As proof that there is no conservative who can’t be painted as a victim on Fox News, Sean Hannity trotted out the Koch brothers' spokesman, Mark Holden, to whine that the billionaire industrialists who covertly bankroll many right-wing causes are nothing more than regular citizens exercising their right to participate in democracy – and being demonized for it by the cut-throat Obama administration and their allies on the left. Hannity even likened Charles and David Koch to Sandra Fluke. To top it all off, Hannity suggested President Obama invite the Koch brothers and Donald Trump to the White House to get some economic advice.
Hannity introduced the segment, which aired Thursday (5/17/12), by saying that when you “dare to oppose the president and his left-wing agenda,” you “not only become a target for the White House but also a favorite topic for the Obama mainstream media.”
He described the Kochs’ political activities as having “chosen to speak up and fund some conservative causes.” Now, that’s an understatement if ever there was one.
Hannity continued, “As a result, they have received numerous death threats and have been publicly ridiculed, even by those in the President’s inner circle.”
Would that be anything like the ridicule and death threats to the President that we keep finding on Fox websites? Or the threats we find against other people such as Congressman Jim McDermott or Bill Maher or the mere death wishes for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi?
The ever-victimized Hannity went on to play a clip of Obama-campaign spokesman David Axelrod saying the campaign would respond to attacks “from the Koch brothers' contract killers over there in SuperPac land who are going to continue to pound away on behalf of Governor Romney.”
Of course, Hannity didn’t ask a single question about what role the Kochs are actually playing in the 2012 campaign, how much money they’re giving or to whom or what. Instead, Hannity played up his hammy victim act. “Your boss is contract killers?” he asked sneeringly.
As Holden talked up the jobs Koch industries create “mak(ing) things people need,” Hannity helpfully added, “in America.”
Later, Hannity grew even more Hanctimonious as he said, “I remember when the President called Sandra Fluke… what did the President say about private citizens being attacked for expressing their political views?” It’s ridiculous for Hannity to liken law student Sandra Fluke - who testified at a Congressional hearing on the importance of health insurance coverage for contraception - to the political power players that the Koch brothers are.
But come to think of it, where was Hannity’s concern for the vicious attacks on Fluke made by Rush Limbaugh? Focused on attacking the left, as usual.
Meanwhile, Holden readily picked up the conservative-victim mantel (so perfectly depicted by Jon Stewart). Holden said, “It’s beyond ironic that every week, every day it seems, we are attacked by the administration and its allies for our owners, Charles Koch and David Koch, expressing their views, long-standing views on free market and individual liberty.”
Holden made it sound as though the Kochs were merely speaking out, as opposed to funding stealth attacks on the Obama administration. Hannity, predictably, let the distortion stand.
Hannity “wondered” what would happen if he referred to left-wing groups as “contract killers” which, he assured us he never would. Maybe not, but he certainly didn’t mind when his pal, the misogynistic, slavery-loving Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson announced that most blacks in Tennessee are racists. Nor when guest Neal Boortz called President Obama “a bigger disaster to this country than 9/11.” And please let me know when and if Hannity ever condemned his colleague, Bill O’Reilly, for repeatedly referring to abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, as “Dr. Tiller, baby-killer.” Did Hannity ever speak out against such language even after Dr. Tiller was assassinated?
Holden continued playing his victim card. “Anyone who disagrees with the administration and their allies, they get ostracized, they’re attacked, boycotted, you name it. They’d probably try to bring criminal charges against you.”
As the piece de resistance of Hannity hypocrisy, he actually had the nerve to suggest that Obama “seek (the) counsel” of the Kochs and Donald Trump for economic advice. Yes, the same Donald Trump who repeatedly made bogus, discredited accusations about President Obama’s birth certificate – accusations that Hannity (and Fox) happily promoted – was now being held up as a credible expert.
By the way, Fox News’ Roger Ailes is going to speak at Ohio University tomorrow as part of the George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics & Institutions. Guess who’s one of the sponsors?
Our friends at Brave New Films have been investigating the Koch Brothers for quite some time and they’ve recently released a documentary called Koch Brothers Exposed. But don’t expect to see anything about that on “fair and balanced” Fox.