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Hannity & Colmes' Panel On Roberts Nomination Runs The Gamut From Conservative To Evangelical Conservative

Reported by Ellen - August 6, 2005

Democrats were shut out for the umpteenth time from a panel discussion about John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court. The two guests were: Brent Bozell, introduced as president of the Media Research Center and Dr. Richard Land, introduced as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Not mentioned on the air was that both are conservative activists. Hardly a fair and balanced assemblage. The discussion was equally skewed. Bob Beckel, sitting in for Alan Colmes, once again proved more interested in being a pal to conservatives than in being a voice for Democrats.

The only questions raised about Roberts were: Is he conservative enough in light of recent revelations that he worked on a gay rights case, and did the New York Times go too far in trying to uncover the adoption records of his children?

You almost didn't have to watch to know the answers but there was a surprise "Maybe" from Hannity in response to the former. However, Bozell and Land heartily reassured him (and outnumbered him) with an emphatic "Yes." Nobody mentioned that Land is a friend and adviser to President Bush and was just appointed for the third time to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedoms by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Not exactly an impartial perspective.

Nothing about either the nominee or Land's conflict of interest seemed to bother Beckel. He started off by calling Bozell "my old friend" and asked only softball questions of Land about whether Roberts' work on the case would erode his support. Of course it won't - not when the person answering is a friend of Bush and appointee of Frist!

The only probing questions came from Hannity who said that the gay rights case Roberts worked on could be the key case that eventually makes gay marriage constitutional. Hannity said that conservatives feel burned by 4 out of the 7 Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents and there are "a lot of conservatives being very concerned here."

Bozell answered that Roberts has a track record of over 30 years that should be examined. In fact, Roberts has only been a judge for a little more than two years. He was confirmed by the Senate to the Court of Appeals in May, 2003. But nobody seemed to notice or care about that misstatement.

Beckel did have a burning desire to clarify the record about something else. As the music was playing and the segment was ending, Beckel burst in to say, "Let me speak for liberals here. The majority of us think it's terrible what the NY Times is doing."

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