the past year out of doing little more than spreading as fact rumors about Obama. And he has the nerve to say to Robert Gibbs, “I think it's deplorable that your candidate for president has not been honest with the American people.” I won’t mention all of the lies Hannity’s candidates have told over the past few weeks.
One more disturbing note about the interview with Robert Gibbs. In the interview with Hannity Gibbs quotes Martin from his 1983 Bankruptcy trial when he referred to the judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew..." I went to the Fox News website to see the transcript of the exchange and found that despite Gibbs' words being very clearly distinguishable, the quote had been changed to, "Andy Martin called a judge a crooked clammy dude who has..." It's possible that the person writing the transcript simply didn't hear what Gibbs said, but the rest of the transcript is fairly accurate and if you watch the video there is little doubt about what Gibbs says. Is it possible that Fox News tried to clean up a horribly anti-semitic quote so one of their experts wouldn't look so bad? This isn't the first time the network has tweaked what was said by someone on Fox News. And just to be clear, the whole quote (which would have been heard had Sean Hannity not shouted over Gibbs) by Martin was that the judge was, "a crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." Maybe Hannity shouldn't be condemning Obama for his associations and should be a little more careful about his.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does Barack Obama Hate the Troops? Or Is That Just What Sean Hannity (and McCain/Palin) wants you to think.

Sean Hannity again tonight repeated what he has been saying for weeks (if not months) that Barack Obama accuses our troops of just "air raiding villages and killing civilians." Hannity knows exactly what was said by Barack Obama, but he doesn't want his viewers to know it because then they would know that Barack Obama wasn't attacking the troops at all.
What is even more disturbing is that the McCain campaign began using Hannity's argument as one of their attacks a couple weeks ago. In their interview with Hannity on Hannity and Others recently, they both expressed how disgusted they were with how Obama has disrespected the troops.

In addition to repeating that Barack Obama voted against funding for the troops (a reference to when Obama voted against a bill which would fund the troops without a withdrawal timeline. This was after her had voted for a bill to fund the troops, which John McCain voted against because it did include a timeline), they brought up a comment Obama made a year ago and has been grossly taken out of context. The comment came in the middle of a rally when Obama was discussing how troops in Afghanistan, because of limited resources, were forced to rely mainly on air strikes, which end up killing civilians. The one-second clip, repeated over and over by Sean Hannity over the past few weeks is now being used in a McCain campaign ad, and was referenced by McCain and Palin, who said Obama should be ashamed for this and that it should disqualify anyone from being Commander in Chief. Hannity, McCain, Palin, and the campaign ad claim Obama thinks “troops in Afghanistan are ‘just air-raiding villages and killing civilians,’” creating the false impression that Obama is disrespecting our troops.

