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Hannity Outclassed By The Mexicans Again

Reported by Ellen - January 21, 2006

Temporarily (I’m sure) putting aside his plans to browbeat the State of Vermont into removing a judge he doesn’t like, Sean Hannity decided Friday night (1/20/06) it was time to get macho with the Mexicans again. Unfortunately, Hannity’s all-brawn, no-brain act got him nowhere with a shrewd, polished and sophisticated Mexican senator who made Hannity look like an ugly American without a clue.

This was the second time in a week that Hannity & Colmes purported to discuss an allegation that the Mexican Army is crossing into the US and assisting drug smugglers. Also for the second time, the issue went mostly unaddressed by Hannity as he decided to use the occasion to harangue a Mexican official about immigration instead. Just like last time, his efforts failed.

Friday night’s guests included Chris Simcox, of The Minuteman Project. The group is a favorite on H&C, despite the fact that President Bush has called them “vigilantes” for trying to police the Mexican border.

Alan Colmes questioned the allegations by noting that Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, said that the reports are overblown, that any incidents that did occur happened by accident. Simcox insisted that his reports were correct, but did not provide any back up, other than to say that he had sent a video to Chertoff’s predecessor, Tom Ridge. Comment: If The Minuteman Project has so many volunteers along the border, wouldn’t it be easy to document those claims? And why not show the video on H&C?

The other guest, Mexican Senator Jeffrey Max Jones said that there are large stretches of the border where the line is not clear and that the Mexican army sometimes crosses it by mistake. As “MEXICAN INVASION?” appeared on the screen, Simcox claimed, without offering any proof, that the Mexican army used illegals to divert US border patrol resources in order to escort drug mules into the US.

Senator Jones said he had no information indicating Simcox’s claims were accurate.

You could hear Hannity getting ready to bully Senator Jones right from the start of his portion of the interview when he said, in a pushy voice, “Hey, Senator, you do acknowledge that there is a severe illegal immigration problem?”

Senator Jones said pleasantly, “I do.”

Hannity was obviously a bit taken aback because a few nights before, Hannity had wasted an entire interview with the Mexican Consul General fruitlessly trying to badger him into using the word “illegal” with "immigration."

But Hannity had decided to flex his muscle with Mexico and he was not about to let a little thing like an amiable guest stop him. Referring to the Mexican Consul General as “the Mexican Consul Guy,” Hannity complained to Jones about the Consul’s refusal to “acknowledge the basic fact and the basic truth is that there are people – many of them – we estimate some 11 + million of them in the United States alone, from Mexico that didn’t respect our laws and sovereignty. What should we do about people that didn’t respect our laws and sovereignty?”

Senator Jones proved to be as unflappable as the Consul General. Jones said politely that the problem is trying to attack the migration itself, rather than the root cause of it.

That was obviously not what Hannity wanted to hear so he tried to goad Jones by asking if the United States didn’t have the right to put troops along the border or build a fence along the border. “Is it wrong for the United States to protect its borders fully?”

Jones answered that the US had a right to be concerned.

Hannity, never the diplomat, angrily interrupted to say “I didn’t ask you that. I said do we have the right to protect the borders fully?”

Jones said the point is “looking at the border is not going to solve the problem. That’s just the point where the act of migration occurs. Give it the name you want. We need to look at the real causes.”

But discussion, debate or even exchange of information was not what macho-man Hannity had in mind. In an accusing voice, he said, “The problem is people don’t respect our laws, isn’t it?” He meant, of course, YOU PEOPLE.

Jones compared the problem to prohibition and speeding and added, “If you want to look at that as the only issue, go ahead and do it,” but suggested again that the root causes be examined.

Hannity, itching for a fight now, used his bully-boy voice and his bully-boy squint, as he decreed that “First things first. You’ve got to control the borders.”

Unfortunately for Hannity, Jones was not bullied. “You’re free to say that, Sean…”

Hannity interrupted to say sarcastically, “Oh, thank you very much.”

Jones continued, unintimidated. “But I’m saying that as long as you continue looking at things from that perspective, where the only issue to you is what happens at the border, you’re not going to solve the real problems.” He added that the migration is not in Mexico’s long-term interest.

While Hannity sputtered in the background, Jones kept talking.

Simcox then came up with some new accusations, that the Mexican government is “forcing its people into the desert to die” via “narco-terrorism,” the “human slave trade,” and the “sex slave trade.” How did he know? He didn’t say and Hannity never asked. Simcox then put forth the idea that putting up a fence and patrolling the border would protect people on both sides.

I’m sure it was very clear to Senator Jones just how much Simcox was thinking of the Mexican people's benefits. But he smoothly said he could make a good argument that putting up a wall would be in Mexico’s interest, to keep its own workforce there. “But those types of solutions do not work in the long term. We have to get to the root. The US is creating pull-factors in the US that need to be dealt with by the legislative body.”

Hannity, ready to rumble (from the safety of another studio) said, “Are you gonna blame the United States now? You gonna blame the United States for this problem, sir? Sounds like it.”

Alan Colmes broke in to end the discussion and sounded a bit embarrassed as he thanked the Senator for his appearance.

Comment: Hannity's penchant for throwing his weight around notwithstanding, the fact that he never addressed the Mexican Army's "invasion" leads me to believe he thought it was a bogus claim, too.

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