Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Sean Hannity Advocates Treason

UPDATE: More rightwing incitement to violence.  At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC–the movement conservatives that basically run the Republican Party), Samuel Wurzelburger, a.k.a., “Joe-the-Plumber” (who isn’t a licensed plumber, doesn’t pay his taxes, and doesn’t make anywhere NEAR enough $ to buy his own plumbing business as he told Obama and McCain on the campaign trail last Fall) believes some members of Congress should be shot!  And this came only a day after former Bush Ambassador to the United Nations (a recess appointment because he couldn’t be confirmed by the U.S. Senate) came to the same CPAC conference and joked that Obama would take the “Iranian threat” more seriously if Chicago was nuked!  The violent wingnuts have completely taken over the Republican Party!  This is the party of Lincoln? Of Teddy Roosevelt (who took on monopolies and big business)? Of Eisenhower? of Harold Stassen? Chuck Hagel? Mark Hatfield?  Good Grief! These nutjobs would freak out the likes of former Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor or even Barry Goldwater!  I wonder if they’d even freak out Nixon!

I have to admit that several times during the last 8 Bushyears, I wished there was a NONVIOLENT revolution in this country to restore the Constitution.  After all, Bush  was SELECTED by a Supreme Court (with several justices appointed by his father) after losing the popular vote AND the voter suppression and fraud in Florida (where his brother was governor). He was never legitimately elected president.  And, in ’04, although he narrowly won the popular vote, there was widespread voter fraud and intimidation in Ohio (with Ken Blackwell as OH Sec of State). So, both Bush “elections” were narrowly stolen. But these were daydreams.  A nonviolent movement to stop the war and end torture would have been nice, though. (We still need one to keep pushing Obama on the same issues. All politicians tend to backslide and Obama has shown the usual Democratic tendency to worry more about his right flank than his left. )

So, I get it if Republicans are freaked by Obama’s (legitimate, not even close) win. I understand their feelings that their nation has disappeared–I felt the same way.  But Fox Noise nutjob Sean Hannity has gone too far. His website is now actively advocating treason and insurrection.  I believe in Freedom of the Press, but shouldn’t the FBI be investigating him for inciting treason?

Hannity’s website has a new poll asking “What kind of revolution” his fans prefer: a military coup, armed rebellion, or war for succession?  See the evidence here

There has been a problem with Rightwing talk radio and tv for some time inciting violence against those with whom they disagree.  Michael Savage has repeatedly advocated violence against Muslims–without even an FCC warning.  Last Spring, Rush Limbaugh (who now wants a summit on why women hate him!), urged McCain supporters to start riots at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO–but backed off when threatened with legal action by the mayor of Denver and the governor of Colorado.

But this is beyond any limits of loyal opposition. This is advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government–which is treason by definition. 

Call the FBI and the FCC to complain. Then find Hannity’s advertsiers and urge them to drop him.  It’s time to stop the free reign of rightwing hatespeech–especially when it incites to violence and now, outright treason.


February 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Michael please read Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Passed by the UN in 1948). It refers to the right of free speech. I don’t like Limbaugh, Hannity or Savage, but free speech is a constitutional right too. Imams in this country use that same free speech too and some of them use it to promote hate and intolerance just like the ones you mention. If Hannity has comitted treason then the Feds will be on him in a New York second.

    Comment by Paul | February 26, 2009

  2. Paul,

    Granted, there often is a fine line between free speech and fighting words. But perhaps you should familiarize yourself with Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)which replaced the Clear and Present Danger test with the Imminent Lawless Action Test. In that decision, the Supreme Court held that speech that will cause, or has as its purpose, “imminent lawless action” (such as a riot) does not have constitutional protection. This test remains good law.

