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FOX News, The Hate-Mongering Network

Reported by Ellen - August 5, 2005

Hannity & Colmes took time out from covering Natalee Holloway's disappearance to talk about the ACLU's lawsuit against New York City over its bag-searching policy. Unlike the Natalee Holloway segments, there was no substantive discussion of the case from multiple viewpoints. Instead, radio talk show host Bill Cunningham - a man who seems to have no credentials in profiling, security or terrorism - was the sole guest. And his sole purpose seemed to be to arouse as much hate as possible against the ACLU or anyone else concerned about civil liberties. Sitting in for Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel's sole interest seemed to be in cozying up to the hate-spewer rather than in providing any alternative perspective.

Cunningham started out by painting the ACLU as terrorist-enabling, pedophile-loving anti-Christian enemies of ordinary Americans, rather than as an organization devoted to the all-American principles of civil liberties.

We live in a sick delusional world in which political correctness at some point is going to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans... I care more about my life than I do the ACLU and their left-wing, radical agenda. An atheist will have a friend with the ACLU, a child pedophile has a friend, our soldiers at Gitmo have friends in the ACLU and I'm getting sick of it.

Hannity, of course, never mentioned that he once accepted the help of the ACLU in challenging his dismissal from radio station KCSB, though he never quite endorsed Cunningham's view. Still, Hannity raised a valid concern that racial profiling could be more effective than random screening. He decried "wasting time" with checking grannies and Moms with strollers.

But we got no hard facts from, say, a security or terrorism expert, not even an exploration of Hannity's position, just the relentless antipathy from Cunningham.

Cunningham's shouted response was that "every one of those dudes" who look Middle Eastern should be pulled out of line and "anyone who says something differently is probably a member of the ACLU which is, itself, a hate-filled organization which takes away our rights and protects none of them."

Then it was Bob Beckel's turn. Rather than address Cunningham's hostility toward our Constitutional rights, Beckel seemed to be thinking of ways to build a friendship. He started out by saying "If I ever need a lawyer, you are the man." Adding that he agreed "the granny thing is ridiculous," he asked what if race was done away with and profiling was by gender and age only?

Without citing any data, Cunningham claimed that would help somewhat but that it would also mean that Sean Hannity might have been racially profiled during the IRA troubles because "he's an Irish-looking dude."

Isn't that exactly the kind of result Cunningham advocated earlier? Beckel didn't seem to think of that.

Cunningham said that all women, African Americans and "white dudes" should be eliminated from profiling efforts. "If you were between 20 and 30 and you fit a male profile and you had a backpack of any type on you, I would pull those dudes out of line because statistically it would help. It is absurd some of the rules that Norman Minetta has imposed on air transportation and now that Michael Bloomberg - he may join with the ACLU in some sort of amicus curiae brief because we live in a sick, delusional world where atheists have rights, where soldiers have no rights... and the next time a thousand New Yorkers die in a building or in a subway, thank the ACLU."

Beckel didn't question what's wrong with atheists having rights nor did he bring up the Bush Administration blunders that would allow us to "thank" them for 9/11 and the increase of global terrorism. What Beckel seized upon, of all things, was Norman Minetta and adding his (Beckel's) criticisms to Cunningham's.

Beckel's one moment of debate came when he asked Cunningham if racial profiling wouldn't overlook someone like Timothy McVeigh.

Cunningham called that "a disgusting argument" because "that is the one exception that proves the rule... In the last ten years, how many Timothy McVeigh types have flown planes into buildings or blown up buses or blown up subways? None of them. So I'm saying if you're right 99 percent of the time, that's not a bad hitting percentage."

Once again, Cunningham provided no statistics or data to back up his claim but Beckel didn't seem to notice or mind.

As the music started, Beckel asked, "Hey, Bill. One last question. Will you autograph my ACLU card for me?"

Cunningham answered, "I'd like to burn it and they would defend my right to do it, I imagine, but I would burn that card immediately."

Beckel erupted into hearty laughter.

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