HANNITY

Why Does Russell Simmons Think Hannity Is More Gangster Than Snoop Dogg?

Hip-hop mogul and activist talks 'Occupy' movement, 2012

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Since it started, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement has drawn praise from many liberal Hollywood celebrities. Russell Simmons is one of them -- why are you laughing?

He's made a few appearances at several "Occupy" rallies all across the country. And joining me now to explain why he has thrown his support behind the movement, the man himself. His book "Super Rich" is now out in paperback. And we welcome back to the program the chairman of what is it, Russ Communications, founder of globalgrind.com, Russell Simmons.

"Super Rich," you know, I'm thinking because you've been in what, the Zuccotti Park about 50 times?

RUSSELL SIMMONS, RUSH COMMUNICATIONS: Maybe 30 or 40.

HANNITY: OK, and you meditate in the morning you said with the people down there.

SIMMONS: With some of the people they meditate in the morning. I do sometimes.

HANNITY: That's cool. I don't have any problem with that. Do you ever feel bad? You are a wealthy, wealthy, wealthy man and you never have to work another day in your life.

SIMMONS: No.

HANNITY: Do you ever feel bad about being rich, guilty about being rich?

SIMMONS: No, I worked hard to get where I am at, absolutely not. I feel good about giving because all I get, I'm going to give. I give it all the time. I run five charities, but I don't feel bad about earning and I don't feel bad about our system that allows me to earn either.

HANNITY: Are you uncomfortable with what has gone on down there? Sex in public, many, many -- and I've chronicled all this -- anti-Semitic statements made by people down there.

We've had many instances of nudity and drug use and then it got violent in many locations. Do you have any problem associating yourself with a movement that also has a strong element that is quite negative?

SIMMONS: Well, you know, I have two thoughts about this. One, we are very compassionate. The movement is, I mean, in taking care of the homeless and the vagrants. The fact is they let people off from Rikers Island and there is free food -- right down the block, and let them off from Rickers Island. There is free food and clothes and tents there and many people have joined the movement. Some people who joined the movement were inspired and found purpose, some of the homeless and vagrants. But it's very nice that they are so compassionate.

But I think now that the mayor has cleared the park out and the same thing across the country, now the people who are the nucleus of the movement are not responsible. But the cities themselves are not responsible here to because there are so many homeless. But those homeless people are back out --

HANNITY: Zuccotti had to set up a special tent to protect women because sexual assault was rampant. That's how bad it got there. You are a powerful, famous guy, and you're lending your name. The president lent his name to the movement and Nancy Pelosi. Why are you smiling?

SIMMONS: I don't know that the president loaned his name, he said he understood their frustration.

Let me say this. I think that what "Occupy Wall Street" has that's in common with you, myself, any Republican, any Democrat, any Tea Party member, all of us believe, nine out of 10 Americans believe the corporations and special interests have too much control over our government and what they are at Wall Street for, they are concerned Wall Street has control of their future. When you elect an official, Republican, Democrat, whatever, you want that official to work for you.

But the truth is those officials work for special interests and corporations and that's the core problem, we talk about the inequalities. If you talk about healthcare or jobs overseas, that's because corporations -- let me just finish this one point -- that's because corporations are having politicians work for them instead of the people who elected them. That's the good that can come from.

HANNITY: What about the cronyism in government? Here's the president, has big bundlers, give them hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars --

SIMMONS: Wrong. It's wrong that they do it.

HANNITY: So this is President Obama.

SIMMONS: Yes.

HANNITY: You are saying President Obama, the big bundlers get access and then they get kickbacks. It's called kickbacks for the money.

SIMMONS: It amounts to legal bribery and I think that --

HANNITY: President Obama is involved in legal bribery?

SIMMONS: All of our politicians are. And what I would like to see happen, and I promoted a constitutional amendment, the longest running congressmen wrote this amendment, and when I have strong bipartisan support, I want to bring it -- I already introduced it at "Occupy Boston."

This idea that legal bribery, all the money, all of it leaves Washington. It sounds like a revolutionary idea, but all of America would go for it. It's an easy sound bite. We want the money out of Washington and the bribery to stop. It's an easy thing to do. A constitutional amendment, which I promoted is only four lines. It's easy to understand and it would change this country for the better.

HANNITY: I'm actually very glad you said it because it is so transparent and lot of people that are liberal who like the president support it.

You and I have some unfinished business. We have some clearing of the air.

SIMMONS: Personal stuff?

HANNITY: We have some clearing of the air.

SIMMONS: But I like you.

HANNITY: I like you too, but you said --

SIMMONS: You and I agree on a lot of things on "Occupy" -- oh, are you going to bring that up?

HANNITY: I'm bringing it up. This is what you said about me.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP FROM WASHINGTON TIMES WATER COOLER BLOG, MAY 10)

SIMMONS: Common's a pretty, peaceful, loving poet. Poet's job is to say things people think even if you don't like it. That's their job.

Every rapper that's famous is less gangster, less homophobic, less racist, less sexist than Sean Hannity. And I like him, but that's what I'm saying about the rappers I know. Like Snoop Dogg is less sexist than him, a Snoop Dogg is less racist than him and a Snoop Dogg is less homophobic than him and a Snoop Dogg is lot less gangster than him. So Sean Hannity has to handle his own business. He's got his own issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Gangster? Hannity? Gangster? Come on.

SIMMONS: In that you respond to -- like Snoop Dogg somewhere at a peace rally smoking a joint and you would likely --

HANNITY: I don't smoke a joint.

SIMMONS: I know you wouldn't smoke a joint. I called and you told you, I took back the word racist.

HANNITY: You did, you said I'm not racist or homophobic.

SIMMONS: I don't know that you're not homophobic. I don't know that you are.

HANNITY: This is important. I'm libertarian. I don't care what people do privately. It's none of my business.

SIMMONS: That's nice.

HANNITY: None. Zero. I have my religious faith and I follow my faith, but I don't impose my values on others. You did apologize.

SIMMONS: I did. I called you.

HANNITY: You did.

SIMMONS: I called you to apologize.

HANNITY: And I appreciated that.

SIMMONS: And I thought about a lot of the conservatives and how I felt that some of them were very closed-minded and I thought of you, and I think of you as a conservative.

HANNITY: I am. I'm a registered conservative.

SIMMONS: I thought of a lot of them and I shouldn't bundle them up.

HANNITY: We're good.

SIMMONS: What if I take that back?

HANNITY: Which part?

SIMMONS: The racist part.

HANNITY: You did take it back.

SIMMONS: And the homophobic part.

HANNITY: All right, done.

Listen, I just want you to explain to America how I'm more gangster than Snoop Dogg.

SIMMONS: Because I think you would be quick to go to war.

HANNITY: I am. Against evil.

SIMMONS: And you would be quick to react. Evil is a difficult thing. Just because you don't agree with somebody, I think there's always a chance for dialogue.

That's what I do for a living, I promote dialogue. I think that a lot of times we find that for instance, the race to war in Iraq and the race of war in Afghanistan.

I was protesting both of them even before the boots were on the ground. I was saying it's not a good move for America.

HANNITY: We just disagree --

SIMMONS: And I think that's gangster government that goes to war so quickly.

HANNITY: It was a pretty classy thing for you to call me and say I really didn't mean that I and appreciated it. And that has never happened in my career, people that say something that was so over the top and I appreciate it.

SIMMONS: Thank you. Nice to see you.

HANNITY: All right, nice to see you again.

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