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Sean Hannity’s Interview With Howard Stern Fizzles

Reported by Ellen - March 9, 2006

Is it just me or did anyone else find Sean Hannity’s interview with Howard Stern an all-around bore? While a discussion between these two opposites might have been interesting, they were so busy being polite to each other that I could have gone to sleep after the first round of compliments.

It still puzzles me why FOX News or Howard Stern or whoever was in charge of setting up the interview didn’t choose Alan Colmes to do the interview or at least take part in it. There is no doubt in my mind that Colmes would have asked a far more interesting and entertaining set of questions. Colmes, a former comedian, is not only more simpatico with Stern’s schtick, he has a much more inquisitive mind than Hannity (especially when it comes to sex) that would have honed in on what makes Stern interesting.

For all his bombast, Hannity has always struck me as rather prudish. His timid questions for Stern only confirmed those suspicions. Sex is not one of my favorite topics of conversation but if you’re not going to talk about it with Howard Stern, what else is there to say? Sean Hannity started Part 2 by asking whether Stern would prefer that his tombstone read “King of All Media” or “Good Father.” Is that really the kind of thing people want to know about Stern? I didn’t, though I’m certainly not a typical viewer. In case anyone was wondering, Stern answered, “Good father.”

Other than mention the words “strippers” and “lesbians” occasionally, Hannity seemed too squeamish to talk about the things that make Stern tick. The most interesting part of the interview was when Stern said he was fascinated by strippers. “How do you get into that life? How do you accept that life and live it normally? I love to talk to people who live on the fringe. I’m amazed by it.” There’s lots of material that Hannity could have and should have explored (and there’s no doubt in my mind that Colmes would have, at least if he was doing his radio show) but Hannity didn’t probe. Instead, he changed the subject by asking how Stern’s daughters feel about his show.

Even the political discussion was rather tame. Stern began to criticize the religious right for being against abortion and not doing much for the unwanted kids once they’re born. Hannity, who would probably not let a Democrat finish such a sentence before beginning a tirade against it, turned unusually deferential with Stern. “Not all,” Hannity politely said, then cited Jerry Falwell as an example (Falwell apparently has some kind of center that helps pregnant women).

Stern seems to be more of a libertarian than a liberal. Although he voted for Kerry, he called Richard Nixon “one of the best presidents that we ever had. I think he got caught up with a bunch of thugs who worked around him who really did him in.” He added that he thought Bush was in a similar situation, having been led into the war in Iraq by Cheney. Stern called the Iraq war “a diversion.”

Earlier in the same show Hannity went on one of his regular jags against Iraq War critics. But he showed no such distaste now. Instead of the usual accusations that speaking out against the war undermines our troops, Hannity humbly said, “Look, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Nobody’s got a crystal ball but I don’t think we could have risked – everybody said he’s got weapons of mass destruction… I think, personally, that he moved them to Syria… but the bottom line is we couldn’t risk those weapons that he had used before getting in the hands of the enemy and bringing them over to our shores.”

Stern suggested that the only way out was to put Saddam back in power.

“No,” Hannity said shaking his head. He quietly added a few of his objections.

“Who the hell is gonna run that place?”

Hannity joked, “I’m thinking, Stern, once you get the TV channel and you got the radio – 2 channels…”

It’s nice to see two such different types being nice to each other but you get the point quickly and after that there’s not much more you need to know.

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