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Sean Hannity Calls Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson "A Left-Wing Radical"

Reported by Ellen - October 25, 2005

Once again, a discussion about Traitorgate sent Sean Hannity over the edge. Unable to avoid the truth laid on him by Alan Colmes and Democratic strategist Mary Ann Marsh last night (10/24/05), Hannity made the ridiculous claim that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who donated $1,000 to George W. Bush in 1999, is a "left-wing radical."

The discussion started out with Alan Colmes playing a clip of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's widely discredited statement calling perjury "a technicality." Colmes pointed out how serious perjury was to her and the Republicans when Clinton committed it and said "It sounds to me (the Republicans) are doing a little tap dancing ahead of time - a litte pre-indictment spin here."

Mary Ann Marsh, a FOX News contributor I have not seen before but hope to see again, started off with a bang by saying it would be very difficult for the Bush Administration to make the CIA leak investigation look partisan because the investigation and prosecution (if there is one) are being conducted by Republicans.

Another day, another disgraced conservative rehabilitated as a FOX News pundit. Last night it was convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy. After Marsh made her comment, Liddy admitted that the prosecutor has "an excellent reputation as a straight shooter."

The White House in trouble and being compared to the Clinton impeachment - that must have been unbearable for Hannity. He tried to make a distinction. "We've gone away from the outing of Plame... to the focus of something Karl Rove didn't tell the grand jury... There's a big difference between the failure or omission in a recollection than having Monica, you know, file this false affidavit and then testify to its truthfulness. Bill Clinton didn't not recollect that he had sex with the girl. He directly lied under oath. If we want to be specific about it, I think he remembered having sex with her. So there really isn't any comparison here, is there?"

Comment: I think it was Clinton, not Lewinsky, who filed the false affidavit and it looks like Hannity is grasping at the "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" straw. Let's compare: Rove "didn't tell the grand jury" something, Clinton "didn't tell" a special prosecutor something.

Liddy, who was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping, and received a 20-year sentence, doesn't seem to me the kind of person who should be making judgements about other people's ethics but maybe the logical choice, Bill Bennett, was busy working up a new hypothesis about ethnic cleansing without abortion and wasn't available.

To Liddy, Rove's perjury (if that's what it was) was just "an act of omission," no biggie. That's not very surprising when you consider that Liddy found Hitler inspiring, thinks environmentalists are fanatics like Al Qaeda, amd said if he were in charge of the Viet Nam war he would have "drowned half the country and starved the other half." Perjury must seem pretty tame, indeed.

Marsh, however, cut to the chase and said that it's much more serious, that the investigation is much less about revealing the identity of a CIA operative and much more about the White House retaliating against Wilson for being critical of the Iraq war.

That's when Hannity lost his grip on reality. A proven teller of falsehoods (See, e.g., Media Matters, my 10/23/05 and 9/30/05 posts), Hannity said Joseph Wilson has "frankly, lied repeatedly" and that "he's a left-wing radical with a political agenda" (Marsh started cracking up).

Hannity said, sarcastically "I'm glad to see honesty matters to you Clinton defenders now."

But Marsh got the last word with Colmes by saying that, even though there have not yet been any indictments, there have been effects. She said that Bush's low poll numbers are having an ill effect on Republicans in the 2006 races. She also said that it's hard to see how Bush's poll numbers could go any lower, but the one thing that could make things worse for Bush would be for either him or Cheney to be involved in the scandal. That, of course, is exactly what the breaking New York Times article they were discussing might lead to.

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