“In the left corner we have Russell Brand setting the world to rights via one of the most widely visited websites in the world and in the right we have news anchor Sean Hannity on one of the most influential TV channels in the US,” a hypothetical ring announcer never said.
It’s a celebrity feud of sorts that comedian Brand is either hoping to secure the last word on or fuel the fire of debate even further.
The subject matter: The Israel-Gaza conflict.
British actor Brand has posted a follow-up video again condemning Fox Newspresenter Hannity’s pro-Israel ideologies and controversial interviewing technique in what he himself describes as an “online spat.”
Hannity responded to the video, which has been viewed by 2.25million people, by hosting a panel discussion entitled “Hollywood & Hamas”, during which Brand was ridiculed by a guest as looking “skanky” and as if he “cooks meth and sleeps in his car”.
Brand’s second attack, a riposte called “Israel/Palestine, Russell Brand/Sean Hannity: Round 2”, comprises of his quintessential dark ebullience; witty remarks weighted by the stark realities of death and war.
He replays clips from Hannity’s show and picks them apart one by one.
“Apparently Russell can’t get it through his thick head and possibly fathom that this is the reality,” Hannity had said to camera.
Cut to Russell: “It’s not a reality. It’s a combination of speculation, conjecture, and highly contextualised and selective information. That’s not reality. It’s piecing together a narrative that fits in with Fox’s world view and his own bigoted world view,” he says.
“That’s not reality, it’s a tiny aperture through which bigoted and particular information is glimpsed. That’s sort of the opposite of all encompassing, wonderful, unknowable reality.”
Brand also says the term “terrorist” is provocative rhetoric once used to describe “cuddly” Nelson Mandela and anyone else who dared challenge the status quo.
He also introduces viewers to his own panel: a “smiley mask” Jesus, a pot of flowers and a Mahatma Gandhi teddy - the latter of which would have “ironically been dubbed as a terrorist by Sean Hannity because of his opposition to the sanctioned power of the British Empire when the Indian independence movement kicked out British colonies,” Brand says.
The 13-minute video was posted on YouTube on 1 August and has garnered over 600,000 views.
Refuting Hannity’s claims that the situation is unsolvable, he says: “Recovery is possible, but you are not helping Sean. You’re making it much worse.”
He also lambasts Hannity for “obfuscating the situation” with “incendiary disinformation”.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.