On Free Speech and the Case of Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar

A fascinating event happened when Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar appeared on the national stage, and it came in the form of the right coming face to face with its own beliefs and being forced to question them.

To catch you up in case you’re blessedly ignorant of who Jarrar is, she’s a published author and professor who insulted and celebrated Barbara Bush and her family upon her death. As people dug into her past, they found more horrific things that she had done including directing her haters to a mental health hotline causing it to get clogged with angry calls and potentially stopping someone from getting the help they needed, as well as calling for terrorist acts against her political opposites.

But even before the latter two facts had come out, many on the right were calling for Jarrar’s firing from Fresno State. Many on the right, including my RedState colleague Streiff, believe that she should be fired for her disgusting comments. Streiff believes she should be fired because if the players were flipped and the script slightly altered so that it was a right winger saying heinous things about a leftist, then he surely would be fired.

I understand the sentiment, but I’m not sure I agree, and I want to be very clear about my stances on this.

It’s my fondest wish that people like Jarrar be given the platform to spew their noxious bullsh*t into a public setting. People are, by and large, not subscribing to Jarrar’s brand of hate and as such will find themselves walking away from her and those who subscribe to her level of ignorance and bigotry. She is the perfect example of how not to, and I want the people to see that for themselves. I want people to argue her points, and upon finding out that people like her won’t rationally argue, will see that these are elements of our society whose ideas aren’t worth the contents of your trash can.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that conservative persecution and silencing is deplorable, and that the lengths some colleges and universities go to — be it administrative, student-led, or both — is cowardly, foolish, and wrong. That said, I think that free speech fight is a fight separate from this issue, and that progress is being made on the free speech end.

I’m a free speech advocate through and through. I think ideas, no matter how awful, should be allowed to compete in the public sphere unpunished…so long as it’s not taxpayer funded propaganda or does not actually bring actual physical harm to others or their property.

And here’s the rub. Jarrar is a professor who gets her checks cut from a university that is publicly funded. Jarrar is on camera spewing vitriol and hate toward political opponents, which is fine in my book, but then she immediately turns around and asks that her political opponents be literally terrorized. She suggests their houses be broken into, have grenades thrown into, and leveled. She suggests buying guns and getting stupid. She praises “non-violent” terrorists who hijack airplanes.

Should Jarrar be arrested for saying these things? There’s an argument for and against this that I’m willing to have. Should she be fired for saying these things? Absolutely.

Jarrar is being paid by the state to essentially promote terrorism against the people who pay her wages. If she was saying these things while under the employ of a private business, then I would leave that business to deal with her as they see fit. However, through our taxpayer dollars, she’s under my employ, and she’s under your employ. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see my tax dollars allowing someone to live comfortably as she promotes the idea of throwing an explosive device in someone’s house because she doesn’t like their politics.

The line here is a simple one to draw. Did a subject actively promote harm to an innocent someone of a political persuasion, religion, race, or ideology, or because a person cut off another at the buffet line? Then he or she should be fired from that publicly funded job.

In the case of Jarrar, her hateful tweets about Barbara Bush, men, Christians, and whoever else — her list of hated entities appears to me longer than I’d like to dedicate to this article — are only so useful to me as I can point out her insanity and reveal that her ideas shouldn’t be listened to or followed. I am concerned about her teaching her hatred to her students, and I believe Fresno State should be, too. They could fire her or not for these comments in particular, and the people can decide to send their students to that school based on Fresno State’s stance.

However, when it comes to actually clogging up the lines of a hotline needed to help those with mental health issues, and promoting actual harm, a line is crossed, and the taxpayer is funding something actually dangerous that I’m sure the vast majority of us would rather not. Now you’re reaching into my wallet and handing her a $100 so she can live comfortably as she suggests planes be hijacked.

If my money is going to lawfully be taken from me without my consent, I’d rather it not go to someone like Jarrar.

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Trump Expresses Optimism Over Talks With “Very Honorable” Kim Jong Un (Little Rocket Man, No More?)

Well, this is an unfortunate application of the term.

In agreeing to meet with North Korea’s maniac leader, Kim Jong Un, President Trump is breaking with past American presidents who refused to allow it to appear that the Kims were either legitimate leaders, or that the oppressive regimes they forced their people to live under were acceptable.

All it took to coax Trump to the table was a few vague promises and the notion that this would make him look like the leader who diverted the threat of World War III.

