Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Sean Hannity isn’t exactly renowned for his firm grip on reality. (Early in his career, he argued that HIV could be transmitted by tears and spit.) But the Fox News host set a new modern record for the bizarre when it came to Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait.
Where most people saw an interesting modern take on official portraiture, Hannity saw sperm.
Hannity’s website ran headlong into the embrace of a racist (and bogus) meme that the artist who painted the portrait, Kehinde Wiley, often include images of sperm in his paintings. (Wiley identifies as gay.) The painting included “sexually inappropriate innuendo,” Hannity alleged and included a close up of the offending semen.
The allegation was actually a two-fer: It claimed that Wiley boasted about “killing whitey.”
Of course, none of this was true, and the post eventually came down. Hannity claimed that his staff posted it without his knowledge and that it did not “reflect my voice and message.”
Too bad for Hannity that didn’t occur to anyone until he said so.
While this particular effort was a failure, it was of a piece with other right-wing attempts to sexualize Obama. White supremacists see blacks as hypersexual, and the right wing has certainly enjoyed dishing about Obama’s sexual life. By contrast, the current president, with an on-the-record admission of sexual assault and a porn star mistress that his lawyer paid off to keep quite, gets “a mulligan.”
Apparently, conservatives don’t limit their hypocrisy to politics.