One day after the funeral of conservative online blogger and publisher Andrew Breitbart, his top editors took to the airwaves Wednesday night on Fox’s “Hannity” to expose what appeared to be a deeper relationship between President Barack Obama and radical black activist Derrick Bell than previously known.
Breitbart.com Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak and Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro presented a video clip during the program which they claimed had been intentionally hidden during the 2008 campaign to boost President Obama’s election chances.
“It’s basically a cover up of pretty monumental proportions,” teased Hannity in his syndicated national radio program, “The Sean Hannity Show” prior to the broadcast. “There was a concerted effort here to prevent the American people from knowing who Obama’s associates, friends were.”
Video footage shown during the "Hannity" TV segment captured Obama’s introduction of Bell at a 1991 demonstration when Obama attended Harvard and served as president of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama could be seen urging fellow students to “open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell,” and the two men were shown embracing as Obama turned the microphone over to the controversial activist.
In yet another video, recorded during a 2011 lecture by Harvard professor Charles Ogletree — an Obama mentor — Ogletree could be seen and heard on camera acknowledging his role in keeping the earlier tape of Obama’s introduction of Bell from surfacing.
“Of course we hid this throughout the 2008 campaign,” he told students. “I don’t care if they find it now.”
Pollak described Bell as the Rev. “Jeremiah Wright of academia” and accused him of having some “crazy ideas.”
Bell died last year and Ogletree refused to appear on the program, according to host Sean Hannity.
Shapiro also accused PBS member station WGBH-TV in Boston of selectively editing the clip to remove Obama’s plea for students to open their hearts and minds to Bell.
“Just two months before this speech was given, Derrick Bell gave a controversial speech in Chicago where he said that America remains a racist country and the civil rights movement essentially was a sham because white supremacy remains the system and we’ve got to transform that system radically in order to get rid of racism,” according to Pollak.
He added that Bell’s speech — and Obama’s introduction of him — has been noted in countless biographies and other accounts. “This speech that he gave about Derrick Bell is referenced and mentioned in many of them, but nobody bothered — either through laziness or active suppression — to find out what Obama said and what his connection was with Derrick Bell and to find out more about who Derrick Bell is and what he believed.”
Fox News contributor Juan Williams, who also appeared on the program, said he was disappointed with the revelations that had been promised by Breitbart himself during a February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.
“I must say, I thought this was going to be so much more,” admonished Williams. “I thought this was going to be a smoking gun, as you described it. But it really didn't come to much.”
Williams went on to question the premise of the segment. “For him to be a role model to Barack Obama -- what is that? Guilt by association?”
But Michelle Malkin, author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies,” defended the segment.
“Oh come on. No, no, no,” she interrupted. “I reject this idea that we should just shrug our shoulders and buy the PBS/BuzzFeed line that there is nothing new here. Stop it. This is news. They didn't want to talk about it then and they don't want to talk about it now.”
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