Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Republican Racism Example #17: Sean Hannity's Neo-Nazi Buddy
Sean Hannity was good friends with a Neo-Nazi named Hal Turner though he lies about it today. (Photo from The Moderate Voice website at http://themoderatevoice.com/69429/fox-news-pulls-sean-hannity-from-starring-role-in-cincinnati-tea-party-rally/)
Right-wing Republican pitbull Sean Hannity not only hosts an hour-long show on prime time weekdays at Fox News, but he also daily joins the hatemonger throng dominating talk radio as host of The Sean Hannity Show. For years, Hannity carried on an “Abbot and Costello” routine with a regular caller to the radio program identified as “Hal from North Bergen,” in reference to the caller’s New Jersey hometown. The man was Hal Turner, a Republican activist, state coordinator for Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign, and a Neo Nazi and Holocaust Denier who frequently spoke at rallies that included members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Hannity allowed Turner to freely spew his racial hatreds uninterrupted, such as once in a 1998 broadcast when he said that if it were not for white people, “black people would still be swinging on trees in Africa." Hannity not only continued to chat in a friendly tone with Turner, never rebuking the Hitler admirer for his most outrageous racial slurs, he also encouraged Turner to keep calling the show and invited him and Turner’s son to visit the set of his Fox show, Hannity and Colmes.
Sean Hannity buddy Hal Turner at a Nazi rally before he became a jailbird. (Photo from the Greenville Dragnet website at http://www.greenvilledragnet.com/seditious-racist-and-traitor-hal-turner-finally-on-his-way-to-prison/)
As Hannity emerged as a star on the Faux News Channel, he reconsidered the value of maintaining his relationship with the extremist. Hannity was confronted in 2008 about his friendship with Turner by a guest, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. Hannity had hypocritically attacked presidential candidate Barack Obama for his long association with leftist pastor Jeremiah Wright. Shabazz pointed out the host’s friendship with Turner. Hannity at first lied, claiming to not know Turner, and then contradicted himself, claiming that Turner had been banned from making any further calls to the radio show. This was news to Turner, who posted on his website: “I was quite disappointed when Sean Hannity at first tried to say he didn't know me. In fact, Sean does know me and we were quite friendly a few years ago."
Undeterred, Turner began his own shortwave radio program before beginning a weekly webcast. On his website, he frequently encouraged the assassination of elected officials and judges. Turner was arrested in August 2010 for threatening the lives of three federal judges. He was also exposed as an FBI informant, eagerly turning in other extremists in order to keep the heat from cracking down on him. Nice company that Fox News star and defender of traditional values Sean Hannity keeps, right?
For more, see:
Michael Phillips has authored the following:
White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006)
(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)
“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)
“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ” in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)
“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)
(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).
(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).
(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013).
“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).
He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.