Dr. Laura Schlessinger's controversial N-word rant has been Hannitized.
When last we heard from the caustic radio host, she was resigning in disgrace after using a racial epithet 11 times during a call in which she also told an African American woman, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race."
After those comments were publicized by Media Matters, Schlessinger's advertisers dropped her show in droves. Within days, Schlessinger told CNN's Larry King that she would leave her radio show, bogusly claiming that she was doing so in order to reclaim her "First Amendment rights."
Enter Sean Hannity.
Hosting Schlessinger, the resident Fox News cleaner bantered about tattoos and navel piercings before playing a portion of Schlessinger's rant. He then asked Dr. Laura to explain the ensuing controversy.
Defiantly, Schlessinger said that she "didn't regret the context" of her comments and lashed out at "the NAACP, Media Matters [and] The Urban League," all of whom she accused of "plotting and planning how to take me off the air."
Schlessinger claimed the controversy "was not really about a word" - a word that she used 11 times to near universal ridicule and condemnation -- but rather was "an opportunity to eliminate" a conservative voice. Hannity took the baton from there:
HANNITY: In light of what happened in Tucson and the tragedy there, and we had Sarah Palin on last night and talk radio was blamed and the Fox News Channel was blamed, and RFK Jr. writes an article -- I'm a merchant of hate. Is this what it's really all about?
Actually, that's not what it was all about. The controversy was simply a matter of Schlessinger's radio sponsors deciding not to pay her to make those comments anymore.
Nor was this appearance was about setting the record straight. This was about turning the very straightforward fact that Schelssinger's comments had consequences into a narrative about victimization of conservatives and ... Sarah Palin:
HANNITY: So you think this is a new McCarthy era --
SCHLESSINGER: Absolutely. I mean it's blatant.
HANNITY: Are you or have you ever been a conservative?
SCHLESSINGER: Blatant. Yes, I have.
HANNITY: What do you think -- why is Sarah Palin always picked out?
SCHLESSINGER: Because -- can I say it bluntly?
SCHLESSINGER: She has balls, and they don't like that in a woman. She's pretty. She's smart. She's tough. She is strong. She won't quit. She won't back down. They can't stand that. Now they got two of us.
HANNITY: She said last night they are not going to shut her up.
SCHLESSINGER: No, and she texted me today to tell me to say she had a great time with you and -- on the show.
Recall that during the height of the condemnation of Schlessinger's comments - and her insipid claim that her first amendment rights had been violated - Palin encouraged the radio host to "reload" and said that she could "understand how [Schlessinger] can feel 'shackled'" by her critics.
This week, the texting buddies have teamed up to show that conservatives can always count on Hannity to tidy up their mess.