You’d be forgiven for thinking Russell Brand was behind the crowd funding scheme aimed to raise money to have billboards reading ‘Sean Hannity is an idiot’ erected at major airports in LAX, JFK, and ORD in the USA.
The pair have been at public loggerheads since the British comedian first accused the right-wing FOX News anchor of using terrorist tactics to grill a Palestinian guest in an aggressive televised debate over Israel-Gaza.
“Sean Hannity has an honorary degree because he is a mental failure,” Fahey writes at the start of the project mission statement. “He has no ability to speak for himself. Only bark what his owners tell him to. His vapid existence is the shame of our times.
“Okay, enough poking fun… The reality is, he is taken seriously by some. And that is VERY dangerous. People like Sean Hannity should not be allowed to have any level of credibility given to them, because they lack the moral fibre it takes to actually dispense knowledge.
The famous on Israel-Gaza
The famous on Israel-Gaza
1/21 Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem
Oscar-winning married actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem signed an open letter accused Israel of "genocide". They said: "Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air'.
2/21 Zayn Malik
The One Direction singer was bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine to his 13 million followers. The tweet collected over 130,000 retweets, but it soon became apparent that not everyone agreed with his opinion.
3/21 Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow, the actress and Unicef ambassador, said on Twitter: 'We can passionately protest Israel's assault upon Gaza without descending, even remotely, into the hideousness of anti-Semitism'.
4/21 Katy Perry
Way back in 2011, Katy Perry faced a slew of angry responses from Palestinians and their supporters after she tweeted to her fans, asking them to 'Pray for Israel'.
ABC via Getty
5/21 Massive Attack
Massive Attack spoke of their ‘love and commitment’ to supporting the plight of young Palestinian refugees after the band visited the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon.
6/21 Selena Gomez
The former Disney child star caused a stir when she posted an image on her Instagram account than began: 'It's about humanity. Pray for Gaza.' Joan Rivers responded to the TMZ celebrity news website: 'Oh, Selena Gomez, yeah, that college grad. Well if Selena said that...let’s see if she can spell Palestinian'.
7/21 Russell Brand
Russell Brand is currently caught up in an entertaining spat with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. Brand uploaded a video where he accused Hannity of terrorism after his agressive behaviour in an Israel-Gaza debate. Hannity, who is famously right-wing and pro-Israel, asked Yousef Munayyer if he was 'thick in the head'.
Rihanna tweeted, then deleted, the hashtag #FreePalestine after eight minutes. She claimed its publication was an accident.
9/21 John Legend
The singer waded into the debate on Twitter when he wrote: 'So sick watching our Secretary of State have to grovel so hard to tell Israel how much he loves them while Israeli cabinet shits on him'.
10/21 Bar Refaeli
Leonardo DiCaprio's former girlfriend added to the debate when she posted a quote on her Instagram account, which she attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately it was actually taken from a Lincoln figure encountered by Captain Kirk and Spock in Star Trek, season three, episode 22.
11/21 Bill Maher
Bill Maher received a storm of criticism after he compared Hamas to a 'crazy woman trying to kill you'. 'You can only hold her wrists for so long before you have to slap her,' he tweeted.
12/21 Jon Voight
The actor and father of Angelina Jolie unleashed a rant on Fox News. Reading from a script, he criticised Obama’s actions over the current unrest in Israel and Gaza.
13/21 Joey Barton
Despite already getting into a dispute with Yossi Benayoun over comments on the Israel-Gaza conflict: Joey Barton has continued to deplore the violence in Gaza, tweeting the hashtag '#stopisraelkillinginnocents'.
14/21 Howard Stern
When a caller attempted to blame Israel for the war with Hamas last week, SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern told him to'“F*** off!' before launching into an impassioned defense of Israel, saying: “If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America”.
15/21 Wonder Woman
Otherwise known as Gal Gadot: the Israeli actress took to Instagram, writing: 'I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children'.
16/21 Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan was branded 'Zionest scum' for his stream of tweets about the Israel-Gaza conflict. He declared various opinions such as 'I like Jews. I like Arabs' and 'Same nonsense made Northern Ireland a murderous tinderbox for 30 years'.
17/21 Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers didn't hold back when she was interviewed by TMZ; likening Israel's position to that of New York if it was attacked by New Jersey. Asked where she thought civilians caught up in the crossfire were supposed to go, she replied: 'I don't care, they started'.
