Yesterday there was a bit of a circus here at Redstate when one of our writers posted a story about Sean Hannity supposedly nurturing and deepening his connections with the “alt-right” because of a retweet he made while arguing with another radio commentator over…whatever. The original argument wasn’t that interesting, but what Redstate reporter Susan Wright picked up on in the exchange (h/t SooperMexican at the Right Scoop) was a retweet by Hannity of a Twitter user called Pantzilla77.
The use of the word “cuckservative” is what was seized upon. Wright and SooperMexican use this as evidence that Hannity is somehow in league with racists. They both stopped short of calling him a racist but the implications were glaring. From the article:
It’s possible that Hannity has no idea what a “cuck” has come to mean in the alt-right circle, but I kind of doubt that even he missed that bit of information, since it has been a big part of this election season.
SooperMexican was good enough to show the world who Hannity is now aligning himself with on Twitter.
I want to respectfully dissent from my colleague on this issue.
Honestly, I have problems with Wright’s (and Soop’s) assessment and accusations. My biggest issue is using this ridiculous term “alt-right” in the first place. Let’s stop this silliness. There’s only one word for it. Racist. That’s it. Why any conservative would allow themselves to be verbally connected to a term that literally refers to our side of the aisle is beyond me. Branding is important and to the left “alt-right” and “right” mean the same thing…because it refers to the “right”. It seems like bad business if you ask me.
The issue here, apparently, is the meaning of “cuck” and how it is used in reference to politics and Trump. Wright claims that Hannity must know that racists use that word, therefore he’s intentionally aligning himself with them.
I felt motivated to write this response (and please note that I continue to have enormous respect and affection for my colleague, Ms.Wright. This is simply an opinion responding to an opinion) because I felt the assessment of Hannity’s tweet as proof-positive that Trump and Hannity willfully court the racist crowd was unfair and completely uncalled for.
Wright says its “possible” that Hannity doesn’t know what “cuckservative” has come to mean, but she “kind of” doubts it. I think those are pretty squishy terms to be using when you’re accusing a major media personality of embracing racism. There are a lot of inferences in that post.
A lot of my readers already know that I have an aversion to carelessly throwing around the term “racist” because I’ve been the victim of actual racism. I know what it looks like and feels like. I’ve seen true hate and I do not easily ascribe it to others. I’ve been sickened by the accusations of racism being hurled at people who decided they want Trump as their president simply because a dozen or so actual rabid racists voted for Trump too. We in the punditry community have done for the “alt-right” what the liberal mainstream media unwittingly did for Trump – we are giving them free advertising and making them seem more important than they actually are.
Hannity stands accused of giving those people a platform but the #NeverTrump contingency could also be accused of the same.
It is grossly unfair to lump Sean Hannity in with racists simply because he retweeted someone. And I guess I’m an idiot too because I didn’t realize until the very moment of Wright’s article that “cuckservative” was supposed to be some “alt-right” buzzword. I’ve seen friends using it sarcastically in social media and in threads for months now. I suppose my aversion to all this racism ridiculousness led me to automatically ignore any stories on the subject. Perhaps I just missed the memo. I’ve been assuming all this time that it was originally meant to insult conservatives who – in rejecting Trump – seemed to be aligning themselves with the left and Hillary (which, of course is equally ridiculous). I honestly thought it was just something used by fanatics in an attempt to be clever. Now it’s mostly used as a sarcastic response on Facebook threads to anyone who expresses hesitancy in regards to Trump.
I’m an editor at one of the most influential political blogs in the country and even I didn’t think that word was some secret code for “racist.” Furthermore, to assign such a damaging ideology to a man who has worked his way up to the top of one of the largest media organizations in the world simply because he pressed a button that shared a Tweet is irresponsible.
I may not be the biggest Hannity fan in the world, and I’m certainly not sitting on that #TrumpTrain but I have never one day in my life thought of Sean Hannity as a racist or someone who supports racism. To draw the connection between a retweet and supporting a hateful ideology is quite an overreach and Hannity is right to be angry at the inferences. Racism is a very serious charge. We shouldn’t be throwing it around the same way we accuse the left of doing. It is irresponsible and uncalled for.
I still enjoy working with Ms.Wright and this is not personal. I did feel it was important that someone at Redstate made the case for Mr. Hannity. This “alt-right” madness needs to die. It is a negligible movement that is only emboldened by anti-Trump hysterics.