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And Now For Today's Pro-Roberts Propaganda On Hannity & Colmes

Reported by Ellen - July 28, 2005

In between updates on Natalee Holloway, it was another night of good-news-only about John Roberts, the nominee for the Supreme Court, on Hannity & Colmes. Alan Colmes introduced the segment by asking "What do we really need to know about the judge?" Going by what the guest, Patricia Brannan, Roberts' former colleague from the law firm Hogan & Hartson, told us, we don't need to know much beyond the fact that he's a brilliant man with integrity, a nice guy with a good sense of humor.

Colmes asked Brannan what she could tell us that we have not yet heard?

Predictably, Brannan answered that Roberts is just as good as we have heard. She mentioned his "stand-up brilliance," kindness, generosity, good nature and down-to-earth humor.

Those are not quite the qualifications for being a judge, much less one on the Supreme Court, but then substantive discussions on H&C are generally reserved for Natalee Holloway and whether or not John Kerry was in Cambodia when he said he was.

However, Alan Colmes did get to the guts of the matter when he asked that the big issue that people want to discern is where Roberts falls on the ideological spectrum, is he closer to Scalia or O'Connor or is that unknown?

Brannan answered in PR speak that "He is a careful, thoughtful, thorough man... He thinks things through. He is not a conclusion-driven person (whatever the heck that means)... He has such an intellectual integrity about the way he approaches things, that I think that will really be a guiding star."

Colmes tried again to get past the PR talk and get to the real issues by asking about Democrats' beliefs that Roberts may think courts should have less of a say than the executive or legislative branch and whether he believes in a different balance of power than we currently have.

Good question but Brannan didn't deign to answer it. Instead, she again resorted to double-talk by saying that much of that would be up to Congress (Comment: Isn't it in the Constitution?) but that what she really meant is that Roberts has "a real sense (that) the role of the court is to decide the cases brought to it, on the facts before it, with the issues presented, guided by the law that is precedent. And I think he takes that very, very seriously."

How enlightening.

Unfortunately, Colmes' turn was up and it was time for Hannity to pump up his side by attacking Democrats. "What I see happening in terms of the political battle that the hard left is beginning to wage against Judge Roberts is their demanding that he answer questions that no other nominee has had to answer... Some senators have an abortion litmus test now, some have a religious litmus test now. Are you concerned about this double-standard that is emerging?"

Brannan stuck to her PR talking points and ignored Hannity's bait. "This candidate is of such excellence and integrity that that really does trump a lot of other things..." She reiterated the GOP talking point that Roberts' positions taken on behalf of clients were not "necessarily" his own positions. Comment: In other words, they could be his own positions, but nobody wants to say.

Hannity went back into attack mode against his usual scapegoats - Senators Kennedy, Schumer, Leahy and Durbin (plus Joe Biden, a relative newcomer, as far as I know, to the Hannity hall of bullying). Hannity said he is not optimistic that "hard left-wingers," as Hannity derisively described them, will be fair "when they clearly.. are setting the bar higher than it's ever been set for any other nominee."

Comment: I believe that's another distortion and untruth from Hannity but, unfortunately, I just don't have the time to document it right now. Perhaps one of our readers can.

Brannan was as upbeat and as vague as ever. She said "He has a record of excellent work... That person that you saw (standing side-by-side with the president) really is John Roberts. The humor, the sincerity, the honesty and I think ultimately, when most Americans think about what they want on the court, what they trust on the court, the kind of judge lawyers want to advocate to and clients want to be before, those are very important qualities."

Colmes interrupted her to say they were out of time. "Coming up next, more on the case of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway. We'll tell you what we know about new leads in the case." There was plenty of time for all the details about that.

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