BRENNAN ACCUSED BY HANNITY, GORKA, & DESANTIS
On many occasions, most recently on July 25, 2018, both Sean Hannity and frequent guest and Fox News commentator Sebastian Gorka have brought up the fact that ex-CIA director John O. Brennan voted for a communist candidate in 1976, implying Brennan was and could still be a member of the Communist Party. Mr. Brennan has been an outspoken critic of President Trump since he left his office at the CIA, which means that Mr. Brennan spoke out as a private citizen. His words are covered by the First Amendment.
Florida Congressman and current gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis took the accusations a step further by saying that Brennan “was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War.” Mr. DeSantis made this claim in an interview on Fox News Monday, July 16, 2018. Let us recall that July 16 was the day Donald Trump had his infamous two hour meeting with Vladmir Putin alone, with only translators in attendance.
Sean Hannity really should’ve gone to college. I mean really, he should have gone to college. If he would have, Mr. Hannity wouldn’t be repeating the same mistakes US Senator Joseph McCarthy made when he spearheaded the anti-communist movement from 1947-1957 called the Second Red Scare after WWII. Today, kids in high school and college US history classes learn about McCarthyism, which is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
Hmm…making accusations against people with no actual evidence…why does that sound familiar? Oh, ah, let me see, oh! Sean Hannity has thrown out wild accusations against those whom he perceives as political opponents for years. The short list of people Hannity has accused without evidence includes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Adam Schiff, John Brennan, James Clapper, Diane Feinstein, Rod Rosenstein, James Comey, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Andrew Weissman, and Robert Mueller. And that’s just in 2018.
Sean Hannity is Joseph McCarthy’s heir apparent. He regularly points out that ex-CIA chief John Brennan once voted for a communist (when he was in his early 20’s). Good Night, and Good Luck, about Edward R. Murrow taking on Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare, when anyone who had any association with anything to do with communism was scared of being dragged in front of Mr. McCarthy’s senate committee.
Here are the occasions Mr. Hannity, Mr. Gorka, and Mr. DeSantis accused John Brennan of being affiliated with the Communist Party, copied and pasted from Hannity and Fox News interviews at foxnews.com and politifact.com:
On Fox News, July 16, 2018:
DESANTIS: [John Brennan] was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War.
From Hannity, July 25, 2018:
HANNITY: The White House announced this week that it was looking into stripping the security clearance from several Obama era officials. One of the people who may be losing his privilege is, yes, the only guy that voted for a communist for president. How he ever became the CIA director is a mystery, director John Brennan.
GORKA: Secondly, you mention it in your introduction — how is it that John Brennan even got a job at the CIA when he admitted to voting for the communist party at the height of the Cold War when the Soviet Union had 25,000 nuclear warheads aimed at this country and when it was committed to our destruction.
WAS JOHN BRENNAN REALLY A COMMUNIST?
Politifact and CNN answered this question. Mr. Brennan did in fact vote for communist candidate Gus Hall for president in 1976. Mr. Brennan’s explanation for voting for Mr. Gus was that it was an act of civil disobedience, preferring not to vote with the mainstream, as he did not want to vote for the Republican Candidate Gerald Ford or Democratic Candidate Jimmy Carter.
Of course, just because Mr. Brennan voted for a communist once does not make him a member of the communist party. The fact that Sean Hannity, Sebastian Gorka and Ron DeSantis have focused on Mr. Brennan’s one-time vote is a staple at Fox News. They frame the argument for their audience through focusing on one incident in Mr. Brennan’s life, ignoring his life of service to the United States intelligence community. It speaks to John Brennan’s impeccable record as a public servant that Fox News could only find this one incident from Brennan’s youth to exploit.
Of course, voting for the communist party does not make someone a member of the communist party. During the Red Scare, people who had attended one meeting of the communist party were subject to being called to testify in front of Joseph McCarthy’s house committee. Like Sean Hannity and Fox News, people were accused of being a communist without evidence, based purely on circumstantial evidence and hearsay.
It is appalling how much Fox News’ tactics of discrediting Americans who criticize Donald Trump parallels Joseph McCarthy’s techniques of baseless accusations during the Red Scare.