Sunday night, Hannity’s America aired a special episode titled “Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism.” It turned out to be the program’s highest rated ever. More than three million Total Viewers tuned in, and 645,000 in the A25-54 demo.
But what did they see? From the very beginning, ominous music played as Sean Hannity promised, “an entire hour of Barack Obama‘s questionable relationships.” At the end of the first segment, Hannity teased: “Coming up next, Barack Obama, the community organizer. Now was this the beginning of a grand scheme perpetuated by radicals?”
His guests were all in agreement. None appeared to support the Illinois senator. The program’s EP, John Finley, defended the special to the New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg. “‘Hannity’s America’ is an opinion show — it’s a show from Sean’s perspective, which is obviously conservative,” he said.
One of those guests was Andy Martin, a one-time political opponent of Obama’s who takes credit for starting the “Obama is a Muslim rumor.” One of his comments from the FNC program: “If you love the Cuban revolution and Castro, and if you love what’s happening in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez, you’ll love Barry Obama.”
Martin also has a history of anti-Semitic comments. In the 1980s, Martin said the purpose of one of his political committees was “to exterminate Jew power in America and to impeach the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City.” In another instance he wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”
To the Times, he
did not deny the comments, only saying, said, “It’s peripheral, it draws you away from the issue.”
> Update: The full paragraph from the Times story read, “Mr. Martin had previously said the documents were forged, and again denied their authenticity on Monday. He also denied harboring anti-Semitic sentiment, saying “it’s peripheral, it draws you away from the issue.”
Also, Martin reached out to TVNewser to say: “I also told the Times I had testified as to the falsity of these accusations under oath, although that did not make it into the story.”
And from the other side of the cable news opinion page, Keith Olbermann let loose his newest Daily Kos-teased Special Comment last night, aimed at Gov. Sarah Palin. Click continued to see it…