After being pressed by Fox News contributor Juan Williams about "having an anti-Semite on his show," Fox News' Sean Hannity again declined to express regret for hosting Andy Martin on Hannity's America. Martin has, among other things, referred to a judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew," and Fox News' senior vice president reportedly expressed regret over Martin's appearance, calling it "a mistake."
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On the October 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Fox News political contributor and NPR news analyst Juan Williams said to co-host Sean Hannity: "You and I are broadcasters. People will say to me, 'Hey, what's your pal, Sean, doing having an anti-Semite on his show?' " As Media Matters for America noted, Hannity interviewed Andy Martin for a segment on the October 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America. Martin has, among other things, referred to a judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew." As Media Matters noted, even though Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Shine reportedly expressed regret over Martin's appearance, calling it "a mistake," Hannity has still not done so on either of his Fox News shows -- Hannity's America or Hannity & Colmes. On October 30, rather than address Martin's appearance on his program, Hannity responded to Williams' remark by stating: "You mean [the Rev.] Jeremiah Wright? We've had Jeremiah Wright on my show. You mean Jeremiah Wright?"
When confronted by Robert Gibbs, an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, on the October 7 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity defended Martin's October 5 appearance on Hannity's America, even though he acknowledged to Gibbs that Martin's comments about Jews are "despicable." On October 10, the Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter to Hannity stating:
We were astonished to see that during the October 5, 2008 edition of Hannity's America, you interviewed Anthony Martin, a man with an extensive track record of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.
A person who espouses such odious views ought not to be given the opportunity to enhance his credentials or his standing by appearing on Hannity's America.
As Media Matters documented, in the United States v. Anthony Martin-Trigona (1985), the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit also wrote that Martin had previously made "viciously anti-Semitic assertions." For example, in a February 10, 2006, article, the Chicago Tribune quoted Martin as saying in a 1983 personal bankruptcy proceeding, "I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did, when Jew survivors are operating as a wolf pack to steal my property."
Additionally, in a 2007 document Martin submitted in a lawsuit he filed against Media Matters for America, Martin claimed that "African-American judges ... circle the wagons and try to protect Barry [Obama]." He also said that the actions of an African-American judge who presided over the case "show that African-Americans are willing to corrupt and abuse their-public offices to defend their own sleazy candidate for office." As Media Matters also documented, in a March 28, 2007, column for NewsMax.com titled "Free Obama's White Grandmother," Martin wrote that Obama, whom he called "one of the most racist politicians in America today," has "locked the grandmother who actually raised him away in a closet," adding: "[T]he 'segregation' of Madelyn Dunham, Obama's white grandmother, and only real grandmother, has to be one of the cruelest and most mendacious political kidnappings this nation has ever seen." Martin wrote that Dunham "is the 'Prisoner of Obama,' and of Obama's racist myth that he is 'Black' and not 'Black and White.' "
Williams' October 30 comments to Hannity were noted by the blog News Hounds in an October 31 post.
From the October 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Here's my case, Juan, and this is what I really believe. Is America about to elect a man who's been dishonest to them about his radical associates, a man who's a socialist, a man who has shown terrible judgment by not distancing himself from long-term associations, a guy who has terrible judgment and will wave the white flag of surrender?
WILLIAMS: Now, look, Sean --
HANNITY: That's what I think America is on the verge of doing.
WILLIAMS: Sean -- Sean, this is -- this is so --
HANNITY: So, what?
WILLIAMS: I just get -- I get so angry at some of this stuff. I mean, it's by association.
WILLIAMS: I mean, look, Khalidi -- look. He -- the guy is a professor. He's a Palestinian. Are you surprised that he is very --
WILLIAMS: -- sensitive to the cause?
HANNITY: -- who dedicates a book -- wait a minute.
WILLIAMS: Hang on a second. Let's talk about Khalidi. Are you surprised that this guy, Khalidi, is sensitive to the cause of the Palestinian people? And Barack Obama was there. He didn't praise his positions.
WILLIAMS: He said --
HANNITY: -- catastrophe, the state of Israel, when it became a state.
WILLIAMS: He called the relationship, the dynamic --
WILLIAMS: -- the one that has led --
WILLIAMS: -- to all the war and tensions between Palestinians and Israelis --
HANNITY: Wait a minute.
WILLIAMS: -- and he said it opened his eyes.
HANNITY: Would you sit on a board --
WILLIAMS: That's what he said.
WILLIAMS: OK, we're shifting again.
HANNITY: -- to the murderer of Robert F. Kennedy?
WILLIAMS: Sean, look --
HANNITY: Would you?
WILLIAMS: Hey, Sean, look, I've got to tell you something. I defend you, Sean, all the time.
HANNITY: I didn't blow up the Capitol, Juan.
WILLIAMS: No, but Sean --
HANNITY: -- New York City Police headquarters, Juan.
WILLIAMS: -- look. You and I are broadcasters. People will say to me, "Hey, what's your pal, Sean, doing having an anti-Semite on his show?" I say, "Look, Sean might not have known, like" --
HANNITY: You mean Jeremiah Wright?
WILLIAMS: -- "all the history of that guy."
WILLIAMS: No. Look --
HANNITY: You mean Jeremiah Wright?
WILLIAMS: Jeremiah Wright --
HANNITY: You mean --
WILLIAMS: Look, let me tell you something.
HANNITY: [inaudible] Who?
WILLIAMS: Jeremiah Wright and his racist rhetoric, that's something Barack Obama shouldn't have done, and it was bad judgment. But when it comes to Ayers, when it comes to Khalidi --
FORMER REP. JOHN KASICH (R-OH): But, but, but --
HANNITY: I never was friends with these guys.
WILLIAMS: No, but then so --
HANNITY: I never associated with them, and he never condemned them.
WILLIAMS: -- look at the association between Khalidi and John McCain. Do you say, "Oh, my God. Why is John McCain" --
WILLIAMS: And why would John McCain lead a group that gives funding to Khalidi's group?
WILLIAMS: Oh, you keep changing the conversation.