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Media Matters criticizes Sean Hannity over bringing up Rev. Wright

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Posted on July 31 2009 7:15 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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This is what a slow news day looks like for Media Matters, the “progressive” media monitoring group who’s made an industry out of caricaturing conservatism.

What kind of researching are they presenting today? The number of times that Fox News host Sean Hannity brings up President Barack Obama’s conspiracy-prone, Anti-American former preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

According to Media Matters:

Sean Hannity — who claimed he “broke the story” about President Obama’s controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign — has mentioned Wright on at least 45 different episodes of his Fox News show* since Obama’s inauguration. Indeed, his repeated references to Wright — most recently in discussions about Obama and race relations in America — have prompted his own guests to comment, “You always want to bring up Reverend Wright,” and “Sean, you need to get over it.”

Media Matters invokes an appearance by Rich Lowry, editor of National Review on Hannity’s program from July 29. They cite it as an example of an occasion in which Hannity has been rebuked by one of his conservative guests for bringing up Wright:

In a discussion about Gates with Lowry, Hannity said: “Look, this goes back, and I don’t want to keep bringing up Reverend Wright, but I think it — I think it’s relevant here. In as much as he sat in that church for 20 — ” Lowry responded: “That’s not true, Sean. You do want to bring up Reverend Wright. You always want to bring up Reverend Wright. Don’t lie to the American people.”

Media Matters — and the Left in general — always likes to wave around when conservatives disagree with one another. The only exception is when they’re trying to claim that those on the Right behave like a bunch of drones that walk in lockstep behind the commands of “boss” Limbaugh, as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann loves to call him.

In this case Media Matters is actually half-right to criticize Hannity for invoking Wright so much. Media Matters is going after Hannity on this because he’s bringing up Wright as a way of attack Obama. And to them any criticism of Obama is a mortal sin. So they’ll unleash this nit-pickathon of a research post. This is the best “research” they can do with their time? Count the number of times Hannity mentions Rev. Wright? And I thought my old job as a collector was boring!

In one sense it is acceptable to nudge Hannity a bit on this. And the reason is this: the campaign is over. Hitting Obama with the Bill Ayers/Rev. Wright leftist radical stick doesn’t accomplish much right now. Everyone’s already heard this stuff and decided to buy it or ignore it. Now’s the time to be focusing on much more challenging tasks than beating Obama the person. Namely: critiquing Obama’s policies, coming up with effective counterproposals, and selling them to the American people. Hannity should do that and put away his leftist radical stick until 2012.

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