Keith Ellison has full-blown meltdown on Sean Hannity's show [VIDEO]

hannity ellison rect 2.jpg
Ellison didn't exactly try to elevate the level of political discourse during his segment with Hannity.
:::: UPDATE :::: DFL thanks Keith Ellison for melting down on Sean Hannity's show

During a shockingly heated debate last October, Keith Ellison made headlines for calling last year's challenger to his congressional seat, Chris Fields, a "lowlife scumbag." After the story went national with coverage that was mostly critical of his diss, Ellison apologized.

SEE ALSO: Keith Ellison on the GOP: "Why do they want to become the party of hate?"

But he apparently didn't totally learn his lesson. Because Ellison was clearly operating out of the same playbook during his must-watch appearance yesterday on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.

Hannity invited Ellison on to talk about sequestration. But before the interview began, Hannity ran a video package that mocked "alarmist in chief" Barack Obama for repeating himself during recent speeches, for not being in Washington yesterday to try to hammer out a last-minute deal with congressional Republicans, and for using a teleprompter, among other grievances.

"If and when the Obama sequester takes effect on Friday, it's because the president was more concerned with fear-mongering than finding a solution to the problem he himself created," Hannity concluded after the video ended.

He then introduced Congressman Ellison, who was hot and bothered from the start. Here's a transcription of most of what was said during the interview -- transcribing every word of Ellison's constant string of interruptions would've been a superhuman task -- followed by the raw video.
ELLISON: Quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist I have ever seen.

HANNITY: I am the what? I can't hear you.

ELLISON: You heard me. What you just displayed was not journalism, it was yellow journalism. It wasn't anything close to trying to tell the American people what's really going on, and, it's just shocking to me--

HANNITY: To play Obama in his own words is yellow journalism?

ELLISON: Well with the background music and with your lead-up before you let the president talk. Let me tell you, I was here [i.e., in Washington D.C.]. Everything the president said is absolutely true and for you to try and make the American people think it isn't is deceptive on your part. And it's a breach of everything -- every journalistic ethic I have ever heard of was just violated by you. And the president was truthful, he was honest, what the president said was dead-on accurate. And for you to say the president is to blame here is ridiculous. I was there in August 2011, when the Republican Party, your party, which you shamelessly--

HANNITY: [Over Ellison's interruptions] I'm not a Republican, let me correct the record.

ELLISON: You are nothing but a Republican.

HANNITY: Sir, sir, Congressman, I am not a registered Republican, I am a registered conservative. [Ellison continues trying to talk over him]

ELLISON: You alibi them constantly, you alibi them 100 percent of the time.

HANNITY: Keep going, keep ranting.

ELLISON: What the president said is absoultey true. The people watching your show should ignore all the commentary that you put in, and all the hype music you put on, and should pay attention to what the president actually said. Because what the president said was true. You by the way are inaccurate when you say that the president is to blame here. He's not. It was the Republicans in August 2011 who said they were going to cause the American economy to default on debts we already acquired unless they got deep and substantial cuts. And we ended up with a downgrade because of what the Republicans did. And after that, we set up this thing called the supercommittee, when all the Republican members on that supercommittee had already pledged to Grover Norqust they would not raise revenue, only do cuts. And then after it failed as it always was going to, we ended up with sequester.

HANNITY: All right, let me ask you a question--

ELLISON: No, wait a minute, you said I could rant, and I am!

HANNITY: I've given you plenty of time to rant, Congressman. Now --

ELLISON: We'll let you get a word in, go ahead.

HANNITY: [Sarcastically] Oh, you're so nice to let me get a word in on my own program!

ELLISON: Okay, I change my mind. As a matter of fact, as a matter of fact--

HANNITY: [Over Ellison's constant interrupting] Congressman, calm-- I will give you your chance, I gave you three minutes to rant. Calm down! Relax. I got a question for you. You were invited on the program to answer a question, I want to give you a couple questions.

ELLISON: No, and I'm going to speak -- this is a First Amendment issue. I'm going to say what I think is right--

HANNITY: Let me ask you a question, why are you so angry? You're so angry.

ELLISON: Why are you so angry?

HANNITY: I'm not angry. I'm laughing at you because I think this is actually comical.

ELLISON: I'm laughing at you! I'm laughing at you! And it's not the first time.

HANNITY: Listen, I invited you on, I gave you three miutes to rant, now let me ask you a question, we'll have a discussion. In the spirit of bipartisanship, let's find a dialogue.

ELLISON: Who, you and me? I thought you weren't a Republican? Did you lie?

HANNITY: You want to make a thousand-dollar bet that I'm a registered conservative? You want to make a ten-thousand-dollar bet?

ELLISON: I don't bet. I don't bet.

HANNITY: I'm just telling you, I'm a registered conservative. I wrote a book called Conservative Victory, I didn't write Republican Victory.

