Fake News! That's not even the unloaded gun Hannity pointed at Williams! Fake! Fake!

Much hue and cry over this CNN piece asserting that sometime last year, following a heated argument during the taping of his dumb Fox News show for idiots, Dumb News For Idiots with Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity allegedly "pulled a gun" on regular guest Juan Williams. According to CNN Money's Dylan Byers,

Last year, after ending one of his many spirited on-air arguments with liberal contributor Juan Williams, Hannity pulled out a gun and pointed it directly at Williams, according to three sources with knowledge of the incident. He even turned on the laser sight, causing a red dot to bob around on Williams' body. (Hannity was just showing off, the sources said, but the unforeseen off-camera antic clearly disturbed Williams and others on set.)

Byers says the incident was reported to Fox News executives, and apparently nothing came of it. The legal and human resources departments were informed, according to a Fox News spokesperson, and that's about it. Fox News, Hannity, and Williams all downplayed the incident in statements to CNN Money. The official Fox News word was

Sean Hannity has been trained in firearm safety since he was 11 years old and has a license to carry a gun in five states, including New York [...] The situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger.

Sean Hannity also denied that he'd "pulled a gun on" Williams or that Williams was "disturbed":

While discussing the issue of firearms, I showed my good friend Juan Williams my unloaded firearm in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only [...] Every precautionary procedure that I have been trained in since the age of 11 was followed. I've had a conceal carry permit in five states for all of my adult life. Any other interpretation of this is outright false reporting.

Williams also said it was a great big nothingburger:

This incident is being sensationalized -- everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm's way [...] It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else and we continue to be great friends.

Over at Dead Breitbart's Home for Being Angry About Everything, Breitbart horcrux Matthew Boyle called the story another case of the "fake news establishment media at CNN" making up phony fake fake phony news because CNN is getting whupped by Fox in the ratings, and then mocked Byers for a Tweet standing by his story. Hannity took to the Tweetors himself to insist he loves Juan Williams and that CNN is acting like an icky girl -- the ickiest girl Hannity can think of!

We're perfectly willing to take Williams and Hannity at their word, and that Hannity didn't "pull a gun" on Williams or even scare him much. Byers's argument that it somehow indicates Hannity is always "spoiling for a fight" is silly, frankly -- Hannity certainly is, because that sells, but this isn't proof of it.

One thing we wish had been clarified by Williams, who we assume would be in a position to know, was whether Hannity actually turned on the gun's laser sight and bobbed it around on him like Byers's three sources say. In all three statements emphasizing what great caution Hannity took, nobody mentioned that detail, which, if true, would mean Hannity was indeed pointing a weapon at Williams, whether loaded or not. We were a bit surprised that in the reporting we've seen on the story, only Christie D'Zurilla at the Los Angeles Times mentions, parenthetically, "A prime tenet in gun safety is always keeping the weapon pointed in a safe direction." You'd think that matter of the laser sight would be getting more attention.

On Twitter overnight, Hannity denied he'd actually pointed the gun at Williams, and emphasized it wasn't loaded anyway:

So if Williams confirms Hannity played the laser site on a wall, we'll agree with a Breitbart article for a change and say Byers seems to have gotten it wrong. But if he says he felt perfectly safe with Hannity pointing that laser sight at him because they both knew the gun was unloaded, then we'll have to send Hannity back to Eddie Eagle Safety school. As that guy in Pennsylvania learned a few years back when he killed his 11-year-old nephew while showing off his "unloaded" gun's laser sight, that's a big gun safety no-no.

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[CNN / Breitbart / LAT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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