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Ed Asner Under Conservative Attack Over 'Tax the Rich' Teachers Union Video

Ed Asner Tuxedo Headshot - P 2011
Getty Images

An eight-minute animated video that channels Occupy Wall Street is a "disgusting hit piece" and "propaganda," says Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity.

Ed Asner became the target of conservatives late Tuesday for appearing in a cartoon created by the California Federation of Teachers that excoriates wealthy Americans for not paying their "fair share" of taxes.

Asner, the Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant star who has called himself a socialist, narrates an eight-minute video called Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale that appeared Tuesday on the home page of the CFT’s website. The video makes the claim that “the rich” obtained their wealth through tax loopholes, tax cuts and tax evasion and shows some of them urinating on Americans with less money.

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“In 20 years, rich people doubled their share of the land’s income. Schools, public safety, roads, parks libraries, pubic transportation all went into decline. The rich people didn’t care,” Asner says in the video. “They bought their own teachers, police, garbage collectors and transportation.”

The video borrows heavily from the Occupy Wall Street movement, pitting the “99 percent” against the wealthiest “1 percent” multiple times throughout. The rich are seen suppressing votes and crashing the economy, then blaming others – including teachers – for causing a recession. See the video below.

At one point in the video, Asner, 83, in the voice of a hypnotist, attacks “rich people who bought newspapers and TV and radio stations and Internet companies and paid them to repeat over and over, ‘Some day you will be rich too. There is no alternative’.”

As the video began to spread Tuesday, conservatives were attacking it as a juvenile attempt to stoke class warfare. One website, GatewayPundit.com, said the video “could be playing in your child’s classroom as we speak” and noted “it was written by CFT staffer Fred Glass (2011 compensation: $139,800) and narrated by proud leftist actor (and 1 percenter) Ed Asner.”

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And on Hannity on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday night, host Sean Hannity played clips from the video for the Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson, a conservative, and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers, a liberal. Neither was impressed.

“There’s really no overstating how dumb this is,” Carlson said. “The idea that there are any California teachers currently in classrooms in charge of children who agree with that, is horrifying.”

“It was pretty bad. I have to say, even I found it offensive,” added Powers. “It was too much demonizing for my taste.”

See the Fox News video below.

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com