Brand/Hannity Brouhaha

Brand-Hannity Brouhaha

In case you missed it, a bit of a brouhaha has developed between American commentator Sean Hannity and British comic Russell Brand.

Here is how CNN reported the dispute:

It may have started as a TV debate about the Israel-Hamas conflict, but it’s now turned into a seemingly endless online war of words between Russell Brand and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.

The British comedian, actor and occasional political commentator branded Hannity a “terrorist” last week after the conservative U.S. pundit berated a Palestinian guest on his show during a heated debate over Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas militants in Gaza — a conflict that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis in the past month.

In a July 24 “Hannity” segment branded “Sympathy for the Terrorists,” the right-wing Fox host began his interview with Yousef Munayyer, the Palestinian executive director of the U.S.-based Jerusalem Fund, by jabbing a finger at his guest and demanding to know how he would react if thousands of rockets were being fired into his neighborhood — a reference to Hamas firing rockets into Israel.

Munayyer attempted to answer several times but was interrupted by the increasingly infuriated Fox anchor, and the interview reached its nadir when a visibly agitated Hannity bellowed, “What part of this can’t you get through your thick head? Is Hamas a terrorist organization?” before cutting the interview short with a terse “goodbye.”

Russel Brand used his YouTube account to criticize the way that Sean Hannity treated Yousef Munayyer. Hannity responded to Brand with the following Tweet:

@rustyrockets aka Mr. Katy Perry, heard you don’t like my interview style. Well, I got some professional advice for you. Tune in at 10p ET

I watched that segment of Hannity’s show that Brand responded to, and CNN’s description of what happened is correct. Hannity repeatedly jabbed his finger at Munayyer, berated Munayyer and didn’t let Munayyer finish speaking.

From the beginning, Hannity looked and acted as if he were angry. It was as if Hannity had set up Munayyer to be a punching bag.

Hannity wants to give Brand “professional advice”, when it is Hannity’s professionalism – or lack thereof – that is the topic of Brand’s initial complaint.

Hannity’s opinion about Hamas may be correct, but the way that Hannity treated a guest with a contrary opinion was unnecessarily abrasive.

Had Bill O’Reilly been the one talking to Munayyer, then O’Reilly would have been firm and assertive, but he would also have been calm and courteous. Even when O’Reilly disagrees with a guest, he always thanks that guest for appearing on O’Reilly’s program.

Of course, Hannity isn’t O’Reilly, and it shows.

As for Russell Brand, his criticism of Hannity was also unnecessarily abrasive, but that is to be expected from him. Also, I do not agree with Brand’s opinion about what is happening between Hamas and Israel.

However, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. I consider that to be the case in regards to Brand’s criticism of Hannity’s treatment of Yousef Munayyer. In my opinion, Hannity started off hostile, which set the tone for that segment of his show.

No, Hannity wasn’t a verbal terrorist, contrary to what Brand claims. However, Hannity was rude to his Palestinian guest, and Hannity made things worse by the way that he responded to Brand. Instead of taking the proverbial “high road”, Hannity took the proverbial “low road”.

Both Brand and Hannity are acting like a couple of kids having a fight on a playground. Brand probably knows that, but does Hannity? I doubt it. As that CNN story about the brouhaha ends, “Neither star is prone to letting someone else have the last word, so stay tuned. We could be here awhile.”


OK, that’s my take on the Brand/Hannity brouhaha.
Let the mud-slinging commentaries begin.

[Featured Image copied from CNN website.]

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  • Paul Hooson

    Brand and Hannity. Two what’s “wrong with this picture” moments….

  • JWH

    I’ve listened to Sean Hannity on the radio for some time, and I’ve watched Bill O’Reilly occasionally. I get the feeling that Sean Hannity is most interested in expressing his opinion, no matter how rude he might be, and hectoring his guests because it amuses him and plays well to the peanut gallery. O’Reilly, on the other hand. seems just as opinionated as Hannity. But from what I can tell, O’Reilly enjoys the thrill of conflict and debating his guests, rather than hearing his own head rattle.

  • Commander_Chico

    Hannity’s a TV tough guy and neocon propagandist. Another Long Island Irish phony. Somehow he never put his square jaw into harm’s way in real life.

    At least Brand had the balls to take on the feminazis. Hannity’s just on his knees to be Jeb Bush’s presidential press secretary.

    • Thus typed anonymous commenter tough guy and soi disant cognoscenti-veteran….

  • I have little use for Hannity. I don’t think he’s that smart and just a mouther of concepts others put in his teleprompter, but Brand is an idiot all the way through. So, as much as I discount Hannity, I have to side with him. Further more, Brand is just a sensationalist without any morals or true opinions. He is an attention seeking charlatan who will say anything. Hannity was foolish to even engage him the first time.

  • Retired military

    Never heard of Brand before.
    Hannity’s voice gets on my nerves.

    • Brand claims to be a comedian. But the only thing funny about him is that he claims to be a comedian.

  • fustian24

    Most political types when interviewed repeat your question and then avoid it like the plague. Instead, they take the opportunity to talk about something they would rather talk about.

    In the early days of Fox, a few of the commentators, particularly Bill and Sean would attempt to puncture this practice and would hammer guests to answer the actual questions.

    And for a short time this was interesting, and would sometimes yield actual news.

    But these days everybody sees these guys coming and this technique is just boring now.

    Sean was much more interesting with a democrat foil like Colmes.

    But none of these guys is even in the same league as Dr. Krauthammer who thinks for himself when others are just reciting talking points.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Brand has managed to be funny in just about 1/2 of his movies.

    If someone were to tell me that they considered Brand to be intelligent and thoughtful, that would be all I needed to know about that person.