During an interview on Tuesday night’s broadcast of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity spoke with lawbreaking Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and two of his children. Throughout the conversation, Hannity not only took credit for this story becoming a national headline, but he also appeared to use the time to incite more action from Bundy and his supporters. What occurred during the nearly 10-minute segment was the height of irresponsibility, all in an effort by Hannity to possibly create an even bigger story.
Video of segment courtesy of Media Matters:
Quite frankly, this is just sick. From watching this interview, it is apparent that Hannity was leading Bundy throughout in an attempt to pull strings and try to provoke him into a violent confrontation the next time federal agents come to his ranch. Hannity made sure to plant the idea that the federal government might be looking to kill Bundy over this dispute over grazing fees and the use of federal public land. Obviously, this was an attempt to inflame Bundy even more, playing into his conspiratorial fears of Big Government.
Hannity, in no uncertain terms, is advocating for a violent and bloody climax to this whole affair. He needs an ending to this story, something he can run with for months and draw ratings. With Benghazi completely dried up, the IRS ‘scandal’ a bust and Obamacare proving to be a rousing success, Hannity needs something to reassure his viewers that Obama’s government is an evil entity looking to hurt or even kill freedom-loving Americans.
Speaking with Bundy and two of his children, Hannity carelessly and cavalierly stated, as if it was an absolute fact, that federal agents were looking to stage a violent and bloody midnight raid on the ranch, and that it was a very real possibility that Bundy would be targeted and killed. By doing this, he is obviously trying to provoke Bundy into doing something rash in order to further the story.
To be quite honest, during this and other interviews, Bundy has come across as an almost incoherent man of questionable intelligence. He has barely been able to articulate his actual reasons for refusing to pay federal grazing fees. Even with Hannity, he was all over the place and barely made any sense. In one instance, he said he hasn’t received a bill from the Bureau of Land Management in 20 years. However, after that he acknowledges that he doesn’t even open letters that come from the BLM.
Essentially, Bundy is really nothing more than a freeloader who has found a way to increase his profits by just tossing away bills that he doesn’t want to pay. He then goes on to state that he doesn’t recognize federal law as a way to justify it. How would Bundy feel if another rancher just let his cattle graze, without his permission and free of charge, on Bundy’s ranch? What if that rancher then said he doesn’t recognize Bundy’s claim to that property and that if Bundy objected, the other rancher would gather up some armed supporters to back Bundy off?
This has all become a cause de celebre for conservative media figures and far-right lawmakers to get behind. However, if this turns bloody, if people are hurt or killed, Hannity will have blood on his hands. By pushing and instigating Bundy into taking further action, Hannity is dangerously lighting a fuse in the hopes that that it will create a huge explosion. That is the pinnacle of immorality.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).