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The FOX News Spirit Of Bipartisanship: When Democrats Criticize Republicans, It’s Outrageous. When Republicans Criticize Democrats, It’s Punditry.

Reported by Ellen - February 2, 2006

Once again, the Hannity & Colmes Republicans were on their high horse last night as they patted themselves on the back for being morally superior to the "angry" and "shrill" Democrats - all the while denigrating them almost non-stop.

The first guest was Republican Mitt Romney talking about “The New Agenda” (as the TV screen said) laid out by President Bush in his State of the Union speech the night before. There was no Democratic guest involved in the discussion, although Alan Colmes was once again at the top of his game and asked good, tough questions such as: If Bush is so dedicated to making the US more competitive, why is he cutting education? If Bush couldn’t get his agenda through last year, why do we think he’ll have greater success now, when his approval ratings are even lower?

Romney answered that Bush got much of what he wanted last year, including prescription drug benefits and the bankruptcy bill. “Let’s not make it a partisan bicker but let’s instead focus on getting the job done for the American people.”

But moments later, talking with Sean Hannity, Romney said, “I think the Democrats who’ve gone off attacking Justice Alito, those that have been attacking the president on every single turn end up diminishing the debate… And nowhere was that more apparent than last night as we saw the applause, lack thereof and lack of disrespect (sic) on the part of some senators.” Romney later complained that Governor Kaine, who gave the Democrats’ response, was critical of Bush but offered no alternatives. “There are no alternatives coming from the Democratic Party. They’re only being critical of the president.” He conveniently forgot Murtha’s resolution which was not only immediately assailed by Republicans, they tried to turn it around and make it backfire on him.

Later, there was a discussion about the latest “unbelievable” and “outrageous” comments of Cindy Sheehan. Hannity said, as he always does, that he feels sorry for Sheehan. “But at some point, somebody’s got to be held accountable here for the statements she’s making.” As he listed the “outrageous” statements Sheehan supposedly made, Hannity proved for the zillionth time that he is unable to make an argument without distorting the truth. This time, he made the false allegation that Sheehan said America’s not worth fighting for. (She’s said “this country” and was referring to Iraq.)

In a statement that could have been about his own charmed career telling falsehoods on a national news network, Hannity asked, “Does she just get a pass completely?”

Funny how I haven’t seen a single criticism on FOX about Ann Coulter “joking” that someone should poison Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. In fact, Coulter was on Hannity & Colmes the night after that remark and nothing was said about it. In addition to her usual billing as a legal authority, that night she was also held up as an expert in foreign policy.

The not-so-balanced guest list for the Sheehan discussion included Nathan Burchfiel, from CNSNews.com (which stands for conservative news service) only. Colmes asked, “Why do you care what Cindy Sheehan says? Is she a person of power? She doesn’t run things in this country.”

Burchfiel said Sheehan’s “a figurehead” of the left and that there are a lot of people “out there” who support her. The same could be said of Ann Coulter who has publicly advocated murder when she wasn't joking. But on FOX News, no comment is too outrageous if you’re a conservative. If you’re a liberal, no criticism of a conservative is ever to be respected.

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