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Hannity Wanna-Be

Reported by Nancy - June 13, 2005 -

On FNL today (6/13) Greg Jarrett was in again for David Asman. Jarrett's interview "technique" is in the classic Foxian mode -- ambush questions, sighs, tone of voice & body language to indicate which "side" of an argument he's on, interrupting & talking over guests. Jarrett reminds me of that FNC icon, Sean Hannity.

Here are a couple of samples showing Jarrett's technique:

12:14pm (EDT) Jarrett interviewed Theodore Simon (international law expert) about the NHolloway case. Throughout, Jarrett made no attempt to hide his disgust with the legal process in Aruba, or his bloodlust. Jarrett started off by calling Aruba a "protectorate" of the Netherlands, which Simon quickly corrected, noting that it's been an "independent nation" for some time. Jarrett asked whether police there are allowed to interrogate suspects without their attorneys present, & Simon said Arubans have a right to no self-incrimination & a right to counsel. Jarrett seemed disappointed, & the frustration was evident in his voice when he asked "what pressue can be applied to get these guys to tell the truth?" Simon pointed out that "we don't even know if a crime has been committed" & Jarrett heaved a deep sigh, commenting that Holloway's mother is "very angry" & asking if there is a way the suspects could be extradited to the US. Simon was a little taken aback at the ignorance behind that question, & said that "to be generous ... that's absurd." He pointed out that the fundamental premise behind extradition is that the crime has to be committed in or against the country requesting extradition. Jarrett, undismayed, moved on, noting that in the US a person can be tried for murder even without the body of the alleged victim, & asked if that were also true in Aruba. Simon repeated that not only is there no body, "there may be no crime" & suggested that everyone "remember Elizabeth Smart." Jarrett, clearly annoyed, said Arbua is a "small nation" so Holloway "couldn't be out there" the way Smart was, & ended the interview.

12:23pm - Asking if the trial of SHussein will "discourage insurgents" in Iraq, Jarrett interviewed Heidi Harris (radio talk show host) & Bill Press (syndicated columnist). Jarrett opened by reading something Bob Beckel said earlier ("is Saddam Hussein on trial worth 1700 kids dead?") -- complete with incredulous tone of voice -- & asking Press "You don't agree with that do ya?" Press re-cast the question & said the war in Iraq was not worth 1700 dead. Harris butted in, saying there have been "no more attacks on American soil" & asking Press whether he thought that would have been true if SHussein were still in power (thus implying that Iraq had somehow attacked the US). Press noted that "means nothing", there were 8 years between WTC1 & WTC2. Jarrett interrupted Press, talking over him to note that SHussein has 'only' been charged with 50 murders & asked if there is "a danger the American people will say 'only 50 people'?" Harris piously said that it's "up to the administration to continue to remind people of all the evils he committed." Jarrett called SHussein one of biggest mass murderers in history. Press pointed out that "this is just the first phase" of his trial, saying SHussein is "still the Butcher of Baghdad." Press also noted that SHussein is getting better treatment than Gitmo prisoners, which ticked Harris off, leading to some back-&-forth between Harris & Press which Jarrett made no attempt to control. But when Press quoted Sen Mel Martinez (R-FL) about the wrongness of Gitmo, Jarrett had had enough & ended the interview ("gotta leave it at that").

Comment: Jarrett certainly has the mannerisms (tone, inflection, body language) down pat, he knows how to play the "this is outrageous!" game, & he's got the same pudgy, pasty-faced bully appearance as his role model. In addition, he makes no attempt to disguise his ignorance or his lack of preparation on a specific topic (his questions in the interview with Simon were a good example of that). If Fox is grooming him to replace or supplement Hannity, I'd say the process is nearly complete.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Jarrett's interview techniques or the topics covered in these 2 interviews). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.