ELLISON: Do you have a question for me, sir? Put it to me.

HANNITY: First of all, it was Max Baucus, and it was Bob Woodward, that said the president requested the sequester -- point one. Point number two -- my question to you is very simple. Barack Obama, because you said that what he said is true--

ELLISON: [Interrupting] The Budget Control Act was forced down the American public by the Republican Party. Sequester is a provision of the Budget Control Act. The Republicans are responsible for the Budget Control Act, which contains sequester.

HANNITY: I know, you're a broken record. Now let me get you my question.

ELLISON: You're a broken record.

HANNITY: Okay, thank you. Here's my question. So Barack Obama said in 2008 when he was running for office that George Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic for... when he became president, we had 10 trillion dollars in debt. Now we have 16 trillion dollars in debt. [Ellison continues to interrupt] We now have 16 trillion dollars in debt, Congressman -- 16 trillion dollars in debt. I want to ask you, is it -- here's my question [throws hands up] Go ahead. [As he gives way to Ellison, Hannity can be heard saying, "Oh my gosh"]

ELLISON: You want to do something about that? I've got an answer for you. You want to do something about the 16 trillion, let's do something. Let's close loopholes on large corporations. Let's say that yachts and jets should not be something that you can write up. Let's say that Exxon Mobile and Chevron should not get a tax rebate and subsidy. Let's start there. Let's say that people who get to pay less, on uh--

HANNITY: [Sarcastically] All right, Congressman, you're ranting really well.

ELLISON: Well if you don't like what I'm saying, you say I'm ranting -- I'm not backing down from you--[Hannity interrupts]

HANNITY: Is it immoral? Is it immoral?--

ELLISON: [Cutting off Hannity's question] You are immoral -- to tell lies.

HANNITY: I'm immoral? What did I do that's immoral?

ELLISON: You tell mistruths -- you say things that aren't true.

HANNITY: Uh, give me one example sir.

ELLISON: To try to say, that it is, uh, that it is, uh, the president's fault and he is to blame is wrong and it's a lie. It's not true.

HANNITY: It's not his fault that we have 16 trillion in debt? We didn't add six trillion dollars to the debt since he's been president?

ELLISON: No, no-- wait a minute, what about the other 10? Let's talk about the other 10.

HANNITY: Al lright, Congressman, you are a total waste of time. I'm moving on, because our audience deserves better.

ELLISON: There you go. No you didn't...
Here's video of the interview, sans Hannity's opening video package (if you'd like to watch that Obama-bashing video, click here to see the whole segment):



Ellison's live-on-national-TV meltdown is especially stunning in light of the fact that he voluntarily agreed to do an interview on Hannity's program. It's one thing to go on a political opponent's show and try to make them look bad by winning an argument, but quite another to try to sabotage the whole production by constantly interrupting and telling your opponent he's "the worst excuse for a journalist I have ever seen" before he even has a chance to ask a question. Regardless of what you think of Hannity, this sort of behavior violates the treat-others-as-you-want-to-be-treated ethic and in general is just a bad look for one of our elected representatives.

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37 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

There's nothing to be gained by going on Hannity's show.  The guy is an entertainer.  His show is a slight variation on the "interview segments" on Pro Wrestling, like the one where Rowdy Roddy Piper would pretend to beat some guy up.

The real problem with Fox News is that so many Americans seem not to understand what they're doing.  Which is frustrating and hard to grasp, because Fox does it so ham-handedly it's hard to imagine people not picking up on it.  Once in a while they do it artfully, and then it can be kind of entertaining.  But Hannity is usually so graceless and so contemptuous of the intelligence of his audience (justifiably so, unfortunately) I can't watch his gloating for more than a few moments.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to why Ellison was willing to go on the guy's show.  Did he expect not to be baited and get hit on the head with a folding chair?

BillKahn
BillKahn

It is just not news, not journalism.

A reporter for any news outlet could have put together sound bites of Reagan on the stump years ago very similar to what Hannity did to Obama, and you know what would happen? They'd have been fired.

We live in a world where the fourth estate is a joke because creeps like Hannity get attention.

Take Hannity as seriously as you take the Republican party because in even our less than perfect world, their time is ending.

green23
green23

"HANNITY: It's not his fault that we have 16 trillion in debt? We didn't add six trillion dollars to the debt since he's been president?" 

Look, folks, Congress is responsible for appropriations. Not the President. 

Where does this idea come from the President is a legislator? Sure, the POTUS has veto power, but all spending has to be approved by Congress. Obama can't spend a dime without Congress' approval. 

This whole concept is as stupid as a drunk blaming his hangover on his liver, because his liver didn't fail and thus prevent him from drinking the previous night.

kel0
kel0

Ok, they're both douches. Next.

Tim Charest
Tim Charest

I agree with Jon. There's something to be said about taking the high road.

