When an intelligent and articulate woman called in to Sean Hannity’s radio show today and exclaimed loudly, “Frankly, you sound like an idiot,” my gut reaction was to feel sorry for him. After all, Hannity is the weakest of the right-wing propaganda machine, not nearly as smart as Limbaugh, not nearly the loony-bin magnet as Beck and not nearly as creative and entertaining as Savage. Mr. Bland, you might say. I’m sure Sean has great ratings among conservative women, a Dapper Dan with choir-boy good looks and not a hair out of place. But to me, he’s Little Boy Lost.
But there he was in all his usual arrogance and acting like he knows everything, demanding President Obama release photos of the Bin Laden corpse. Americans have a right to see them, he said, again denouncing Obama as soft on Islam. Obama is more considerate of America’s enemies, he said, than the citizens he supposedly represents. Yet at that very moment, according to Hannity himself, the Bin Laden photos were circulating around the halls of Congress. Didn’t he get it?
Obama’s official stance on the subject: No photos will be released. It would be debasing to what Americans stand for and so grisly are they it would only infuriate further the fanatical Muslim terrorists. But Obama is not the stooge Sean makes him out to be. Obama knows elected officials on Capitol Hill will come across these photos eventually. He also knows these pols can not keep a secret to save themselves, be they from the left or the right. Within a short time, those Bin Laden photos will be leaked out into the public sector, and circulated around the globe. That way Obama can have his cake and eat it too.
On the surface Obama has seemingly done “the right thing” for the sake of diplomacy abroad and at the same time mollified those at home who for whatever reasons feel they must see a cold and bloodied Bin Laden . It is not imperative that the President release the photos himself, only that they see air, that at least some of the Doubting Thomases will believe Obama when he said, “We got him.” And Obama’s hands will be clean. Sean should know better than anyone how this game is played.
Think about it. Hannity’s alleged “hero,” George Bush, did a similar if morer sinister political maneuver eight years ago when outing Valerie Plame. Bush and his vp, Dick Cheney, had one of their minions, Scooter Libby, leak Plame’s CIA status to friends in the media. So it wasn’t Bush who leaked. His hands were clean. But the message got out. It was a clever ruse, that deflected attention from the more serious issue at hand, the fadt that there was no WMD and therefore no reason to go to war in Iraq. In the end, Libby was handed a presidential pardon from his chuckling boss, Geroge Bush. And so it goes.
While I want to feel sorry for Sean, I just can’t do it. He lies and distorts and yet chastises others for what he himself does routinely. That is what propagandists do. And sometimes, yes, Sean does sound like an idiot.