Facts, apparently, will not interfere with the left's quest to slander Sean Hannity. What's worse, many of the mistruths are being peddled by Hannity's cable news competition, adding financial gain to the cheap political incentives for delegitimizing him.
Even after facts debunked the bogus claim that Hannity had improperly used funds raised by the Freedom Alliance charity, MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz parroted the claims as fact. Now, apparently accepting that the claims are total nonsense, Schultz and fellow talk radio hitman Mike Malloy have found another absurd charge to level at Hannity: he praised Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh.
What actually happened? Glad you asked: Hannity conveyed the utter absurdity of the liberal media's portrayal of conservatives by sarcastically calling an audience at the Reagan Library "Tim McVeigh wannabes." (Audio and transcript below the fold - h/t Radio Equalizer.)
Schultz used the remark to paint Hannity as "so ideologically bent in one direction" as to literally compare Americans to the nation's most notorious domestic terrorist.
Malloy accused Hannity of actually praising McVeigh. Malloy added that he was "thinking really truly violent thoughts about a piece of human waste like Sean Hannity."
ED SCHULTZ (45:19): This is Sean Hannity broadcasting remotely on his radio show the other day at the Reagan library. Here's what he said --HANNITY: I think we won the debate.UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We did win the debate.HANNITY: When you think of the vast majorities that they have in Congress, and they had to bribe, backroom deals, corruption. That's all because the tea party movement, the people, all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here, as they say. (applause)SCHULTZ: All these Tim McVeigh wannabes here. And he gets a hand, a round of applause. Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, killed almost 200 people, and was put to death, executed. I mean, sometimes I think that broadcasters, we become so close to the story or so ideologically bent in one direction or another, we don't even realize what the heck we're sayingMIKE MALLOY (20:10): Hannity is a sick puppy, he really is, he - he's been drinking his own blood for probably 20 years. That's what these superstars in talk radio do, they drink their own blood.This is what Beck is doing, Beck has done it for a while. Limbaugh - you can tell Limbaugh does it because, just look at him. But, uh - I don't know how to answer that. On the one hand, you have this domestic terrorist in - in Wichita who was sentenced to 50 years to life for murdering a physician; and the killer's [...] whole attitude was, I'm protecting unborn children.And then you have a pig, a filthy, filthy pig like Hannity, saying something in praise of Timothy McVeigh - who murdered - how many kids were in the day care center, nineteen? Innocent little children, blown to pieces! I swear to god, being the father of a little child, um, when I heard that today, I just - I- I start thinking really truly violent thoughts about a piece of human waste like Sean Hannity, who is paid millions of dollars to say that kind of stuff, and in his spare time, rips off the families of dead soldiers and Marines; steals money from them! And if I say what I really think, see, you know, I could lose my right to broadcast, I really could!
Of course Hannity did not do any of these things. But Schultz, Malloy, and their cohorts in the blogosphere have a number of incentives for perpetuating this falsehood. As Brian Maloney notes,
Schultz is the MSNBC / syndicated radio host who's leading the effort to "socialize" talk radio. Cooking up examples of "extreme" rhetoric from the right helps build his "case" for a government takeover of the airwaves.Another key objective: by booting Hannity and others from the stage, the left's longstanding desire to see Glenn Beck installed as "leader" of the conservative movement can finally be fulfilled.
Of course there's also the good old fashioned competition incentive. Hannity consistently demolishes every anchor MSNBC has to offer during prime time.
Remember the Schultz/Malloy credo: when facts fail, rely on hyperbole, exaggeration, or outright duplicity.