18/21 Dwight Howard
NBA star Dwight Howard 'did a Rihanna' - tweeting '#FreePalestine' before quickly deleting it and spending the rest of the day apologizing for the 'mistake'.
19/21 Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Nicole Kidman uploaded a short video to her Facebook page, featuring Keith Urban with their daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, captioned: 'Keith, the girls and I are joining Reba McEntire to #PrayForPeace. xxNic'.
20/21 Simon Cowell
X Factor boss pledged almost £100,000 to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills in 2012. The gala brought in more than £12million for the organisation, which helps to provide welfare services for IDF soldiers and their bereaved families. So far, however, he has only commented on the conflict to say that he is "praying for peace".
21/21 Brian Eno
Musician and producer Brian Eno condemned the Israeli action in Gaza as 'ethnic cleansing' in an open letter on David Byrne's website.
“Hannity is a sensationalist of the worst degree, in that he thinks he is reporting the news.
“So we want to create billboards in an effort to champion free speech, artistic expression, and educational outreach.”
The plan? To put up billboards up in LAX, JFK, and ORD, that read: “Sean Hannity is an Idiot.”
“It will have his face on it, so people from all over the world, in three of the busiest places in the world, can learn what idiocracy looks like.
The only snag, of course, is that it costs approximately $7,000 to place a billboard in each airport for a month.
Since it started on 30 July, the project has generated $1,661, thanks to 126 financial backers, and the funds are continuing to climb. It has just 25 days to go to reach its target of $21,000, though Fahey pledges to put whatever money the campaign makes into generating at least one billboard.
“We want Hannity to be the poster boy for stupid; his image synonymous with dumb, so help people understand that this fool is not to be taken seriously,” Fahey concludes.
Hannity’s somewhat one-sided coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict has been a subject of much debate of late, largely after Russell Brand critiqued his combative interview style on his satirical YouTube series The Trews.
The comic referred in particular to a moment in Hannity’s segment on Israel, during which he asked Palestinian guest Yousef Munayyer if he was “thick in the head” as he attempted in vain to get him to agree that Hamas were a terrorist organisation.
“One of the definitions of 'terrorist' is using intimidation to reach your goals,” Brand said on his satirical YouTube digest Trews. “Who in that situation was behaving like a terrorist, using bullying, intimidation? Sean Hannity. That is where the terrorism is coming from.”
The YouTube clip quickly notched up 2.2million views, prompting Sanity to broadcast a response in a segment he called “Hollywood Vs Hammas”.
“Russell, if you’re watching, which I know you are, take a close look at the TV so I can educate you because you’re kind of dumb and ignorant,” he said during the panel discussion, during which Brand was ridiculed by a guest as looking “skanky” and as if he “cooks meth and sleeps in his car”.
So Brand issued a second video response, “Israel/Palestine, Russell Brand/Sean Hannity: Round 2”, in which he picked apart Hannity’s show piece by piece.
“Apparently Russell can’t get it through his thick head and possibly fathom that this is the reality,” Hannity had said to camera.
Cut to Russell: “It’s not a reality. It’s a combination of speculation, conjecture, and highly contextualised and selective information. That’s not reality. It’s piecing together a narrative that fits in with Fox’s world view and his own bigoted world view,” he said.
Since then, Hannity’s landed in Israel, where he’s been given a tour of Iron Dome locations that shoot down incoming rockets, among other things.
Meanwhile, Brand has released a third video, responding to YouTube trolls who have reacted negatively to his videos critiquing Hannity’s coverage.
In Israel pic.twitter.com/EpnnoBOFOoSean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 4, 2014
Of course, their high profile spat is a minor triviality in the scale of the conflict, which has thus far seen the death toll in Gaza reach over 1,834 Palestinians – an overwhelming majority of which are civilian – since the Israel Defence Forces began its military campaign “Protective Edge” on 8 July.
More than a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents have been displaced and as many as 3,000 Palestinian homes are said to have been destroyed or damaged.
Meanwhile, Israel has lost 64 soldiers in combat and three civilians to Palestinian cross-border rocket and mortar fire that has emptied many of its southern villages.
Both sides have since agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt.Reuse content