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Two, Two Republican Rehabs In One!

Reported by Ellen - February 7, 2006

Hannity & Colmes got cushy with Richard Scrushy, former CEO of Healthsouth, in another episode of Republican Rehab on FOX News last night (2/6/06). This one was touted as an “H&C Exclusive” interview. It was exclusive alright. It excluded a number of highly relevant but damning facts about Mr. Scrushy.

The show painted Mr. Scrushy as a vindicated former CEO, having been acquitted of 36 counts of fraud and conspiracy charges in 2005. What nobody mentioned is that according to Wikipedia (and verified by a Google News search), “Just four months after being acquitted in a $2.7 billion fraud at the rehabilitation and medical-services chain he founded, on October 26, 2005, Scrushy was indicted on charges of bribery and mail fraud in connection with former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Two former Siegelman aides were charged in the indictment as well. In December, 2005, Scrushy and Siegelman were indicted on conspiracy and mail fraud charges alleging that they conspired to give HealthSouth membership and influence over a state hospital regulatory board.” Also not mentioned on the air was a little $47.8 million judgment owed to HealthSouth shareholders that Scrushy just appealed.

Alan Colmes asked how responsible Scrushy was for the problems at his company. “Where does the buck stop?”

Scrushy took no responsibility. He said the buck stops with “the people that are guilty.” He likened himself to a spouse who has been cheated on. “If you’re deceived… you shouldn’t be held responsible for something you had nothing to do with.” Comment: I’d say that as a CEO of a company whose staff is committing fraud it would have been a better analogy to compare himself to a parent of a criminal.

Colmes noted that Scrushy is host of a Christian talk show and asked if it’s an attempt to rehabilitate his image. “Our television show is a ministry… We really enjoy the ministry. What we’re trying to do is help people. We’re trying to build the kingdom of God.” Right - and pay no attention to those other looming fraud charges.

While they were at it, Ken Lay got an advance dose of Republican Rehab when Colmes asked how Scrushy’s trial might affect Ken Lay. Scrushy thought the buck shouldn’t stop with Lay either. “I do know that when you have big corporations and you have a lot of people that the CEO – there’s no way that he can know everything.” Scrushy said he didn’t know if Lay is guilty or not but “we should not judge.” He said that he was blasted in the media, but acquitted on every count. Except the ones he forgot to mention are still pending.

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