So should we overlook the shoddy track record of North Korea for keeping its promises?

I’m pretty sure Donald Trump is oblivious to all of this. He certainly doesn’t listen to his military advisers.

Trump’s fascination with dictators and foreign strong men is a thing to behold.

He recently congratulated Russia’s Vladimir Putin on winning what was known to be a sham election, even with a card in front of him from his advisers, with the words, in bold, all-capital letters, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”

As if Trump would let a chance to bond with his man-crush pass.

Earlier today, Trump expressed his change of heart, regarding the man he once sought to antagonize with the nickname, “little rocket man.”

“He really has been very open and, I think, very honorable from everything we’re seeing,” Trump said of Kim Jong Un during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House.

Very honorable? And he’s saying this in reference to Kim Jong Un?

So this would be the same Kim Jong Un that ordered his brother murdered with a banned nerve agent.

It’s the same Kim Jong Un who routinely imprisons dissidents, starves his own people, and, hey, does anybody remember Otto Warmbier?

Warmbier is the 22-year old American student studying abroad, who thought joining a tourist group traveling through North Korea in 2016 would be a hoot.

He was charged with taking a propaganda poster from a wall at a hotel while there and sentenced to 15 years in one of North Korea’s treacherous prisons.

North Korean officials claim he fell ill with botulism, shortly after arriving and that he had a violent reaction to the medication given to him.

When Swedish embassy officials, acting on behalf of the U.S. attempted to see him, they were denied.

When he was returned to the U.S. in June 2017, his parents claim he was blind, deaf, and howling incoherently. He died shortly after returning home.

North Korea is also listed on the 2018 World Watch List of the most oppressive nations for Christians at #1 – a spot they’ve held for the past 17 years.

North Korea is a nation where the main “religion” is atheism, with the Kim family considered to be “gods” and the only ones worthy of worship. To be found in possession of a Bible or praising the true God could mean imprisonment or death, not just for those discovered, but for their entire families.

But please, let’s leave room to consider that maybe we’ve judged Kim Jong Un unfairly.

Trump went on:

“Unlike past administrations, I will leave the table. But I think we have the chance to do something very special,” he said.

Past administrations never let themselves be pulled to that table, to begin with. There’s that.

And to be clear, this isn’t the first time a North Korean leader has toyed with the idea of ending their nuclear ambitions, only to go back on their word, shortly after.

Trump sees a way to making a real mark on history for himself with this, however, so he’s going for it.

In the meantime, here’s the short version of the horrors Christians face under the regime of the “very honorable” Kim.


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Jeff Sessions Creates Conspiracy Theory Heaven in Michael Cohen Investigation

Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


Not that I know there was any huge demand for it, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced he will not recuse himself from the investigation of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. What does this mean?

By staying involved in the Cohen probe, Sessions is entitled to briefings on the status of the investigation, which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. That could put Sessions in the position of being asked by Trump, who strongly condemned the FBI raid on his longtime lawyer, to divulge information about the Cohen investigation.

Sessions could also weigh in on specific decisions by prosecutors, including whether to pursue subpoenas and indictments. The attorney general may be asked about his role in the Cohen investigation when he testifies before congressional panels on Wednesday and Thursday.

The investigation into Cohen’s finances and past work was opened based in part on a referral from Mueller.

The Justice Department declined to comment specifically about decisions on recusal in the Cohen investigation, saying only that Sessions follows appropriate procedures.

“The attorney general considers his potential recusal on a matter-by-matter basis as may be needed,” the department said in a statement. “To the extent a matter comes to the attention of his office that may warrant consideration of recusal, the attorney general would review the issue and consult with the appropriate Department ethics experts.”

Personally, I applaud the decision. There is no logical reason that Sessions can’t be involved in this investigation as it is not linked to the Mueller auto-da-fe. For Sessions to recuse himself would have been the same as announcing that President Trump was under investigation. Conversely, his refusal pretty much says the opposite. Except in the anti-Trump world where this will be proof of a cover-up and “obstruction.”

There is also another reason for the refusal to recuse. He has a damned good idea what Trump’s Twitter feed would look like tomorrow morning. As Mark Twain said, “If a cat sits on a hot stove, that cat won’t sit on a hot stove again. That cat won’t sit on a cold stove either. That cat just don’t like stoves.”

