Ellison, a Muslim, and Hannity have clashed in the past over intemperate remarks the former had made about the Bush administration and its handling of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. So the lawmaker was already in the blocks, so to speak. As Hannity threw the show to him he’d already thought of the point he wanted to make in the show, no matter the question.
“Quite frankly you are the worst excuse for a journalist I have ever seen,” Ellison said.
Hannity then gets a half-smile on his face. It could be pleasure that he’s baited his guest into a showdown. It could be covering nervousness, as if he didn’t quite believe his ears.
“What?” said the Fox News host. “I didn’t hear you.”
It went downhill from there. Ellison rolled along, making the general point that he believes the Republicans more to blame for the current fiscal mess, while Hannity sort of played rope-a-dope, sitting back and occasionally throwing in a punch when his guest paused for breath.
Here’s our first reaction: This is why we dislike cable news. It isn’t that they argue. It’s that they argue about irrelevant stuff.
David Graham at The Atlantic elucidates this idea at length: Really, does it matter whose idea the sequester was at this point? We know Bob Woodward thinks it does, and he’s a journalistic god, but for us it’s like the crew of the Titanic getting into a spat about who thought it was a good idea to take the North Atlantic route while the iceberg looms in front of them.