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Michael Reagan Says Howard Dean "Should Be Taken Out." When Are Democratic Leaders Going To Learn How To Stand Up To The FOX News Hate Machine?

Reported by Ellen - December 7, 2005

Last night, the FOX News hate machine sank to a new low. Too cowardly and, if past statements are any guide, too ill-informed to hold a substantive discussion on the merits of Democratic criticisms about the war in the Iraq, Sean Hannity substituted bullying character assassination while Michael Reagan advocated actual assassination of those practicing the democratic and American right of dissent. Alan Colmes did an exceptional job of countering such despicable behavior but so-called Democratic strategist Bob Beckel was obviously unprepared and caught off-guard by the onslaught. Isn't it time that the objects of these attacks - Howard Dean, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, to name a few - figure out a viable strategy to confront these un-American tactics that go on night after night on the most highly-rated news network?

Referring to Howard Dean's comments that the US will not win the Iraq war, Michael Reagan told Sean Hannity "I have no problem at all, no problem at all, with what this guy is doing, taking him out and arresting him." Reagan's justification was that Dean's comments were going to cause the deaths of US soldiers. No proof was provided but, apparently, in Reagan's mind, just the possibility makes it OK to assassinate.

Earlier in the day, Michael Reagan had called for Howard Dean to be tried for treason and hung so Bob Beckel should have been ready to address such viciousness. But he was not. First, he made a point of criticising Dean for his remark, calling it unhelpful, then he attacked Bush for causing more deaths and mishandling the war.

It was Alan Colmes, doing what should have been Beckel's job, who came up with the appropriate response: That people like John Kerry, who had the courage to speak out against the Vietnam war when it was unpopular, helped end a war and save lives. He said the same thing is happening now.

Reagan did not have an answer for that, other than to ask if Colmes thought we were losing the war. Colmes answered, without hesitation (and without distancing himself from Dean the way Beckel did) that we are. He cited the same arguments John Murtha used, that attacks against us are on the rise "and, as of now, it is not, as Cheney said, the last stage of the insurgency, is it?"

Reagan had no answer for that, either. Rather than let him hang himself by forcing an answer, or pressing Reagan to defend his outrageous comments against a fellow American, Beckel attacked Bush and distanced himself again from Dean by asking why Reagan never criticised Bush rather than always going after someone who made some "unfortunate" remarks.

As Reagan defended Bush's handling of the war, Colmes demanded to know what "win" means and how to know when we have achieved victory. Reagan never came up with a good response.

Hannity went to a break with the not-so-veiled threat, "You need a lesson about what winning in the war against terror is, Mr. Beckel."

Did Hannity care that Beckel had distanced himself from Dean's comments? Of course not. Hannity only wanted to do his utmost to attack and deflect criticism from Bush. "Your party every step of the way, Bob Beckel,... You have undermined a president, while we are in a war... what part of that don't you and your liberal friends understand?"

Hannity followed that up with the most disgusting display of bullying disguised as sanctimonious outrage I have ever seen from him. Head slanted at an acute angle, eyes squinted with aggression, Hannity tried to bulldoze Beckel into demanding "on national TV" that Howard Dean resign and John Kerry apologize. "Do you have the moral courage to do it?"

Once again, Beckel seemed caught unaware and became defensive, so Hannity went further on the offensive, attacking harder and more viciously. When Beckel answered he had already said he didn't approve of Dean's remarks, Hannity said, sarcastically, "Oh, how brave of you."

Colmes interrupted to end the discussion with something Beckel should have known to say. "Hey, Michael, you tell Bush to apologize for sending people to this war, for misleading us into this war, tell Cheney to apologize for saying 'last stages of the insurgency,' tell them to apologize for misleading us.

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