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As If Things in Missouri Weren’t Weird Enough: Attorney for Ex-Husband in Greitens Saga Received $100,000 From Mystery Donor

Attorney Albert Watkins works in his office Monday, May 4, 2015, in Clayton, Mo. Watkins has filed a lawsuit in an effort to obtain court files and adoption records that might shed light on what exactly happened in at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis after nearly 20 women came to him expressing concerns that their infants who reportedly died at birth at the now-closed hospital, mostly from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, were actually stolen and adopted by others. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Just in case you haven’t been following along, Missouri’s Republican Governor, Eric Greitens, is currently facing two felony indictments. Here at RedState, we’ve been following the saga.  (More here, here and here.)

The initial charge (for felony invasion of privacy) arises from the allegation that Greitens took a compromising photograph of a woman with whom he had an affair and threatened to publicize it if she ever disclosed their affair to anyone. Greitens has admitted the affair (which took place in 2015, just as he was beginning his run for Governor) but steadfastly denied the allegation regarding the photograph. That case is set to go to trial on May 14th in the City of St. Louis.

The story initially broke back in January. The ex-husband of the woman who was involved with Greitens had apparently recorded a conversation with her in which she confessed to the affair and described the details of their encounter. A local news station ran the story on the evening of Governor Greitens’ State of the State Address.

Since then, it’s been a veritable circus here in the Show-Me State. There have been allegations of irregularities and prosecutorial misconduct, multiple motions to dismiss and hearings thereon, and all sorts of political intrigue, including a press conference announcing an additional criminal referral (for improper use of a donor list during the campaign) from Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley just last week, just as his race against Senatorial incumbent Claire McCaskill is starting to heat up.

Now comes the news that the attorney for the ex-husband of Greitens’ mistress received $100,000 from a mystery donor in early January:

It was a busy day for Al Watkins, one of the lawyers at the center of the invasion of privacy case against Governor Eric Greitens.

Defense attorneys for the Governor dropped the bombshell that sources tell them Watkins, who represents the ex-husband of the Governor’s mistress, accepted a payment of $100,000 from an unnamed political group for representing the man.

James Martin, one of Greitens’ attorneys, never gave any evidence that the group was political in nature.

The defense has filed a subpoena of Watkin’s bank records to prove it.

Watkins told Judge Rex Burlison he will file a motion to quash the subpoena Tuesday. Shortly after the court appearance, Watkins confirmed to reporters that he did receive the payment, but said he didn’t even know the source of the money. He told the Associated Press a courier delivered two payment of $50,000 to his suburban St. Louis office in early January.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch had more details:

Watkins said “there’s no doubt” the cash was related to the Greitens case but he said he didn’t know who it was intended for, and the money came with no instructions.

His office later received “a call from an intermediary,” but he would not identify the source of the money or the intermediary. Watkins said in a press conference after the court hearing that he could not disclose the source.

While there was no explicit instruction on what to do with the money, Watkins said, “it’s really clear that this was given by virtue of what they anticipated to be the fallout from disclosure of these recordings.”

To further complicate matters, there were issues surrounding the deposition appearance and representation of the prosecution’s lead investigator, William Tisaby:

Defense lawyers were supposed to depose Tisaby for a second time Monday, and Greitens’ lawyers complained that Gardner had failed to arrange the deposition Monday. They claimed it was another tactic to delay the trial past May 14.

Gardner countered that she did her best to reach Tisaby over the weekend but couldn’t make contact. Tisaby’s deposition was later rescheduled for Thursday.

Watkins also briefly represented Tisaby until Burlison disqualified him from doing so Monday afternoon. Burlison said he was concerned about the appearance of a conflict of interest and the potential impact on the public’s confidence in the proper administration of justice, because Watkins also represents the ex-husband and testified in front of the grand jury that indicted Greitens.

Stay tuned, folks. The trial doesn’t start for 20 more days. Who knows what other revelations are lurking?

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Communist China’s Latest Intellectual Property Con: Stealing IP Creation

Communist China is not a nice place. Because…Communism.

Amongst its oh-so-many awful deeds – Communist China is a world-renowned den of intellectual property (IP) thieves.

Forget Tariffs, China’s Alleged Intellectual Property Theft a Bigger Threat to Market

China is an “alleged” IP thief – the way Don Juan was an “alleged” fan of women.

