Fox News Republican talk show host Sean Hannity went on the defensive Monday night after one of his guests criticized him for elevating Dr. Ben Carson, who went on the show recently and compared being gay to having sex with animals and raping children.
Reacting to the criticism, Hannity defended Carson, saying: "He's articulate, he's smart, he's got common sense."
Joining Hannity on Monday were radio host and civil rights attorney Leo Terrell and Niger Innis, spokesperson for the advocacy group Congress of Racial Equality. Terrell in particular has not been given an easy ride on the "Hannity" show. His last appearance, in January, ended with Terrell deflecting the host's racially inflammatory remarks by covering his ears and refusing to speak anymore.
Something similar happened Monday, with Hannity and Innis claiming Terrell would rather Carson be censored than allowed to air hurtful comments about LGBT people. Hannity even called criticism of black conservatives "an ongoing epidemic," suggesting that's the real reason why Carson, who is an African-American conservative, faced major pushback over his remarks. "There's no freedom of speech for African-American conservatives in America," he said.
“That's not true," Terrell insisted. "Sean Hannity, you created a monster. Ben Carson, you're a doctor, you're not a politician... This guy is a monster who you created. You created him. Ever since that prayer breakfast, Dr. Carson put his size 12 foot in his mouth...”
"I've known you for a long time," Hannity shot back. "You put your foot in your mouth all the time. You've done it a lot in your life."
"No!" Terrell shouted. "This guy equated homosexuality to beastiality. He has made a big mistake... You have elevated this guy and given him 15 minutes of fame."
"I think he's a friend," Hannity said. "He's articulate, he's smart, he's got common sense."
Hannity suddenly shifted gears and no longer wanted to talk about Carson, instead asking Terrell to respond to opinions expressed by Luis León, pastor at the church where President Barack Obama, like numerous presidents before him, attended an Easter Sunday service. Leon criticized religious conservatives who claim faith exclusively for their own, whipping up a gale wind of controversy on the political right.
Terrell clammed up and didn't respond, leaving Hannity to hum the theme to "Jeopardy" and giving Niger a chance to step in with a commentary about the "horrors" of liberal speakers like Dr. Bill Ayers and convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal. He added that Terrell seems to favor "Joe McCarthy censorship" over freedom of expression when it comes to African-American conservatives speaking up for their beliefs.
"Leo, I know the truth hurts like hell, but it's just the truth, Leo," he said.
Clearly annoyed at the suggestion, Terrell asked why Niger has not appeared on any other Fox News program. "You are a one-trick pony," he said before ripping out his earpiece and refusing to participate in the conversation any further.
This video is from "Hannity," aired Monday, April 1, 2013.