As a radio host at KCSB, the UC Santa Barbara college station, in the ’80s, Sean Hannity was fired for making disgusting remarks about gay people, many of them during a segment which featured Gene Antonio, author of the book The AIDS Cover-up? The Real and Alarming Facts About AIDS.
The remarks are being revisited following a story about the rise of the FOX News host, a favorite of Donald Trump, in the Washington Post. While the WaPo article focuses on a broader swath of Hannity’s background than his time at UCSB, it has given those remarks renewed attention.
In one portion of the interview, Mr Hannity claimed there was “sort of a brainwashing” going on regarding the “true information” about AIDS.
“What is the coverup all about that the media is hiding from the general public?” Mr Hannity asked, according to the Washington Post. “…They won’t let you say it’s a gay disease.” (Mr Hannity denies making this specific remark.)
In the same segment, Mr Hannity called gay people “disgusting,” and compared their sex lives to “playing in a sewer,” according to tapes obtained by Media Matters. He also called homosexuality a “lower form of behaviour,” before accusing gay people of being “filled with hatred and bigotry”.
“I feel sorry for your child,” he told Jody May-Chang, a lesbian woman who called into the show.
Ms May-Chang later complained to UCSB about Mr Hannity’s comments. Following a flood of similar complaints, the school pulled Mr Hannity from the station.
In 2014, Media Matters posted some clips and transcripts of the interview, which you can listen to below in which he says gay people are prone to disease, discusses how gay people mutilate gerbils and shove them up their rectums, eat each other’s feces, and more.
In other clips (at the source) Hannity tells a caller he wouldn’t allow a gay person to teach his child, he agrees with Antonio that gay people “are filled with anti-sexual heterophobia,” and he says that gay people prey on homeless kids because all they want is “a new piece of meat.”
In one segment, Hannity claims gay people are “brainwashing” the public about AIDS:
There’s sort of a brainwashing, if you want my opinion, going on, where they don’t want the general public to get the true information about this disease. It seems like they’re trying to hide the facts to keep the public from getting alarmed about it, because they’re afraid, perhaps, of the backlash that they might receive, the homosexuals might receive. [KCSB, 4/4/89]
In another, Hannity said people who have gay sex are prone to disease:
HANNITY: I just want to go into a little bit, in terms of the physical aspects, just so people know of what happens when you’re a homosexual, why is that so prone to disease as it has been?
ANTONIO: OK, listen. When you engage in rectal sodomy, first of all, the rectum is designed to expel feces, not take in a penis. And so what happens is the body rebels against that.
ANTONIO: [C]learly the rectum is not a place for copulating. And the immune suppression which we have seen in the homosexual population is a direct result not only of other diseases such as Hepatitis and the parasitism, but of rectal sodomy.
HANNITY: Right. [KCSB, 4/4/89, emphasis added]
In a third he said gay sex is like playing in a sewer, and “you wouldn’t let your child play over a sewer, would you?”
HANNITY: What happens is, what [Antonio] was explaining is that the practices these people are engaged in is tantamount to, you know, playing in a sewer. And I hate to use strong language but that’s the same thing. We have medical knowledge, we know that bacteria and all these things exist in this day and age. And we know, it’s common sense you wouldn’t let your child play over a sewer, would you? [KCSB, 4/4/89]
In another, Hannity engaged in a conversation with Antonio and a caller discussing how gay men cut the claws and teeth off gerbils and stuff them up their rectums in a desperate need for a substitute woman:
ANTONIO: [T]hey have had meetings, literally, of the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Dallas and elsewhere around the country, because these homosexuals were cutting the claws off of gerbils, and prying their teeth out, and stuffing them up their rectums. It’s called gerbil stuffing.
HANNITY: Oh, my God.
CALLER: I believe you. They’re getting sick with it. Crazy.
ANTONIO: It’s just this perversion. They don’t know what to do. They’re frantic in the search for a substitute woman. They put fists up the rectum.
HANNITY: And then they wonder why they have so many diseases, you know? I don’t understand it. But they won’t let you say that they have a disease. They won’t let you say it’s a gay disease and they won’t let you examine the practices that have caused them, making them so susceptible to these diseases. [KCSB, 4/4/89, emphasis added]
In another, Hannity agrees that gay men eat each other’s feces:
ANTONIO: These men eat one another’s fecal matter. And people say, “what are you talking, that is bizarre, what are you talking about?” This is called scat.
HANNITY: You just blew the whole audience out of Santa Barbara, I’ll have you know.
ANTONIO: Well that is reality, though.
HANNITY: It is.
ANTONIO: If you pick up a copy of the homosexual magazines, they have advertisements for giving and receiving enemas. And these are not fringe magazines. These are the standard fare of the homosexual subculture … It is a subculture of people engaging in deviant, twisted acts. So they literally will defecate in one another’s mouth. [KCSB, 4/4/89, emphasis added]
In other clips (at the source) Hannity tells a caller he wouldn’t allow a gay person to teach his child, he tells a lesbian mother that he feels sorry for her child, he agrees with Antonio that gay people “are filled with hatred and bigotry and anti-sexual heterophobia,” he says that homosexuality is a “lower form of behavior,” and he says that gay people prey on homeless kids because all they want is “a new piece of meat.”
Hannity told The Independent he now feels the comments were “ignorant and embarrassing.”
“Almost 30 years ago when I was starting out in radio in my 20’s, I interviewed a controversial guest who made several incendiary comments,” he said in a statement to The Independent. “I was young and stupid with no clue how to do a show. I’m actually very libertarian on social issues and people’s personal lives.”
He added: “I’m now 55 years old and yes, I freely admit the comments in my 20’s were ignorant and embarrassing.”