How Much Has the US Lost from China’s IP Theft?: “The United States Trade Representative, which led the seven-month investigation into China’s intellectual property theft and made recommendations to the Trump administration, found that ‘Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.’ Those numbers are in line with a 2017 report from the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.”

That’s a lot. Thankfully – after decades of our pretending Communist China isn’t…Communist China – we have elected a president who is in touch with Reality.

(Donald) Trump’s Actions Send a Clear Message: China’s Era of Intellectual Property Theft Is Over

Communist China, of course, knows the right things to say and do – so as to assuage the neglectful world community.

China Launches Campaign to Protect (Intellectual Property Rights) IPRs of Foreign Companies

But this is the set-up of yet another Communist China con. Here’s hoping Team Trump isn’t fooled – and keeps doing exactly what they’re doing to clean up our IP mess.

Seton Motley | Red State | RedState.com

Decades of international enforcement abandonment – combined with a decade-plus of horrendous domestic policy – has severely damaged the United States as a safe haven for IP.

So much so – that we have now dropped out of the top ten on the list for best places for IP investment and development.

Enter the Communist China IP con.

Read carefully what China is saying about IP – and it becomes clear what they are really doing.

Which is setting themselves up to be the recipient of the massive investment coin that will leave the US – as our IP protection continues to deteriorate.

What China is establishing – is the latest version of their China First protectionism.

China has spent the last several decades doing this to other US economic sectors – most notably manufacturing. The IP pattern and plot-line…is disarmingly similar.

The US spent decades imposing all sorts of stupid, expensive government policies on domestic producers. High taxes and countless regulations – followed by even higher taxes and even more regulations.

Thereby making US domestic production…heinously unattractive.

Meanwhile, we allowed China to impose all sorts of impediments to our products entering their market. High tariffs and low import limits – followed by even higher tariffs and even lower import limits.

All the while, our government imposed relatively little government of any kind on imports. As but one of billions of examples: As Trump Tweeted, a car entering the US market – pays a 2.5% tariff. The same car entering China’s market – pays a 25% tariff. Because that’s equitable and fair.

Oh: And if US companies want to do business in China – China demands they hand over their technology and IP. Because that’s fair. Also about which we have done…absolutely nothing.

All of which makes US domestic production…even more heinously unattractive. And moving instead out of the US and into China…more and more alluring.

So US companies have spent the last several decades – making sense. Taking millions of manufacturing jobs out of the US – and into China. Because math.

And this blueprint – is exactly the model China is looking to replicate with IP.

For China – so far, so good. In no small part because we are replicating our stupidity.

We have spent the last decade-plus passing really stupid anti-IP laws.

And the Barack Obama Administration came up with a whole new, titanically stupid way to attack IP.

Federal Trade Commission Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm

Let us pause here for but a moment. Did you get that?

What is a patent? Merriam Webster says: “(T)he exclusive control and possession of a particular individual or party.”

So the Obama government attacking patent holders under antitrust law is – on its face – absolutely ridiculous.

But for China – it is policy worth emulating. Because China has Huawei – a Qualcomm competitor. So…even more protectionism. Help Huawei – by punishing Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Fined $975 Million in China

So let’s check the tally. All of our dumb domestic policy. Combined with China’s massive, ongoing, unaddressed IP theft. And…surprise – we’re no longer in the IP top ten.

China wants the hundreds of billions of IP investment dollars – we seem so intent on driving away.

So they are very publicly setting themselves up as an IP safe haven – if you’re located in China, that is.

That is what is really behind all of China’s public IP proclamations.

So we get statements like this: “‘Stronger IPR protection is the requirement of foreign enterprises, and even more so of Chinese enterprises,’ (Chinese President) Xi said.…”

And stories like this:

China Establishes 19 Intellectual Property Protection Centres: “China has established 19 intellectual property protection centres and will continue to provide more efficient and low-cost rights protection channels, Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, declared on Tuesday.”

And more completely ridiculous statements like this: “Shen pointed out that the results of the Section 301 Investigation of China by the US ignores the objective facts that China has strengthened intellectual property protection, and has always insisted on the equal treatment of intellectual property rights of both domestic and foreign enterprises.”

“China…has always insisted on the equal treatment of intellectual property rights of both domestic and foreign enterprises”…? Ladies and Gentlemen – your Joke of the Day.

Bet this: Communist China is tightening up IP protection – for Chinese companies. And only Chinese companies.

