Sean Hannity Calls Cliven Bundy Remarks ‘Racist,’ Rancher Says ‘I Think I’m Right’
Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality host who also hosts his own nationally syndicated radio talk show, was one of the most dedicated supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, in Bundy’s dispute with the federal Bureau of Land Management over fees for letting his cattle graze on taxpayer-owned land.
But now, even Sean Hannity has abandoned Bundy over remarks made by the rancher that have been broadly condemned as racist and offensive.
At the same time, Bundy refused to back down from his comments made last weekend, in which he speculated that black people, to whom he referred as “the Negro,” might be “better off as slaves picking cotton.”
In a CNN interview Thursday, Bundy said, “I don’t think I’m wrong. “I think I’m right.”
Sean Hannity on his Thursday Fox Broadcast, condemned the Cliven Bundy remarks.
“I believe those comments are downright racist. They are repugnant. They are bigoted. And it’s beyond disturbing,” said Hannity on the air. “I find those comments to be deplorable, and I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Cliven Bundy holds those views.”
Sean Hannity went on to draw a rhetorical distinction between support for Bundy and the opposition to what Hannity called a federal government “out of control,” on his broadcast.
“The ranch standoff that took place out in Nevada was not about a man named Cliven Bundy,” said Hannity. But the Fox News host’s role in elevating Bundy to folk hero status, only to witness his sudden undoing with what Hannity himself called “racist” and “bigoted” remarks, has some observers wondering if the days of Sean Hannity on the Fox Network may now be numbered.
While Bundy won praise from numerous conservative media and political figures prior to the remarks which sent most of his high-profile supporters running for cover, not all conservatives were on the Bundy bandwagon from the start.
The conservative Weekly Standard magazine published a warning last week about Bundy’s extremism, in an article entitled “Uncivil Disobedience.”
Rather than “the dread hand of tyranny, in Nevada or Washington, oppressing an innocent farmer,” the Weekly Standard called Cliven Bundy “a rancher gaming the system to his own financial advantage, and disguising his scheme in populist rhetoric: refusing to pay a tax which others must pay, and ‘tying up the courts’—for two decades!—as he continues to ignore the law.”
Despite the unambiguous rejection of his comments by Sean Hannity as “racist,” “bigoted” and “repugnant,” Bundy said he believes that Hannity and Fox News support his views.
“I don’t think I’ve been abandoned. I think they misunderstood me a little bit,” he said when asked about what Sean Hannity had said. “I think Fox and I think Hannity and I are right on, and I have no doubt that he would support me if he understood really what’s in my heart.”