Sean Hannity is a "dangerous, dangerous force in America," says "View" co-host Joy Behar. This was sparked, on the October 13 edition, by a discussion of Andy Martin spreading rumors about Obama’s background and an interview on "Hannity’s America." Elisabeth Hasselbeck reported that she spoke with Sean Hannity, who says he condemns Mr. Martin’s actions, and has controversial figures of all political stripes including Reverend Wright.
When Sherri Shepherd proclaimed it is no different than Obama’s condemnation of William Ayers, Elisabeth reminded that panel that a television interview is different than sitting on a board. Whoopi Goldberg immediately pounced on the comment and told Elisabeth to go to FactCheck.com (perhaps she meant FactCheck.org?). In a pot and kettle moment, Joy Behar, who has a history of airing false information on "The View," chastised Elisabeth to "not say it unless you’re sure what you’re talking about."
Later in the program, Joy Behar went on a rant against Sarah Palin, noting alleged cronyism and in another pot and kettle moment, Behar opined that Palin "overuses her power and underuses her brain."
Relevant pieces of the transcript follow.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Words are very powerful. And, I think that, that campaign has been inciting, you know, with the palling around with terrorists, it’s just inciting a fear and I think, you know, it only starts with one person, this crazy lady here, and it’s another person. That’s how mobs get started. And I think that, that’s a really dangerous thing that they’re doing and I see that they’re backing off of that whole thing. I saw Palin now. She’s on the abortion stuff, but you know, they’re backing off the whole "he pals around with terrorists."
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Well, I mean, I think that look, the facts are the facts. You know, the fact that he did work with him, and he was a terrorist, he was unrepentant. They did work together. I think that Americans are, are smart enough to make their own assessment. I do believe that.
SHEPHERD: But Elisabeth I think when you say "terrorist," in this climate that we have today, when you say "terrorist," that immediately invokes a fear in people. And when you say terrorist, you think, you’re supposed to kill terrorists. And I think when you say, he pals around with terrorists, that makes it seem- I mean, they knew exactly what they are doing when they said those words.
JOY BEHAR: There’s other things going on. I mean, today’s "Times" has exposed the fact that this guy Andy Martin started this cyberspace rumor that the guy was a Muslim and all of these lies about Obama. And then, and then it picks up. It starts to pick up steam and then the lie, the lie, the lie, the lie. And Sean Hannity, who I really think is a dangerous, dangerous force in television.
BEHAR: Yes I do because for-well, specifically in this case, he had this guy, his name is Andy Martin, who was perpetuating these lies. They had him on for a whole hour where he allowed this Andy Martin to spew his vitriol and his lies and never once questioned his- the authenticity of what he was saying. And this Andy Martin, by the way, has been diagnosed as some kind of a mental case.
HASSELBECK: Can I- I actually spoke to Sean about this. I talked to Sean Hannity today, this morning.
BEHAR: Oh, oh really? How is Sean?
HASSELBECK: He’s great. And he said, he welcomes you on his show, and he has, first and foremost, he’s actually condemned-
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: He’s been on this show. He’s actually-
HASSELBECK: He’s great, first of all-
BEHAR: I don’t like this particular thing though.
GOLDBERG: You’re right.
HASSELBECK: This was on "Hannity’s America." He actually didn’t interview this man. He didn’t interview him. A producer interviewed Martin. Sean Hannity wasn’t there.
GOLDBERG: It was on his show.
HASSELBECK: It was on his show and he acknowledges that. He also publicly condemned what Martin said as he did with Jeremiah Wright, with-
BEHAR: But so did Obama condemn what William Ayers said!
HASSELBECK: Let me finish. Can I just get- let me just get this point, please.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, yeah.
HASSELBECK: Please. Sean Hannity has made a career of having people with controversial views express their opinion, okay, including Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Reverend Wright, Malik Shibazz, Martin, okay? He has condemned what they have said across the board. He’s condemned it. So to say what- do you have issue with having someone with an opinion on?
BEHAR: Well, when he has those people on that he disagrees with, he interrupts them so much, you can’t even get a word in. This guy had a whole hour.
HASSELBECK: I don’t think we- first of all, I don’t think that we had an issue when he had on Reverend Wright, or when Farrakhan was saying- He never- no. I’m saying where was the issue then when he had them on? I think it’s a selective sort of moralism that’s going on. This is his career and it happens to be people that say things that are controversial that are not his opinion. They simply are on his show giving his opinion. He condemned what he said.
GOLDBERG: Well, I’m glad that he did because, you know, you can say that he’s had these other folks on. Reverend Wright wasn’t attacking any one specific person. He’s just pissed at America. You know, Shibazz has a different view. So if Sean says, and I believe him, because you know, I like him and I know Sean.
HASSELBECK: He says you guys can come on anytime.
GOLDBERG: Well, I would if he would just, you know, be on my time schedule. But, but if he says, through you, that he condemns what that man says, and he doesn’t buy it, I buy Sean.
SHEPHERD: And why can’t we accept that, that he condemned him because I believe Barack Obama condemned everything that Ayers did, so if we can accept that Sean Hannity [applause] condemned this guy-
HASSELBECK: But, Sean Hannity didn’t sit with this man for 20 years. He didn’t sit with this man on a board there’s a big difference-
GOLDBERG: Okay, don’t, don’t do that. Go to FactCheck.com [sic].
BEHAR: You don’t know what you’re saying. Don’t say it unless you know for sure what you’re saying.
BEHAR: Let me say something about Sarah Palin. This is a whole line of events about her. Number one, there’s Troopergate. [applause] Let me just lay this out for a second.
HASSELBECK: Unload! Unload!
BEHAR: Number two, she is into cronyism, big time this woman.
HASSELBECK: Why would you say that?
BEHAR: Let me tell you why. May I tell you why? Because she put, as the head of agriculture in Alaska one of her girlfriends from high school. You know why? Because the woman liked cows, okay? [laughter] That is a fact.
HASSELBECK: That’s an exaggeration.
BEHAR: Look it up in FactCheck.
HASSELBECK: She did hire her, but to say that it’s because she liked cows-
BEHAR: She also- anybody who disagrees with this woman and her politics is considered a hater. This is Cheney in a dress, okay?
SHEPHERD: Can I go back-
HASSELBECK: Those are kind of weak points against her.
BEHAR: She overuses her power and underuses her brain.