Sean Hannity: Keith Ellison is akin to anti-white, anti-semitic KKK member [VIDEO]
Hannity devoted a good chunk of last night's show to trying to portray Ellison as a radical.
Not content to let bygones be bygones following Keith Ellison's bitterly contentious appearance on his show earlier this week, Sean Hannity put the Congressman on blast last night.
Hannity devoted a segment of his show to detailing Ellison's history with the Nation of Islam -- in particular, pastor Louis Farrakhan and his late militant assistant Khalid Mohammed.
Hannity went as far as to suggest that because Ellison helped organized the Million Man March at which Farrakhan was the keynote speaker, and because the anti-semitic Mohammed was Farrakhan's assistant, Ellison is akin to a bizarro-world Klan member.
Hannity accused Ellison of having "a host of radical of connections," and revived attacks made during Ellison's 2006 campaign about ties to Farrakhan and the Million Man March. "The reality is, the Congressman not only associated with these radicals - but he spent years spewing their hateful rhetoric," Hannity said.
He continued: "What is the difference, I mean, do we have somebody then in Congress that is the equivalent of one side of what the Klan is? Because I view the rabid ranting of Khalid Mohammed as frightening in terms of racism, anti-Semitism."
Here's raw footage of Hannity's segment:
Think Progress explains why Hannity's attempt to link Ellison to radical views is misleading:
In the late 1990s, Ellison worked with the group to organize the Million Man March, but apologized for failing to "adequately scrutinize the positions and statements" of the Nation of Islam and Farrakhan six years ago in a letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
"I wrongly dismissed concerns that they were anti-Semitic," he wrote, adding, "They were and are anti-Semitic and I should have come to that conclusion earlier than I did." "I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic ideas and statements, as well as other issues."
After the accusations first surfaced in 2006, Ellison's Jewish law school colleagues said that "they never got the impression that Ellison himself was anti-Semitic" and American Jewish World, the newspaper for Minnesota's Jewish community, endorsed him.
The Jewish Community Relations Council has since defended him from anti-Muslim attacks. "Representative Ellison is a friend to the Jewish community and we have enjoyed a strong working relationship with him since he assumed office in 2007," the group said in a statement released last year.
In a statement distributed before the show aired, Ellison communications director Jeremy Slevin characterized Hannity's attacks as "a smear campaign." From the statement:
We need as many of our friends as possible supporting Rep. Ellison and helping him stand up against right-wing hate...
[Hannity is] bringing up spurious accusations of guilt by association that Ellison's constituents rejected 7 years ago when he was first elected... This is part of a long line of lies and distortion.
In a separate statement, Ellison calls Hannity "sad." More from Ellison:
[Friday], a set of devastating cuts will hit every American, costing 750,000 jobs over the course of the yearif Congress doesn't act. The seriousness of these cuts was the subject and context of my spirited exchange with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night...
Americans deserve journalists who provide responsible, objective reporting. Instead, Sean Hannity is bringing up my religion and making personal attacks. This is sad. Can we get back to what's best for the American people now?
Nobody comes out of this smelling like a rose, do they?
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