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Jan. 23 2010 - 6:56 pm | 3,840 views | 2 recommendations | 14 comments

Saber strikes back at Fox News, Sean Hannity on health care reform

Back in October, Fox News host and habitual shit-stirrer, Sean Hannity took L.A. graffiti artist Saber to task (video here) over artwork created as part of Organizing for America’s “Health Care Reform Video Challenge.” In a video titled “Saber Speaks,” the L.A. graffiti writer used the American flag as a visual focal point — painting over it in brief time-lapse footage set to the beat of a hospital heart-rate monitor. (The monitor eventually flatlines, much like the current health care debate.) This, of course, provided Hannity with some much-needed filler for his program. Hannity and conservative cockblocker Michelle Malkin immediately expressed outrage. While Hannity appears to drift off into space (no doubt searching  for patriotic inner strength from the music of Lee Greenwood), Malkin, of course, steals the show:

“I’ve been following this health care reform contest… and I’m not surprised. This video was produced by someone who bills themself as the “King of Graffiti” in Los Angeles, and this is where [Democrats] turn for their propaganda. It’s all about emotion. It’s all about tarring-and-feathering the opponents of a government health care takeover as somehow unpatriotic. And the defacing of the flag, of course, is well within the mainstream of far-left propaganda tactics.

“It’s also interesting to take a look at the other finalists… because, when they’re not defacing the flag, they’re exploiting children and putting Obamacare propaganda and culture of entitlement lines into the mouths of children. There’s another video that I think is equally appalling that has all of these kids talking about how they deserve government health care, and if you don’t give it to them, then not only do you wish death upon children, but puppies and everything that’s American as well.”

Malkin’s calculated outrage is nothing new of course. And her repeated use of the term propaganda, when she and Hannity have built hugely successful careers on the same very principle, is ridiculous. But where Malkin bottoms out is when her personal annoyance with children “talking about how they deserve government health care” reveals a major conservative flaw: an inability to empathize with everyday people. Of course not all conservatives are heartless pricks. But those who yell the loudest, i.e. chowderheads like Malkin and Hannity, consistently prove why the rift in two-party American politics may never be mended: Republicans lack compassion; Democrats are crippled by it. As a result, pragmatic solutions for everyday people never see the light of day.

However, back to the point. Saber recently posted a video response to Fox News’ attack of his artwork (see video above). The rebuttal, interestingly enough, focuses on Saber’s inability to afford health care due to a pre-existing medical condition he has battled his whole life:

“I’m an artist who has epilepsy and have no way to get health care at this point. I’ve had so many emergency room visits I’ve lost count. You know, this isn’t me getting anxious or dizzy or something, it’s like me getting hit with a Mack truck with multiple grand mal seizures in a row. I’ve been out for days. My shoulder dislocates. My face bone dislocates. I cannot get health insurance because I am un-insurable. I have been denied by all health insurance companies. I think the insurance companies are the most foul, evil entities on the planet. To have someone between you and your health tell you you’re not worth the care, when there are facilities available, is a travesty of our nation.”

Saber’s case, like so many Americans, is just one more example of a health care system in ruins. And it’s not surprising that the nuances of his submission for the “Health Care Reform Video Challenge” — such as the words “Epilepsy” repeated time and again — went unnoticed by Hannity and Malkin. Just as graffiti is a coded language that your average citizen doesn’t always understand, compassion and empathy are equally foreign concepts to Fox News’ hate/sensationalism machine. It’s far easier to target and destroy something you don’t understand than to stop and consider the legitimacy of an opposing viewpoint.


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  1. collapse expand

    I have to admit, I am really impressed with Saber and hope that he continues to fight. That said, I’m afraid that the current (or maybe it’s the ‘dead’) health care bill is nowhere close to what is needed, and what Obama had campaigned on. I don’t know where this fight will go from here, but I hope that whatever actually passes comes much closer to what most of those 50 million uninsured citizens need and can afford than what was fighting its way thru the Senate and Congress just one week ago.

  2. collapse expand

    Will this chasm that exists between the left and right ever be crossed?
    It’s becoming more and more concerning to see how the American people are splitting into 2 distinct factions.
    TV channels such as foxs news only increase this of course.

  3. collapse expand

    Mr. Newton,

    You propose that the opponents of health care reform lake “compassion and empathy” and this is the motivation. This is illustrated by the quote “talking about how they deserve government health care”. While this emotional deficit is no doubt real, this is not the primary problem. Rather the issue is politics. Like graffiti artists, Ms. Malkin and Mr. Hannity are speaking in “code”. Who are these “they” who believe that they “deserve” government assistance? These code words for people who are not white, you “those people”. They are playing the race card, attempting to rally white people against health care reform on the grounds that it would reward non-white people. In the process of course, they seek to gain longer term political allegiance from these same white people (rating and webpage traffic are short term gains as well).

    • collapse expand

      Always great to hear from you David. There’s no doubt the “they” Hannity and Malkin are referring to includes minorities — and perhaps even primarily refers to minorities. But I don’t think it’s solely a race issue. Hannity and Malkin are equal opportunity haters. Black or white, Latino or Asian, etc., if you’re poor or disadvantaged, Hannity and Malkin see you as a bottomfeeder. It never matters to them that each individual faces a complex, nuanced situation in life.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    I am a writer, editor, and blogger who lives and works in the once-decaying heart of America's Rust Belt (i.e. Pittsburgh, PA). My work focuses on subculture, crime, mental health, race, class, and creativity.

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