Fox News flip-flop: Sean Hannity backs away from Cliven Bundy the racist rancher

After promoting Cliven Bundy as the poster child for states' rights, Fox News and Sean Hannity are backing away

Published April 25, 2014 2:49PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Steve Marcus/AP/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)
(Reuters/Steve Marcus/AP/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)

After a week of bolstering Cliven Bundy, the notorious welfare rancher who came into prominence after a standoff with the government, Sean Hannity is now walking back his support.

This reversal happened after the New York Times broke the news of Bundy's disgusting and antediluvian views on race and slavery. If you haven't seen the video or read the transcript, here's how the rancher ended his vile "talk" on African-Americans: "And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?"

After promoting Bundy, Hannity is now denouncing the rancher. Media Matters posted audio from Thursday's "Sean Hannity Show." There Hannity said, “His comments are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me.”

And then in an effort to explain away his previous unbridled support for the man, Hannity claims he wasn't stoking the fire of a violent blowout, he was helping defuse the armed situation between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Right. He believes -- and still does -- that the BLM was "overreaching" in trying to get the million dollars Bundy owes the government, and wanted to prevent a bloody outcome.

“In this case, you’ve got a couple of hundred armed agents, snipers, sharpshooters, dogs, stun guns. And then you’ve got another group coming out because they think it’s government overreach," Hannity said of the standoff. "It was a prescription for a disaster. Remember Waco, Ruby Ridge, all these other cases.”

Hannity also said that the comments angered him, not just because they were disturbingly racist, but because they make all conservatives look racist.

"[Democrats] want to say that conservatives are racists, conservatives hate women, conservatives want old people to die -- granny over the cliff," Hannity explained. "They don't want the young people -- they want young people to fend for themselves. They want to poison the air, poison the water. So people that, for the right reasons, saw this case as government overreach now are branded because of the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments of Cliven Bundy.”

According to Raw Story, Fox News also failed to air Bundy's video apology. Instead they opted to talk about, you guessed it, Benghazi. You can listen to Sean Hannity below:


h/t Raw Story, Media Matters

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Cliven Bundy Fox News Politics Racism Sean Hannity States Rights Video