Media Misleading America on Ground Zero Mosque?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Adding another interesting element to the Ground Zero mosque controversy is the angle with which the mainstream media have chosen to cover the story.

Now we here at Fox, we have been diligent about bringing you all the latest developments and presenting both sides of the story. But some of the other channels have decided to use this as yet another opportunity to push their liberal agenda on you, the American viewer.

And here to help expose the most outrageous examples of media bias in the mosque coverage is the president of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell, is back with us.

Brent, welcome back.

BREN BOZELL, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Sean, how are you doing?

HANNITY: I'm doing fine. All right. Let's just start with how the media has been covering the Ground Zero mosque controversy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ON MSNBC'S "HARDBALL": It's clear that the Republicans are trying to demagogue this.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "JOHN KING, USA": When you look at the polling and the American people say they don't want this project here at Ground Zero, is it suspicion of Muslims, mistrust of Muslims, bigotry toward Muslims? A little bit of each, none of the above?

ANDREA MITCHELL, HOST, MSNBC'S "ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS": Getting rowdy and ugly and inaccurate, in fact. And we're going to try to set record straight on some of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ON MSNBC'S "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Since the days of 9/11 we've seen that there's been a simmering boil of anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate from the fringe in our country. And unfortunately that's been there.

But responsible leaders in both parties have been ignoring that fringe. But unfortunately now we see that that responsibility has gone away, And now that the leadership is embracing some of this hate for rhetoric. And it's just -- was disgusting and shameful.

NORAH O'DONNELL ON MSNBC'S "MORNING JOE": When do we stop praising politicians for doing what is right just because it's not politically expedient? I thought the reason everybody is groaning all the time about our politicians is because they're such hacks and nobody stands up for what's right.

Who cares about the concrete? Somebody has got to say that, you know, we're not going to act like the people who stole freedom from Americans, the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people.


HANNITY: Listen to this, Brent. Demagogue, bigotry, loud, heated, ugly, inaccurate, hateful rhetoric, disgusting, shameful. Listen to the way the mainstream media is portraying this thing. What -- your reaction to this?

BOZELL: Sean, you almost don't know where to start on this one. They say that it's the fringe that's upset. Look at the polling. The polling shows that it's 70 percent of the American people. What that does that mean? That means every conservative, every moderate and some liberals, too.

The only people who think this is a good idea is the far-left and people still dropping acid today.

HANNITY: There's one person in particular that the media just has tried to demonize I think more than any other, and that's former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who's has been very outspoken.

Let's look at what the media has had to say about him.


MATT LAUER, C-HOST, NBC'S "TODAY": Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compared building a mosque on that site to the Nazis putting up a sign at the Holocaust Museum. Do you agree with that analogy?

You know, he's comparing it to the Nazis. We were at war against the Nazis. We are not at war against with Islam. Never have been, are not now.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST, MSNBC'S "MORNING JOE": Newt Gingrich, the guy who's leading in a lot of presidential preference polls across the country, said this to -- had this to say --


SCARBOROUGH: … about the First Amendment. "There's nothing surprising in the president's continued pandering to radical Islam. What he said last night is untrue. Inaccurate."

And then he went on to say this would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.

Mark, I don't know where to begin.

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, MSNBC'S "COUNTDOWN": Pastor Martin Niemoller's words are well- known but their context is not well understood. And quoting him, I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the holocaust. Such a comparison is ludicrous. At least it is now.


BOZELL: Look, you know, first of all, Joe Scarborough is feeling more and more at home at MSNBC and God love him for that. But please, don't tell me any more -- give me any more lectures about being a great conservative.

To Matt Lauer, making the statement we're not at war with Islam. OK. Maybe we're not. But he doesn't seem to understand radical Islam is at war with us. They do things like destroy the twin towers.


BOZELL: They do things like terrorist attacks every single day. They make speeches every sing day from their caves or wherever it might be that they're out to destroy the United States of America.

HANNITY: And Brent, I want to get this in.

BOZELL: And Matt Lauer and company just want to turn around and walk away.

HANNITY: And look how they praise "The Anointed One" for bravery in spite of the fact once again he's at odds with the American people.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER ON CBS: While some Democrats are treating the issue like a political minefield others have applauded the president for standing up for a core American value.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST, ABC'S "THIS WEEK": Clearly President Obama from the very beginning went out of his way to try to repair relations with the Islamic world which had been so devastatingly damaged over the previous eight years.

MITCHELL: President made a statement and drew a lot of praise for at least taking a stand that was politically courageous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ON ABC'S "THIS WEEK": I thought that the speech Friday night was a model of political courage in the sense that he said what believed knowing that it was going to cost him.


HANNITY: Is there anybody in the left wing media that doesn't get a thrill up their leg every time he opens his mouth, Brent?

BOZELL: This is embarrassing. The president changed his position the very next day. What are they going to say? On Saturday he was also a good position he was taking? I hope -- you know, look, if Barack Obama runs on this in 2012, he will make Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.


BOZELL: This is how bad -- Harry Reid is running as fast as he can from this position. This is how bad this position is.

HANNITY: Yes. And --

BOZELL: And everybody understands it except for the press.

HANNITY: And of course we're going to be investigated by Nancy Pelosi.

Brent, good to see you.

BOZELL: Take care.

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