And inviting the US and the world’s IP creators – to become Chinese IP creators. And bring their hundreds of billions of investment dollars with them.

Which would be outstanding…for Communist China.

And absolutely destructive and awful for the US – and everyone else on the planet.

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Ronny Jackson’s Confirmation Hearing on Ice, as Allegations of Misconduct on the Job Investigated

I brought you the report of the possible delay of the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s pick to lead the Veterans Administration, Dr. Ronny Jackson, earlier today.

Democrats with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee say that they have received multiple allegations of workplace misconduct by Jackson from current and former White House medical staff.

Those allegations included reports of a “hostile work environment,” excessive drinking on the job, and the improper dispensing of medications.

This is serious stuff, not to be taken lightly.

The confirmation hearing for Jackson was to take place on Wednesday of this week. Now, it appears that won’t be happening.

Given the severity of the allegations, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has decided to postpone the hearing, while they investigate the claims against Jackson.

What’s not clear, or at least, what nobody is saying, is if there were complaints made against Jackson in the preceding 5 years of his service as the White House physician.

Jackson came to the position in 2013, during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The White House is standing by Jackson, and the decision by President Trump to appoint him to the position once held by David Shulkin.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Others are saying Jackson should be given an opportunity to defend himself.

This is true. He should, but right now, we’re not really sure what he’s defending himself against. Allegations have been made, but the investigation into those allegations has just kicked off. Let the senators do their part by sifting through what was dropped in their laps this past weekend. They’ll likely be speaking to Jackson soon and hearing his side.

There’s no new date for confirmation hearings set, at this time.

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Oops! Top Immigration Restrictionist Group Thinks Terry McAuliffe Is Still Virginia’s Governor

The following article is special to RedState from one of our Beltway Insiders.

A top immigration restrictionist group believes Terry McAuliffe is still the governor of Virginia, according to a widely-dispersed direct mail piece apparently targeting low-information Virginia Republicans.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) recently sent a letter to targeted donors in Virginia urging them to sign a “petition” regarding illegal immigration to Mr. McAuliffe.

There’s just one problem: McAuliffe left office earlier this year, following the expiry of his single, legally-permitted term of office. He was replaced by Gov. Ralph Northam, who has been in the job for several months and who prominently bested Republican Ed Gillespie, who campaigned hard on the illegal immigration issue, with little apparent success.

Included at the bottom of the “petition” is a tear-off sheet, soliciting donations of $15, $25, $50, $100 or “other.”

The mail piece appears targeted at extremely low-information voters, who would be unaware of a gubernatorial election having taken place just last November, and Mr. McAuliffe having left office thereafter as mandated by Virginia law.

Such fundraising efforts are not uncommon, however, this one stands out for its apparent inaccuracy and the fact that it is signed by the group’s executive director, Dan Stein.

Stein has become notorious in some conservative circles for defending “voluntary infanticide,” calling China’s one-child policy simply an “international family planning program,” and being married to Sharon McCloe Stein, a campaigner for “two-child famil[ies]” to achieve massive American population reductions.

It is unclear how much revenue will be brought in by FAIR in response to this fundraising appeal; however, they reportedly have access to $400 million in funding via the Colcom initiative established by a late heiress and Margaret Sanger fan, which raises questions about why they would need to be targeting low-information voters with inaccurate fundraising solicitations.

Questions might also be fairly asked about FAIR’s reliability as a source of quality information regarding immigration, given that the solicitation suggests they do not know who the governor of Virginia is. FAIR’s headquarters are, ironically, located in Virginia.


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BREAKING: Name Released of Driver Who Killed 10 In Toronto

Photo from LinkedIn

The suspect in the deadly attack in Toronto that killed 10 people and injured 15 has been identified.

CBS has the details:

CBS News sources identified the suspect as Alek Minassian, 25, and obtained a photo of him from social media Monday. Officials announced he’s from Richmond Hill — a town in Ontario, Canada. They said that the suspect was not know previously to police.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders increased the death toll from nine during a press conference Monday night, noting that one of the victims died at a hospital.

Asked if there was any evidence of a connection to international terrorism, the chief said only, “Based on what we have there’s nothing that has it to compromise the national security at this time.”

They cannot say that it’s not terrorism at this point, but there was no doubt it was not an accident:

U.S. law enforcement sources told CBS News that the incident appears to be a deliberate act. Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately.

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

“If it was an accident he would have stopped,” Kang said. “But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped.”

