Obviously, the answer is Sean Hannity.
That was the conclusion Crooks & Liars came to, anyway. It seems that during last night’s Great American Panel, the discussion of racially-charged commentary turned to Glenn Beck’s accusation that Obama was a racist:
Hannity defends his buddy Glenn Beck’s remark that President Obama is a racist and does it by trotting out his old attacks on Jeremiah Wright. To their credit his entire panel tells him that the election is over, the public already weighed in on the matter and they don’t care. Hannity already over-played that hand during the election and obviously he’s not done yet.
Does Hannity tend to harp on the Wright controversy? Yes, but he’s completely right to do so here. He wasn’t the one to bring up the subject of Obama’s racial animosity, and once it arose, it was only natural to retort with the most glaring example, especially when the president has called for the firing of private citizens charged with the very thing that so checkers his own past. Given the context, it’s blatantly unfair to use this as an example of Hannity “over-play[ing] that hand” (and no, whether or not “the election is over” or “the public already weighed in” has no bearing on whether or not his point is valid).
Getting back to Hannity’s main point, he gives Rather’s motives the benefit of the doubt (if not in the most flattering way possible: “I just don’t think he’s that bright. I don’t think he really thought about what he was saying”), and makes the broader point that:
But this is — this is the problem. We live in an America, where if you misspeak. Look, I have people that monitor — right now there’s some — some psycho leftist liberal in her underwear, you know, hiding out [...]A psycho hanging out in their underwear, hoping and praying that dumb old Sean Hannity says something wrong. You know, they do it to everyone else on this channel. They do it to Rush Limbaugh […]I think we ought to live in a world where you can make a mistake, what you’re saying. And revise and extend your remarks, apologize, and it will be accepted. But we don’t live in that world anymore.
Do conservatives do this sort of thing too, as his guests suggest? Sure. I don’t doubt for a second that examples of overzealous bloggers unfairly treating the words of liberals can be found, but while underhanded tactics may be an occasional failing of the Right, they are a fully embraced cornerstone of the Left. Elected Democrats lied about virtually everything President George W. Bush ever said, and many left-wing outfits—Media Matters, Crooks & Liars, Daily Kos, Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs, just to name a few—exist for the sole purpose of taking conservatives’ every word and turning them into weapons to be used against them, no matter how much distorting the weaponization process requires.
Hannity is right: political correctness is the order of the day. The Left’s primary means of advancing their agenda is a scorched-earth approach consisting of personally destroying their foes using any means necessary. Whether there’s any meat to any given attack is of little concern; the objective is to overwhelm the enemy with the sheer volume of manufactured narratives, flooding the public consciousness with so many supposed examples of unsavory right-wingers that it’s both easier as a practical matter and more intuitively sensible to accept at face value the general impression they leave behind, rather than put in the time and effort to dig beneath the surface.
But if there was a compelling case to be made for leftist policies, would they be wasting time with this sort of thing? If they could convince America that Sean Hannity’s political views were foolish or harmful, they wouldn’t need to try discrediting him on such flimsy ground. As Mike Huckabee was fond of saying during the 2008 election, the more flak you’re catching, the closer you are to hitting the target.