ABC Radio Networks host Sean Hannity claimed that Media Matters for America is funded by financier, philanthropist, and political activist George Soros and that MMFA is attempting to subvert the First Amendment rights of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by asking Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble to review their policies on selling Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. On the August 20 edition of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity read aloud MMFA CEO and President David Brock's August 20 letter to top booksellers, which asked them to reconsider selling the book as a work of nonfiction following reports that key allegations in the book are fraudulent. "What ever happened to free speech in America?" Hannity asked.
Free speech is alive and well, and MMFA is exercising it. And MMFA would like to remind Hannity what he said about the boycott waged against the country music group the Dixie Chicks after lead singer Natalie Maines told a London concert audience in March 2003 that "we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." While Hannity noted that the Dixie Chicks were exercising their First Amendment rights, he also defended the radio stations that banned the group's records as follows: "That's free speech."
From an interview with New York City radio personality Lisa G. on the May 1, 2003, edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes:
LISA G: But to take a steamroller over their [the Dixie Chicks'] CDs and ban their records?
HANNITY: That's their free speech. So? Let me practice their free -- you want the Dixie Chicks to have free speech.
LISA G: That's a dictatorship.
HANNITY: No, it's not. It's ...
LISA G: For a program director on a radio station ...
HANNITY: That's free speech.
LISA G: That's free speech?
HANNITY: Yes, it is.
As for Hannity's inquiry concerning MMFA's financial support (i.e., "How much does George [Soros] give ya?"), while MMFA has defended Soros against false and malicious attacks (which have run rampant throughout the conservative media as part of a concerted attempt to discredit Senator John Kerry), MMFA has not received funding from Soros. But all are welcome to contribute to MMFA, and we encourage anyone interested in doing so to click here to donate.
From the August 20 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: Let me, um, let me tell you it is -- it is -- this is one of the scariest moments that I have ever seen as it relates to the left in America today, and I'm not kidding. Do you wanna know how desperate John Kerry is? You wanna know how desperate John Kerry's supporters are that they now wanna silence brave men who have served their country? They wanna silence these men and their little surrogates, or these 527 groups, the little Soros -- little Soros web, uh, web, tangled web out there. But these 250 Vietnam vets, who have spoken out against John Kerry, have a right, ladies and gentlemen, to be heard. They've earned that right; they've put themselves in harm's way.
And if you wanna see just how detestable these people have now become, if you dare to raise a question, if you dare to give your accounting, 64 go on the record, and it's chronicled in this book if you can now get a hold of it. You know I read this on, um -- where did I see this first, uh, U.S. Newswire. I mean this is how bad it's getting. They have this, uh, they have David Brock, he's -- he's the head of one of these -- I believe it's a website funded by George Soros, so he's obviously doing the work for the, you know, obviously for the left-wingers out there. This is how insane this has gotten. And -- and he writes to -- sends a letter to Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble asking top booksellers to review their policies on selling Unfit for Command.
By the way, I gotta tell you something folks, I -- I been through -- I know what smearing and being smeared in a book is about. I can't tell you how many books in the last three years have come out that just absolutely trash me and lie about me, a ton of them. And I don't -- I do not pay any attention to it, because it's a lie, you know it's a lie, so why bother -- why bother worrying your little heart. I say let not my heart be troubled. I'm not gonna care what a bunch of left-wingers think about me or this program or what I do for a living. I care what you think, because I can't be successful without your support.
But now here's -- here's how far they have gone. They're writing a letter to these CEOs, and it says, "In light of the [sic: an] August 19 report in The Washington Post (titled 'Records Counter a Critic of Kerry') proving that a key ..." which, by the way, this is not true, I disagree with this wholeheartedly, "... proving that a key allegation in the new book Unfit for Command by John [E.] O'Neill and Jerome [R.] Corsi is fraudulent, I'm writing to express my concern that by continuing to sell Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry as a work of nonfiction, prominent book retailers are complicit in a literary hoax." So they don't want the book sold.
Listen to this, "The Post reported ..." and it goes on to say what they say that, um, uh, '[n]ewly obtained military records of John [sic: 'one of Sen. John F.'] Kerry's most vocal critics, who have [sic: 'has'] accused the Democratic presidential candidate about [sic: 'of'] lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.' This is but the latest in a long line of evidence that Unfit for Command is a fraud, with no basis in reality and no attempt to convey the truth." Then it talks about Slate[.com] and Slate[.com] editors and what they call it, etc. "With the revelations of August 19, it's clear that Unfit for Command ..." listen to this: "... is the Hitler Diaries of the current political season -- a complete fraud. As you know, and ..." I'm gonna get to the Salon[.com] article in just a second.
"[A]s Salon.com reported [on August 19], '[T]here is a long-standing tradition by reputable publishers of withdrawing titles that prove to be hoaxes or frauds.' I [would] hope that in the case of Unfit for Command, Regnery, the book's publisher, would do the right thing and withdraw it from publication. However, given Regnery's history as an irresponsible publisher, I have no expectation, nor should you, that it will act responsibly with respect to this deeply flawed book. I therefore ask you to consider what is the responsibility of a bookseller when a prominent work of nonfiction is found to be based on false information. As the president [and CEO] of ..." his little group here, "... a nonprofit organization ..." -- by the way, I'd like to know, are you funded by Soros, David? Are funded by George? How much does George give ya? Why don't you put it up there right on the front of your website?
"... that seeks to rid the U.S. media (including book publishing) of conservative misinformation, I ask you consider taking some action on Unfit for Command -- if not simply pulling it from the shelf -- [to] alert your customers this book [is] a paid political hatchet job ..." Well, who's been paid? Where's the evidence? "... full of false allegations and lies. One way you could do that [sic: so] is to prominently place on your Unfit for Command product page a link to ... one of the many ..." people that are out there refuting this [sic: "refutations of Unfit for Command and the organization behind it"]. And, oh, then I guess he wants to plug his organization. What a -- what a shock there.
Um, do you realize that what -- what we have going on here? What ever happened to free speech in America?