RedState will continue to provide updates as they come in.



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Republican Congresswoman Shares Her Own #MeToo Story From When She Was 17 Years Old

In the Wall Street Journal today, Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) spoke publicly for the first time about being sexually abused by her high school track coach when she was 17 years old.

After her father died when she was in middle school, McSally focused on sports, running cross-country and track and throwing the javelin for her high school in Rhode Island. According to her interview with the WSJ, her coach pressured “McSally into having sex with him” and “used a variety of psychological tactics to keep her silent.”

McSally told the WSJ, “It took a while for me to come to a place where I understood what the hell I had been through. At the time, I was so afraid. I now understand—like many girls and boys who are abused by people in authority over them—there’s a lot of fear and manipulation and shame.”

Fortunately, the teenage McSally told two adult women in her life about the abuse, one of whom informed the school’s principal without disclosing McSally’s identity. That woman told the WSJ the school immediately fired the track coach, who was identified as Jack Dwyer using McSally’s school’s 1984 yearbook, though he told the WSJ he resigned to take another job. Dwyer denied the allegations and called McSally “the most scheming woman I ever met.”

Now 52 years old, McSally considered legal options against the coach a decade after the abuse occurred, but her options were limited, due to her age (Rhode Island law criminalizes most consensual sex with individuals under 16) and the statute of limitations.

McSally, who is running for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Senator Jeff Flake, was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat (1995) and the first woman to command a combat aviation unit (2004). She told the WSJ she thinks she became “an endurance athlete and a fighter pilot because I was looking for ways to not be powerless.”

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.

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Hannity Defends Real Estate Deals Against Absurd Media Attack (And He’s Right)

When it comes to Sean Hannity, I readily admit that I will be the first to criticize whenever he says something I find absurd. This was long before Trump and it will probably continue long after Trump. Sometimes I criticize fairly, sometimes I can be too mean.

However, at the end of the day, Hannity is a human being and is entitled to a fair defense whenever there is a media assault launched against him on, at best, spurious grounds. The recent revelations that Hannity’s business dealings with Michael Cohen involved real estate ventures in low-income areas, to me, qualifies.

The Guardian, whose political leanings are quite opposite of Hannity’s, revealed the information in a now widely-circulated story. The major claim against Hannity are that he did not disclose this when covering Ben Carson and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the fact that he worked with Cohen just gives an aura of absolute shadiness to the whole deal.

Hannity defended himself with this statement:

It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money. The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support.

I have never discussed with anybody at HUD the original loans that were obtained in the Obama years, nor the subsequent refinance of such loans, as they are a private matter. I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments. I can say that every rigorous process and strict standard of improvement requirements were followed; all were met, fulfilled and inspected.

The LLC’s are REAL companies that spend real investment money on real properties.

The second paragraph here is important for two reasons.

First, he points out those deals were made during the Obama years – as in before Ben Carson was appointed to lead the department under President Donald Trump. That in itself deals a pretty heavy blow to claims that Hannity didn’t “properly disclose” this information with regard to Carson and the Department. He was under no obligation to because he didn’t make a deal with Carson’s agency.

The second reason that the paragraph is so important is that there is no actual scandal involving the purchase themselves. Everything, legally, appears on the up-and-up. Just because he used Cohen to broker those deals doesn’t make then automatically any less legitimate.

The key issue in this non-scandal is the issue of “disclosure,” which honestly makes very little sense. “Disclosure” in the media is a word we use when we find a possible conflict of interest that would prevent someone honestly and fairly reporting on something or someone. Hannity is neither a journalist nor is he contractually obligated to be “fair.” His show can make or break news, but he himself is not a reporter to be held to the same standards as a traditional reporter would be.

For that matter, it is incredibly easy to pick out a nice handful of disclosures or conflicts of interest in the media. When a sizable chunk of the Beltway media has worked for or made major donations to key Democratic politicians (including presidents) over the past few decades, the idea that Hannity of all people should be held to this standard most media could not fairly hold themselves to is not just absurd. It is insulting.

Hannity has done nothing wrong, and it is only his political ideology and, in particular, his loyalty toward Donald Trump that makes him a target when non-stories like this blow up. It is silly to think that he is somehow this unethical disgrace to journalism when those rules can’t and shouldn’t apply to a partisan talk show host – especially when the supposedly objective media can’t hold themselves to it.

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