Whatever your politics, Sean Hannity’s bullying of Palestinian-American political analyst Yousef Munayyer on The Sean Hannity Show on Thursday night was simply outrageous. Hannity’s behavior towards a guest he invited onto his show—which included finger-jabbing, shouting, and interrupting Munayyer to such an extent that Munayyer couldn’t utter a single complete sentence—was unconscionable and rude.
But to the relief of polite people the world over, Hannity’s despicable behavior caught the attention of a crusading celebrity. Intellectual bad-boy Russell Brand jumped into the fray yesterday to call out the Fox anchor’s treatment of his guest, posting a point-by-point video response to the segment on YouTube. It’s sort of like a director’s cut, with clips of Brand commentary spliced into the original footage of Hannity’s “interview.”
At one point, Hannity asks Munayyer over and over if he thinks Hamas is a terrorist organization. When Munayyer attempts to answer, Hannity cuts him off: “Is Hamas—what part of this can’t you get through your thick head?” Cut to Brand laughing. “That’s really rude!” He says, cracking up. Back to Hannity: “Is Hamas a terrorist organization? Yes or no?” Munayyer, for his part, stays remarkably calm.
“Sean’s not a solution-based guy,” Brand says, heaving a deep sigh. Rather than looking for insightful commentary and ways to arrive at peace, “Sean’s thinking, ‘We want conflict. What things can I say to exacerbate conflict?'” And, later: “Not that it’s not bad that Israel has to deal with terrorist attacks. Of course it is. But what are we looking for? A solution? Or just a verdict on who’s bad? Because that’s not going to get us anywhere.”
Testify, Brother Brand. And keep up the media manners watchdog. I’m a big fan.