As we found at earlier this year, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons is a complex man. He is an unabashed progressive, but he also counts Fox News chairman CEO Roger Ailes as a friend. In a blog post on Huffington Post, Simmons recalls arguing with a pair of staffers on the FNC show “Huckabee” as well as calling up Sean Hannity to debate politics.
The post starts out with Simmons criticizing Hannity, calling him homophobic and racist, but ends with the Def Jam pioneer calling for liberals to seek out common ground with the Hannity’s of the world.
A few weeks ago, I phoned Sean Hannity after I called him a gangster in the news and the first thing he asked me was why did I believe he was more gangster than any rapper? Let’s see…
you are quicker to go to war when you think you are threatened. You are against gay marriage. You are more homophobic. You are less likely to allow people to have sexual freedom. You believe men have a place in society, that’s separate and somehow better or more powerful than women. You are not really racial integrated in this world. So as far as I am concerned, he is more gangster, more sexist, more homophobic and more racist than the average rapper. (I later took back racist.)
And while they believe all of this, they stomp on us. And while they are stomping, they smile as we just get angrier, with them and with ourselves. So, we turn them off, tune them out and call them evil. That is where they win and we lose. We play on their battlefields, in their costumes and in their language. And we forget that that they may not be good for America, but they are really, really good for TV and that is what the genius and my friend Roger Ailes is selling. TV.
I don’t think that Roger wants to do harm to America, I actually believe he wants to make this country a better place. But if that means that Fox News goes out of business, forget about it. I know that Sean Hannity believes in what he is saying. Instead of being the angry left, maybe if we took a moment and listened to them, there could be some common ground, more compromise, more bi-partisan voting.
The entire post is worth reading, check it out here. Meanwhile, here’s Simmons in our Media Beat interview earlier this year on his relationship with Roger Ailes:
- The enire Media Beat interview can be viewed here.