The entire sentence they’ve butchered was, “We've got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.” Not only have they taken a part of the whole quote to distort Obama’s intentions, but they keep pretending that this comment was just made.
A story done in Newsweek on Oct. 6 points out that the comment was made over one year ago at a campaign stop in August of 2007. His comments were in response to an Associated Press report that as of Aug. 1, 2007 Western forces had killed 286 civilians–55 more civilians than had been killed by Islamic militants in the same period. President Bush himself admitted that the number of civilian casualties was too high and expressed regret and concern to Afghan President Karzai. The Newsweek article also points out that, as of September of this year, nearly half of the estimated 1,445 civilian casualties were caused by Western forces. The article states, “On September 17, Defense Secretary Robert Gates apologized for civilian casualties, explaining that "while no military has ever done more to prevent civilian casualties, it is clear that we have to work even harder." That same day, Gen. David D. McKiernan, the senior U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, told reporters that increased reliance upon air power was to blame for the rise in civilian casualties.”
Sean Hannity and the McCain Campaign took a one-year old quote from Barack Obama out of context to paint him as someone who sees our troops as irresponsible murderers, when in reality Obama was defending our troops and criticizing an administration that chose to use resources in Iraq, and left troops in Afghanistan with limited options. In the interview Sarah Palin says Obama's comment shows, "such a gross misunderstanding what our troops are doing in Afghanistan." I think this shows that Sarah Palin has a gross misunderstanding of what is going on in Afghanistan. Just one of many things she apparently doesn't understand. And she isn't the only one. Either they are all unaware of the situation in Afghanistan, or they just don't want to admit that the military in Afghanistan was left out to dry by the U.S. Government, and that airstrikes result in civilian deaths.
It’s no surprise that Sean Hannity, the disgusting pile of filth that he is, would sink to these depths. Afterall, he sounds like a broken record every night repeating the same things (Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Fr. Flaeger, etc) over and over and over, and has even referred to himself as "one of McCain’s surrogates." In the analysis on his show following the VP debate while talking to Kit Bond, Hannity pointed at the camera and said, “He said about our troops, which is unforgivable, that they are air raiding villages and killing civilians...That is unforgivable, Senator Obama. And he ought to apologize. And he ought to be called by the media to apologize for that.” But John McCain has become more and more dishonorable and his campaign has become more and more disgusting. Now at rallies, twice people introducing the candidates have mentioned Barack Obama’s middle name as though it is a four-letter word, and while the campaign afterwards put out statements condemning the tactics, the comments are still being made. Cindy McCain lashed out at Obama for not funding her son, even though her husband had done the same thing weeks before. Both candidates are now (taking again from Hannity’s playbook) continuously bringing up William Ayers who served on a board with Obama for three years and who hosted a party for Obama’s candidacy at his house. The campaign and others, such as Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove continue to reference the recent New York Times article on the relationship, but also continue to make claims that were disproven by the article. And now at rallies, McCain/Palin supporters have been heard saying, “terrorist,” “communist,” “treason” when Obama’s name has been mentioned by the candidates. Whether these were heard by the candidates or not at the time, the comments were heard and have for the most part been ignored by the campaign. These are just some examples in a growing trend by conservatives, and by the campaign itself to create fear about Obama. There’s obviously nothing wrong with saying someone’s middle name, but doing so with the knowledge that nearly one third of the population believes Obama is Muslim, and most of those same people are people who believe all Muslims are terrorists, is nothing more than good old fashioned racism. But I'll get to Hannity and his racist friends in my next posting.

John McCain’s chief economic advisor critiques John McCain’s new economic plan

Carly “I got a $40 Million golden Parachute when I got fired” Fiorina was on the Record with Greta Van Susteren October 6, giving her Fair and Balanced opinion about the bailout and about which candidate has the better ideas for the economy. Some might be aware that Fiorina is one of John McCain’s chief economic advisors, yet this was never mentioned by either Van Susteren or Fiorina, and she was only identified in that little Fox News message board as “Former CEO of Hewlett Packard.” It was also never mentioned that she was fired by Hewlett Packard after she orchestrated a controversial merger with Compaq which resulted in a huge drop in HP stock and massive job losses, and was awarded a $21.4 Million golden parachute with an additional $19 Million of stock and pension benefits, for which a class-action lawsuit was brought against Fiorina by HP stockholders.

According to Fiorina, it is fair game to highlight Barack Obama’s association with William Ayers (who sat on a Board with Obama–a board that included several republicans as well as presidents of Universities, and was funded by the conservative Annenburg family), but it was unfair of Obama to create an ad about John McCain taking financial advice from Carly Fiorina, a former CEO who embodies corporate greed. One more thing they failed to mention was that, in addition to being McCain’s economic advisor, Fiorina has been a paid contributor to the Fox Business Network since October of 2007. Another fair and balanced perspective.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In The Tank: With Greta Van Susteren

