We Let Yousef Munayyer Answer the Questions Sean Hannity Wouldn’t
On the 24th of July, an evil terrorist sympathizer appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to try to justify the horror tactics perpetrated by the Palestinian people upon the state of Israel. At least, that seemed to be the perception Hannity was trying to push, sitting in front of a large screen bearing the words “Sympathy for the Terrorists,” pointing fingers at interviewee Yousef Munayyer, and not allowing him to get a word in.
Russell Brand picked up on this exchange in a segment of his Trews YouTube series, dissecting Hannity’s “interview” technique as little more than shouting leading questions at Munayyer, which he then didn’t permit his guest to answer. Brand also alleged that Hannity uses this tactic to convey a preconceived narrative of the Israeli-Gaza conflict, as he’d like his viewers to believe it. This prompted a response from Hannity, then a counter-response from Brand; and the latest internet spat was born.
Munayyer—a Palestinian-American political analyst, writer, and executive director of the Jerusalem Fund’s educational program, the Palestine Center—seemed like a calm, fairly reasonable guy, and it was a shame we were prevented from hearing what he had to say. So in an effort to right that wrong, I decided to track him down and let him answer the questions Hannity wouldn’t. [This is an abridged version of the interview with Munayyer; to read the full transcript, click here].
VICE: Hi, Yousef. So did Sean Hannity’s people reach out to you, or did you approach them to be on his show?
Yousef Munayyer: No, they reached out. So that was last week, and then of course the Russell Brand thing was totally unexpected. I mean, I’ll be totally honest with you—the last thing I was thinking about in the last three to four weeks, when there were bombs dropping all over Gaza, was Russell Brand.
I’ll get to Brand in a bit, but first I wanted to ask you about something Brand actually pondered on his segment. You weren’t in the studio with Hannity, but did you have access to a monitor? Could you see him aggressively jabbing his finger at you?
No. You’re sitting in a room, staring at the black box where the camera is. The monitor wasn’t available, so I couldn’t see anything that was going on. But I could hear, obviously. His tone was quite aggressive on the earpiece. I didn’t see him jabbing his finger at me, but it was very clear that he was acting in an aggressive way; I didn’t need to see it to understand that.