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FOX News Contirbutor Mike Gallagher To Cindy Sheehan: All We Are Saying Is Give War A Chance

Reported by Ellen - August 16, 2005

Hannity & Colmes finally recognized the Cindy Sheehan story last night, 8/15/05. One of the guests discussing Sheehan's protest was Mike Gallagher - unidentified as a FOX News Contributor - who led a "Pro America" counter-protest in Crawford, Texas over the weekend. He insisted he meant no disrespect to Sheehan, he just had to make sure that another group got some of all that media attention. I'm sure his decision to grab the spotlight had nothing to do with the fact that Gallagher has a new book out.

For once, Sean Hannity was reasonably respectful to someone he disagreed with - Cindy Sheehan. He and Gallagher said they felt sorry for her and ephasized that she had a right to be conducting her protest but their compassion didn't stop them from trying to paint her as a far-left radical.

Gallagher started out by saying, "Who doesn't feel sorry for a woman who had to bury her son, but boy, it felt great great to go to Crawford Friday night!" He bragged about it being a spur of the moment decision that brought in a "bus-full of flag-waving citizens who simply wanted to show that the anti-war crowd that's been gathering outside the Crawford ranch isn't the only voice that gets to be heard."

Comment: Flag-waving on the president's doorstep is about as far as Gallagher's seems willing to take his patriotism. Gallagher's bio indicates that neither he nor any of his four grown sons seem to have enlisted for any military service of their own.

Hannity said he didn't have a problem with what Sheehan's doing, despite the fact that she has aligned herself with "all these radical extremist groups" such as Code Pink, MoveOn.org and Joe Trippi. "My problem, Mike, is with the news media." He complained that he has had parents on who have lost children in Iraq who have "a very different opinion" than Sheehan's. "You don't ever hear from these parents on any TV program."

Gallagher agreed, saying that if there was one mother outside the ranch saying she supported President Bush, there would not be the same kind of coverage. Sheehan makes good copy, Gallagher claimed, because "you're not allowed to say anything critical about a woman who buried her son."

In other words, he'd love to criticize Sheehan if only it didn't look bad.

As for the media giving her a free pass, Gallagher and Hannity must not have seen The O'Reilly Factor or The Beltway Boys or read The Huffington Post which has links to Drudge and Podhoretz articles.

Gallagher gallantly allowed as how he didn't think Sheehan should be "beat up" but then he launched into a list of everything that's wrong about her. "You know what, a lot of us think she's wrong to call President Bush a killer. A lot of people think she's wrong to call him a liar and we wanted to go down to Crawford and support him. And I think it's the start of many, many counter-protests to come against the anti-war bunch."

Of course, Gallagher COULD have staged some kind of event elsewhere in support of the president but then he would not have been able to steal Sheehan's thunder.

Turning to the other guest, Michael Hoffman, of Iraq Veterans Against The War, Hannity asked one of his trick questions for which no liberal can provide a decent answer. "Do you think it's wrong for her to align herself with these radical groups... Do you think it's right she wants the president shackled and handcuffed and says that, you know, ...the United States is not worth dying for? Is she marginalizing herself, now saying she won't pay taxes and the like?"

Hoffman answered well enough, though it would have been better if he had some good talking points at hand that he could have whipped out and used to override Hannity's question. Instead, Hoffman answered that it wasn't just "those organizations" but also veterans groups and other families on Sheehan's side.

Colmes jumped in and said that it's not that Sheehan is aligning herself with these groups, it's that these groups are aligning themselves with her.

Gallagher who, you may recall, claimed he didn't want to beat up on Sheehan, added that she "has a choice and she's made a choice to not reject any of these radical groups who want to cozy up to her." He said that anyone who calls Bush a killer and a liar is a radical.

Colmes agreed that some of what Sheehan said was over the top but that a grieving mother has the right.

Comment: Buzzer! Rather than defending Sheehan, Colmes or Hoffman should have moved the criticism away from her and put it on Bush by saying that in America, a grieving soldier's mother should have the right to meet with the president regardless of her politics and that for Bush to avoid her while on a five-week vacation makes him look like a cold-hearted coward. Sheehan's vigil is really all about trying to meet with the President - a fact that Hannity and Gallagher conveniently overlooked and from which they neatly distracted attention - and someone on Sheehan's side should have hammered it home.

However, Colmes did make an excellent move by switching the topic to a Washington Post report that the US has "lowered sights" on what can be achieved in Iraq. "It's pointed out we're not going to come anywhere near the kind of Democracy we were promised, that we were told. And indeed it's going to be some form of Islamic Republic that we wind up having in Iraq. Is this what we are going and fighting for?"

Gallagher obviously had no answer so he gave one of his pat ones that made no sense as a response to Colmes' question. "We went and created a free country. We freed millions of people. We got rid of a tyrannical dictator who very easily could have blown more of us up if he had gotten in bed with..."

Colmes interrupted, "Islamic Republic."

Gallagher, flustered, went to his obviously pre-planned talking points. They sounded inane in this unexpected context. "Come on, Alan. We're trying to do the right thing over there. We can't have another Viet Nam. We can't let it happen. And that's what this Cindy Sheehan story has been all about. I think anti-war protesters are going to be met by flag-waving patriots everywhere they go so that Viet Nam never happens again and we don't have soldiers being spit in the face as they come home from doing their duty on the battlefield."

Hannity, as he typically does when he finds himself in a jam, changed the subject and went on the attack. "Don't forget Ted Kennedy, without any proof, said that the president concocted the war for political gain so a lot of these conspiracy theories came from there."

Neither of them could answer Colmes' "Islamic Republic" question.

And then it was time for the night's third installment of Natalee Holloway Is Still Missing.

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