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An Idiot's Guide To Liberal-Bashers

Reported by Ellen - July 23, 2005

Mike Gallagher, author of Surrounded by Idiots: Fighting LIberal Lunacy in America, came on Hannity & Colmes Friday night (7/22/05), to demean and ridicule concerns about civil liberties. Fortunately, Alan Colmes put him in his place. Unfortunately, the other guest, Michael Gross, a civil liberties attorney, seemed unprepared for the kind of hatred spewed by Gallagher.

As I had posted earlier in the day, FOX News had described Gallagher's appearance thusly on its website: And, what do Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, animal-rights groups, Hollywood liberals, and parents who won't spank their kids have in common? They're all highlighted in Mike Gallagher's new book, "Surrounded by Idiots: Fighting Liberal Lunacy in America." Mike stops by to share his entertaining thoughts (my emphasis) on America's role as the greatest country in the world.

Happily, and perhaps at our urging, FOX thought better of that insulting description and rephrased its blurb. What did not change was the onslaught by Mr. Gallagher toward those who care about those all-American values - individual freedoms.

Sitting in for Sean Hannity was Rich Lowry whose main talent seems to be for bashing liberals. Introducing the segment, along with a promo for Gallagher's book (but no mention that it just happens to be published by a sister company of FOX News), Lowry asked if it didn't make sense for the NYC police to be checking backpacks on the subways?

Michael Gross started off by saying that random searches would not make us safer but would endanger our freedoms. Are we going to be searched on street corners, too? He added that when the English suspended Habeas Corpus, the American colonies started a revolution. As he spoke, there were groans off camera - demonstrating the kind of respect that some people have for those American tenets, freedom of expression and diversity of opinion.

Gross said, "What's under attack is not the subway but our way of life and we are losing it. They are winning by forcing us into this police state action (derisive laughter off camera. It sounded like it came from Lowry). It is not making us any more secure. We are losing our liberties."

Comment: Yes, but Gross did not seem to realize that the threat is not just from the authorities, but also from people like Gallagher, Lowry, Hannity, et al.

Rather than try to understand or find any common ground with Gross, Lowry took the opportunity to insult him further. "This sounds to me as exactly the reason why people in this country don't trust liberals on national security."

Then Gallagher, with a snide glibness reminiscent of David Asman, joined the attack. "Well, you CAN'T trust liberals on national security issues. This is the kind of idiocy I write about in my book. We're having a debate about, I guess, the privacy rights of people who want to blow the heads off children off buses and subways. It is INSANE that Mr. Gross, with all due respect, would compare what we're in the middle of right now to a revolution."

Thank God, it was Colmes' turn because I don't know how much more I could have taken of Gallagher unchecked. Colmes immediately challenged the title of Gallagher's book and added, "So this is what we get now, calling us idiots."

Colmes said that all the airline security measures in place on 9/11 still didn't stop it from happening.

Gross, got with the program a bit when he chimed in,"You call Patrick Henry an idiot? 'Give me liberty or give me death.' These are major issues."

Gallagher said that our security measures HAVE worked since 9/11. "And what do you suggest we do, absolutely nothing? We sit around and let them continue to slaughter us?" (Comment: Surely he knew that's not what anyone was suggesting, he was just taking the opportunity to further smear the principles that many Americans hold sacred.)

Colmes: Here's what I suggest: I suggest we don't spend billions of dollars in Iraq, a country that was not an imminent threat to the United States. We protect our borders, we protect our ports. We actually put those billions of dollars to something that's going to protect America. That's what I suggest.

Gallagher laughed derisively as he answered: We're not talking about Iraq. You guys are harping about looking through bags in the NYC subways. (Comment: But he didn't rebut anything that Colmes said.)

Colmes continued, "Do you think looking through every fifth or tenth backpack is going to stop people from getting on the subway and exploding?"

Gallagher answered no, but just like locking your door won't prevent burglaries, you have to try. (Comment: But it doesn't help to lock only every fifth door.)

Gross said that searches increase the likelihood of an attack.

Gallagher, with ever increasing sarcasm said, "Increases it? Oh, because it makes them mad at us?"

Gross: We have more acts of terrorism around the world since we have made war on terrorism. We are losing because of that... The cure for all the ills of democracy is more democracy.

Gallagher: ...Surrounded by idiots."

Lowry ended the segment, but not without another dig at the opposition: "Checking one in five bags is better than nothing, by the way."

Colmes said something I couldn't make out.

Comment: It's not just our civil liberties that are being besieged but also our very right to cherish them. Thankfully, terror attacks are a rather rare phenomenon. But the barrage from conservatives, especially on FOX News, is relentless.

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