Greta Van Susteren in her most recent interview with Sarah Palin served up more soft balls than a middle-aged fat guy with a beer gut. Her visible admiration for Governor Palin was like watching a 15 year-old music critic for a school newspaper getting an interview with the Beatles. And Palin succeeded in answering only in generalities and feel-good answers. Who could possibly argue with her when she says things like, “job creation…that’s a good thing”? In the interview she repeated once again that “Barack Obama voted 94 times to raise taxes,” something that has been debunked numerous times since she said it in the debate last week, first noted on
Palin also repeated the exaggeration that Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. That number includes seven votes that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on corporations or affluent individuals; 23 votes that were against tax cuts; and 17 that came on just 7 different bills.
In her own sort of “gotcha” question Van Susteren apologized before asking what she called a “pop quiz question,” and asked Palin what the hardest decision she’s ever had to makewas. Palin responded, “Hmmm. I don't know. The best decision was about five weeks ago, though, being asked if I wanted to join Senator McCain in this opportunity ...And that was the best decision that I've made was saying yes.” Wow! Sarah Palin could have described the emotional anguish she suffered when having to choose between Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries and Cap’n Crunch without Crunch Berries the morning of the interview, and it would have been a more acceptable answer than the one she gave. Of course, Van Susteren, who has proven herself to be rooting for McCain and Palin never asked her to actually answer the question she was asked. I haven’t heard so much BS in an interview since… well since Sean Hannity’s interview with Palin and McCain earlier that same evening.

VanSusteren is just one of many people on Fox News who have shown that they’ll do anything to make Palin look like a perfect genius. Days after Palin’s embarrassing interviews with Katie Couric, Fox News “reporter” Carl Cameron coddled Palin and was nice enough to allowed Palin to have a second chance by asking Palin the exact “gotcha” questions Couric had asked her days before. Even Cameron says it seems like she studied up before the Interview

The interview gets even better. Cameron then gives Palin the opportunity to correct any mistakes she made. Other than calling General McKearnan "McClellan" she said she had nothing to clear up. Then Cameron asks her about when she incorrectly claimed that troop levels are now below Pre-Surge levels. Notice in her answer she speaks about troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, but never once mentions the actual subject of the question: Pre-Surge and current troop levels in Iraq. She has no idea how to answer a question other than what her handlers have told her, and when she's asked a question they haven't covered she comes up with a semi-related answer so that it sounds like she knows what she's talking about.

Joe the Commish

I happened to venture tonight, out of curiosity, to superegomaniac Sean Hannity's personal website, and other than the many pictures of Hannity himself, one particular picture caught my eye.
In the box that says, "Today's Show For...Mon. Oct. 20th, 2008" the description of the show reads, "Joe the Plumber; Ashleigh and Jerri Jones - 12 yr. old girl who was teased at school for supporting Palin." Now next to the description of the show featuring "Joe the Plumber" is this picture. This picture was taken directly from the site and has not been doctored in any way (feel free to visit the site and look for yourself). This, however, is not a picture of Joe Wurzelbacher who has come to be known as "Joe the Plumber. This picture is of actor Michael Chiklis, who currently stars in the FX drama The Shield. Below you'll see a picture of Joe Wurzelbacher (left) and a picture of Michael Chiklis (right) taken from the star's website. You can decide for yourself, but notice a few things. 1. It's hard to tell what color Wurzelbacher's eyes are, but they are certainly darker than the picture from Hannity's website which shows a man with light blue eyes like Chiklis. 2. Unlike Chiklis, and unlike the man in the picture above, Wurzelbacher has a nose with distinctively flared nostrils and a tip that curves up slightly. 3 The man in the picture is clean-shaven yet Wurzelbacher always seems to have a little scruff of facial hair (even on his appearance on tonight's Hannity and Colmes). Everything from the eyebrows to the chin of the man pictured on Sean Hannity's website more closely resembles Michael Chiklis than Joe Wurzelbacher. The question is why, for a story about Joe Wurzelbacher, would actor Michael Chiklis be pictured? Maybe the Commish should investigate.