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Sean Hannity Demonstrates A Total Lack Of Finesse With The Mexican Consul

Reported by Ellen - January 18, 2006

I was embarrassed for my country last night as Sean Hannity, evidently thinking he was standing up for the USA, acted even more brutish than usual as he harangued the Mexican consulate for not using the word “illegal” when talking about Mexican immigrants.

Hannity opened the discussion by announcing that the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported that the Mexican army is assisting drug smugglers. But rather than follow that up with the guest, Mexican Consul General Arturo Sarukhan, Hannity spent his entire portion of the interview trying to bully Sarukhan into calling the immigration problem an “illegal immigration problem.”

Sarukhan agreed with Hannity that there’s a “great, great problem” with “migration flows” but that wasn’t good enough for Hannity.

“Not migration,” Hannity said in a condescending voice, as though he were talking to a wayward child. Hitting the desk, he asked, “Do we have an illegal immigration problem?”

Sarukhan replied coolly we have “an immigration problem.”

Hitting the desk harder, Hannity said, “I didn’t ask you immigration. I said an ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION problem. Now don’t make me…” Hannity’s voice trailed off and he hit Sarukhan playfully on the arm.

I so wished Sarukhan would have bitchslapped Hannity back and told him to keep his condescending hands to himself. But Sarukhan was a very diplomatic diplomat. “Sean, we can go into discussions whether it’s legal or not. I think we DO have a problem of people who are in the United States without the proper documentation.”

“Illegally. No!” Pounding the desk even harder, Hannity demanded, “Why can’t you say what it is? This bothers me!” Hannity pounded the desk again. “They’re here illegally. Why can’t you just say it?”

Sarukhan smiled and said, “I think they’re here without their papers.”

“Is that illegal?”

Sarukhan finally agreed it is illegal within the United States.

Still pounding the desk, Hannity pronounced, “If you don’t admit and acknowledge the truth about a problem, you can’t fix it.”

Still unruffled, Sarukhan told Hannity that he admits there is a problem of people crossing the borders without their proper papers.

“Please say ‘illegally,’” Hannity pleaded.

“Without the proper papers,” Sarukhan smiled.

“Let me tell you something. Our audience is getting aggravated, like I am. Because you know something? America has been a good friend of Mexico, I think, overall.” He pounded the table again. “I don’t care what we ultimately work out… Mexico can be our friends, our partners for life. And we should have a great relationship.” Then, after throwing a few more complaints and demands Sarukhan’s way (that Mexicans aren’t respecting our laws, they have to respect American sovereignty, that it’s not just workers who might be crossing the borders, it could be our enemies), Hannity demanded, “We need Mexico’s help securing our borders. You’re not going to be able to help us if you can’t admit they’re here illegally.” He was still hitting the desk.

Comment: What a way to get someone to help you - not.

Finally, Alan Colmes broke in to take his turn. “Let’s not get bogged down in the word. We know that there are people here, as you acknowledge, according to our laws, who should not be here. So what’s Mexico doing about that?”

Sarukhan didn’t give any assurance that the Mexican government is cracking down. He gave vague answers about creating more jobs in Mexico so that workers wouldn’t want to leave, making sure that Mexicans were not preyed upon by organized crime at the borders and working on corruption. He claimed that Vicente Fox’s administration has given the US unprecedented co-operation, though Sarukhan wasn’t clear about just what kind of co-operation he meant.

Hannity couldn’t resist one more barb before the interview ended. “It is imperative for a long-term relationship that I think we’ll have, that we solve the problem. But we have to admit the truth first.”

Sarukhan smiled once more. “I think we are.”

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