'Sean Hannity is an idiot' crowd funding campaign demonstrates against Fox News anchor's 'biased' Israel-Gaza conflict
'We want Hannity to be the poster boy for stupid,' petition author Sean Fahey writes
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.
“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.
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