Tim Charest
Tim Charest

So what exactly were his expectations going in?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

what kind of pathetic idiots get there news from city pages blog- stop complaining - this is entertainment


keep killing em rupart

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Even though I don't like Ellison because I believe he only cares about a certain segment of his constituents, Hannity is a complete douche, and I agree he is a sorry excuse for a journalist/television host, but not the worst, that would be Bill O'Reilly. Judge Jim Gray went on Hannity's show to argue why we should legalize all drugs and Hannity cut him off whenever he made points that made Sean look like an idiot. That is his routine, ask the guest a question and if you don't like their response cut them off and/or tell them we are out of time.

Dave2
Dave2

When he opened the interview with political insults that would irritate any liberal, what kind of response did Hannity expect? You throw a rock at someone who throws it back, and then mock them for throwing it back?  Goading: ..Hannitys'  bung-hole journalism.  ..Typical for Fox News.  Ellison should've know better than to jump into Hannitys' cesspool in the first place.

Jon Johnson
Jon Johnson

I'm not sure why you all are applauding the fact that an elected congressman sunk to the same level as a partisan news host. Shouldn't we have higher standards for our elected officials? Why do we celebrate name calling and yelling? It's childish and it's exactly the problem in Congress today. The only group that wins here are the Fox News ratings that go up every time some left wing politician can't keep their composure on this terrible news show.

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

Dan Johnson: Hannity does the same thing every night, to every guest he has on who he does not agree with. Taste the medicine, Mr. Hannity.

Melissa Dreier
Melissa Dreier

I think it's hilarious that the article is trying to cut Ellison down, but it and the video just make me more proud of him and glad he represents me.

settledown
settledown

Do you folks really assume the City Pages Blog is a bastion of journalistic integrity? Folks commenting here should temper their expectations. 

scottk
scottk

This website is such a joke. City pages is a joke.

Michelle McElroy
Michelle McElroy

There is no reason to go on the cable 'provocative host' talk show circuit other than wanting to raise your national profile. Please stop.

Leslie Foster-Huot
Leslie Foster-Huot

I wouldn't call this a "Meltdown" Ellison was just giving Hannity a taste of his own medicine. Hannity's format is that he asks questions, and then instead of waiting for an answer, just makes one up himself and if his opponent has a chance to make a point, Viola! he's out of time. If Ellison would have handled himself any differently he would have just been a punching bag for Hannity.

Dan Johnson
Dan Johnson

Idalia your nuts. Sean couldn't even get through a question without being interrupted. Whatever good point Ellison had was LOST in his rant... And it just made him look like a nut.

Mary Jo
Mary Jo

Hannity is a total scumbag. it's nice to see someone stand up to him.

Matthew Joseph Probst
Matthew Joseph Probst

What's worse than the meltdown of Keith Ellison? The continuous crapping on the truth practiced by Hannity. You can only get so far trying to debate politely with word-benders and manipulators like Hannity. They need to be opposed on their bullcrap. "Handling oneself well" on Hannity's show puts you in the passive position relative to Hannity's butt-raping of the truth.

Taylor Nelson
Taylor Nelson

Full-Blown Meltdown? Are you kidding me? A little sensationalist there, eh?

Joe Vigil
Joe Vigil

There's nothing embarassing about this. Ellison is saying what ignorant people need to here. I'm not a republican or a democrat, but, any person with a functioning brain and a nose that can smell bullshit should feel the same way. FUCK FOX NEWS AND ALL OF THEIR GREEDY CORRUPT CORPORATE FUNDED LIES

mcgwizz
mcgwizz

So was there any validity to Ellison's claims or is the City Pages just a gossip rag that doesn't care about the news part of this?

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

It is awesome to see Ellison go to town, and this is why he is one of the safest congressman in the nation. He goes to bat for his constituents every day, and his appearance on Hannity is exactly how him constituents would want him to act. Hannity pulls the same shit that Ellison did in this interview with pretty much every single guest he has on, and Hannity could simply not handle the juxtaposition.

Idalia Robles De León
Idalia Robles De León

I find the City Pages coverage almost as biased as Hannity's reporting. Glad the video speaks for itself - Hannity was so disrespectful, he interrupted Keith Ellison time and time again, and ultimately raised his voice and started yelling at him.

Kathi Malone
Kathi Malone

Why does Keith even wast his time with that liar Sean Hannity?

Woody McBride
Woody McBride

I went to college with him. I marched with Keith. He is the real deal.

WKaplan
WKaplan

I know it would take a lot of work, but don't you think it might be a good idea to look into whether or not Ellison's claims are accurate or not? I know it takes a bit more time and, yes, even energy, but doing your job might be more fulfilling than you think. 

ludwitr
ludwitr

@WKaplan But then they'd have to do more than just post a transcript...

They'll probably wait until Politifact does the work, then they'll post a summary of that.

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