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Who Started the Name-Calling, Hannity?

Reported by Judy - March 28, 2006

Sean Hannity tried to spin his recent ambush of actor Alec Baldwin by appearing on Fox News' "Dayside" Monday (March 27, 2006) to give his version -- and his version only -- of what happened. Far be it from either of the "Dayside" co-hosts to contract the star of this trashy news network.

In a phone interview on "Dayside," Hannity claimed that Baldwin had promised to appear on his show, but did not, so he spontaneously decided to call in when he heard Baldwin on the Los Angeles radio station WABC, where he was a guest along with another right-winger named Mark Levin.

Hannity said that he began the conversation with Baldwin on matters of substance and that Baldwin responded with name-calling.

Unfortunately for Hannity, "Dayside" played enough of the exchange to demonstrate that Hannity started the name-calling, referring to Baldwin as a "reckless, irresponsible actor." Then Baldwin responded by callling Hannity "an incredibly ignorant boob from Long Island." Although Baldwin had allowed Hannity to spew his hatred, Hannity interrupted Baldwin and talked over him, trying to prevent Baldwin from being heard. Hannity also added some more childish names for Baldwin.

Despite having played the clip on "Dayside" so that the audience could hear the events as they transpired, Hannity went on to claim that he had confronted Baldwin with "substance" and Baldwin responded with name-calling. That's clearly false, based on "Dayside's" own tape.

News Hound Ellen already has pointed out in her post that she wished Baldwin had stuck around to debate Hannity. That's right, of course, assuming Hannity would have allowed him to talk.

Generally, in confrontations with right-wingers, it is best to keep your cool and don't get angry (you appear undisciplined and right-wingers hate undisciplined people), as George Lakoff has pointed out in his book, Don't Think of An Elephant.

But Lakoff has another rule -- don't play if the game is rigged. Baldwin walked off because the game was rigged. He already was debating one right-winger, author Mark Levin, and was suddenly asked to debate two of them at once.

The "Dayside" co-hosts invited Hannity and Baldwin to come on their show and debate, but Hannity wanted to make sure he didn't have to debate two people, asking Juliet Huddy, "You're on my side?"

Apparently, Hannity wouldn't like debating two people at once any more than Baldwin did. And knowing how things are done at Fox News, Hannity figured he had to specify that "fair and balanced" did not mean two against one, as it usually does.

Click Bald-Han.wmv to see a brief video of the "Dayside" interview:

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