What a way to mark 15 years on the air. During Fox News' celebratory broadcast from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Sean Hannity welcomed radio host Neal Boortz to help mark the milestone. Boortz, who is no fan of President Obama, intoned, "Barack Obama is a bigger disaster to this country than 9-11." The crowd behind him cheered loudly.
From the exchange with Hannity:
HANNITY: You once told me that you always viewed yourself as an entertainer. You don't feel that way anymore. Nine-eleven changed you. The state of the economy changed you. And you told -- remember the conversation that we had?
BOORTZ: Nine-eleven changed me somewhat but -- is AttackWatch -- you think they're -- OK. Barack Obama is a bigger disaster to this country than 9-11.
BOORTZ: And you talk about changing -- if you took the phrase "fair share," "millionaires and billionaires," and "pass this bill" out of his vocabulary, he would be unable to deliver a speech.
[laughter and cheering]
HANNITY: Wait, what do you mean he's more disastrous than 9-11? We've lost 3,000 lives.
BOORTZ: Because, look, the American people developed a fighting spirit after 9-11 and we responded. We went back after them and if allowed to, the defeat would be total. But Barack Obama, what he has done to our economy, what he has done to the American spirit of individual responsibility and self-reliance -- you know, killing 3,000 people is a tragedy, Sean. It is a real tragedy. But killing the individualism, the self-reliance, and the self-respect of the American people, like Barack Obama has done, is much more of a tragedy.
Hannity then stated: "All right. Thank you both for being here on the 15th anniversary. Appreciate you." The crowd could still be heard clapping and cheering wildly as Hannity spoke. He did not revisit Boortz's remarks during the rest of his show.
It's telling that Fox would welcome Boortz to its guest lineup to mark its 15-year anniversary in a city that he openly disparaged just a few months ago. But as we've noted in the past, reckless rhetoric is welcomed on the network.
Indeed, in June, Boortz went on an extended, racially charged tirade about crime and "too many urban thugs" in Atlanta. He said that the city "harbors an urban culture of violence" and that "too damn many urban thugs, yo," are "ruining the quality of life for everybody." He went on to warn residents that "what it's gonna take" is for people to carry guns. He added:
BOORTZ: [Y]ou do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need to see the next guy that tries to carjack you shot dead right where he stands. We need more dead thugs in this city. And let their -- let their mommas -- let their mommas say, "He was a good boy. He just fell in with the good crowd." And then lock her ass up.
This wasn't the first time Boortz has brought up the 9-11 attacks in conjuction with Obama. In December 2009, Boortz wrote on his Twitter feed that 9-11 was "[h]orrible," but "the damage Obama and the Dems are doing will surpass this tragic event."
He also claimed in June 2009 that "Obama's health care plan is going to end up killing people. ... Especially among the ranks of the elderly, there's gonna be people who die."