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | February 27, 2009

  3. Paul, as BDW says, I believe strongly in both free speech and freedom of the press–but no rights are absolute. If you abuse your free speech rights to incite to treason or violence, you can go to jail–whether you are Sean Hannity or an Imam. The press gets away with more (and Hannity will probably claim that he wasn’t really ADVOCATING anything, just taking a “harmless survey”) but there are limits. I think Hannity is treading that line if he hasn’t stepped over it–and should be very glad that Obama, unlike Bush, isn’t likely to declare him an “enemy combatant” and detain him indefinitely. (I think such an action by a president is unconstitutional, but until there is a Supreme Court ruling, the only thing stopping Obama is being a different person than Bush.)

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 27, 2009

  4. We must make the distinction between free speech and hate speech. If what Hannity et al are saying is hate speech then there would be legal avenues there. I can say that I don’t like e.g. Polynesians ( I do like them in fact )and such a statement is protected under free speech, but if I say, ” Kill all Polynesians” then my speech has enetered (in my opinion) the realm of hate speech and I may suffer serious legal consequenences. We have to be very careful when we disagree with what someone says and seek to restrict their right to say it. These types of cases give judges gray hairs .

    Comment by Paul | February 27, 2009

  5. The poll on Hannity’s website was user-created. However, it does hold a News Corp. copyright (all rights reserved), so they’re ultimately responsible for it.

    Comment by Steven Kippel | February 27, 2009

  6. It was user created, but Hannity left it up AFTER it was pointed out to him–which is tacit endorsement.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 27, 2009

  7. Well, we all know you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and expect that to be protected free speech.

    A U.S. Supreme Court decision June 25, 2007, Morse v. Frederick, often referred to as Bong Hits 4 Jesus, student Frederick unfurled a banner off campus, “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”. The principal, Morse, brought the case against the student claiming he did not have the right to free speech because of the drug-related message. The Supreme Court ruled that the message could cause “substantial disruption” (even though it caused no such thing) and therefore his free speech rights were denied.

    I guess it’s O.K. if you’re a right-wing commentator, Sean Hannity, on a right-wing Fox News Channel run by a right- wing billionaire owner, Rupert Murdoch, to incite the armed overthrow of our elected government. That’s legitimate free speech?

    And then, there’s the right-wing newspaper, The New York Post, also owned by the same above right-wing billionaire owner, to incite the assassination of Barack Obama by running an incendiary cartoon depicting two policemen standing over a chimpanzee shot dead with the caption Democrats will need to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.

    Bong Hits, bad, bad! Not protected free speech; Assassinate Barack Obama free speech. Just ask Hannity and his master, Rupert Murdoch.

    Comment by Richard | March 3, 2009

  8. I just think it’s sad that right wing conservatives have to spew so much vitriol publicly. The wolf is not yet at their door,but if the economy continues to tank,they will be looking for a hand out,too. If anyone from the left had said some of the negative things they have said regarding some of George Bush’s decisions, he would have been labelled unpatriotic. If we all didn’t fall in line about the war in Irag, we were being unpatriotic. But, they can publicly say they hope the plan to save our economy will fail and it’s quite alright. The privilege of being white men protects them, still. Neither Cheney, Bush nor fat ass Rush served a day in Vietnam, yet they wrap themselves in the flag. What a crock of crap. And, by the way, where was Sean during Nam?

    Comment by John | March 3, 2009

  9. Yeah, I criticized Bush, I said that I believed his plans were wrongheaded. I said that his tax cuts for the wealthy would hurt us and that invading Iraq would lead to a quagmire of occupation, but I never said I HOPED such things would happen!

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | March 4, 2009

  10. Sean Hannity is one pathatic piece of garbage. He is a hateful over-paid and over-rated pawn of the right wing sickos. He was allowed to get away with treason in the time of war, why wasn’t he brought to justice??? I say it is time for Americans to really wake up to the fact that we are in a class war.
    There is enough money to run this country properly, but we have allowed the “leaders” ???? of industry, government, etc to live like kings and queens from the sweat of hard working people.
    We need to follow the money and let us begin serious oversight in all walks of life.

    Comment by Ronald Lunge | March 31, 2009

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