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Reported by Deborah - September 10, 2004 -

Hannity&Colmes opened the hour with two interviews aimed at discrediting the memos released on 60 minutes and Hannity tried to change the focus of the story, by charging CBS with media bias. 9/10/04 9PM ET

Gary Killian, the son of the officer who's name appears on the memos, claimed that one of the signatures on the memos could have been his Father's but nevertheless, all four memos were false because "that was not how my Father felt."
When asked who was behind these memos by Hannity, Killian was non committal saying," We know these memos did not come from within our group."

Colmes asked Killian if he had talked often with his Father about Bush's record. He replied" Not on many occassions. Once over dinner in San Antonio."

Killian told Hannity that although he had told this to 60 minutes, the information was not included in their piece. Hannity jumped on this.
"Amazing development. Has Dan Rather called you since then?"
Hannity tried to get Killian to accuse 60 Minutes but he was objective saying that he preferred to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Hannity then concluded, "It seems like they were setting up the President."

The next phone interview was with Ben Barnes daughter Amy who claimed that in 2000 when she asked her Father if he had helped George Bush, he said no.
Then in 2004, he said he did.

When Hannity asked his motives, she said,"He's a politician. The greatest politician. Bill Clinton is another excellent politician."

After Amy admitted that her Father's reaction to her interview earlier on Hannity's radio show had been bad. Hannity really leaped on this

"I sense the pressure you feel. I feel bad. You told the truth. He called you and he's mad at you. You just said that he contradicted himself. You're not saying that he lied. That's up to the public."

Then a few seconds later Hannity said, "What you said yesterday that he lied. Isn't that really what it is?"

comment: In my opinion. both these interviews were not credible. Killian's son did not have any proof that the memos were not his Father's and admitted that they had only talked one or two times about George Bush. I wonder, however, why the subject would have come up and wouldn't his Father have kept the air force business private. It would be poor form to discuss the subjects of the memos to family members. I also am wary about his use of the word "group" instead of "family' which would have been more appropriate.

I also wonder about the motives of any daughter who chooses to bad mouth her Father in the national media. She really had nothing valid to say since Barnes was denying his role up until 2004. The fact that she compared her Father to Bill Clinton speaks volumes about her part affiliation and her feelings for her Father. From me, that comparison would be a compliment, but it seemed derogatory from Amy's mouth.

The credibility of these witnesses is not the point. Hannity's spin created a sense that this was breaking news and a real scandal. The fact that he made Amy's interview an exclusive, preventing Colmes from questioning her, creates more doubt.