Democrats Fight Back On Hannity & Colmes
Reported by Ellen - March 30, 2006
It was an excellent night for Democrats last night (3/29/06) on Hannity & Colmes as Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel and Ellis Henican each confronted the daily diet of attacks on Democrats coming from Sean Hannity and the FOX News conservatives.
It started during the second half of the discussion with Hugh Hewitt and Bob Beckel.
Alan Colmes kicked things off by reading a quote from Hewitt's book. “The Democratic Party is infected with a virulent strain of anti-religious bigotry." Colmes added, sarcastically, “Lovely words." He continued, "And then you go on to say you decry the viciousness of the left’s rhetoric… How can you say how negative my side is when you say stuff like that?”
Hewitt, who lost most of his credibility in the previous segment, when he called George Bush the Republicans' best asset in 2006, lost the rest of it during this one. “That’s an accurate representation. It does not go to name-calling. It goes to the facts of the Democratic left.” He claimed “a strain” has taken over the blogosphere on the left and ruined the Democratic Party.
Colmes responded that the right is very guilty of accusing the left of being anti-religious, hateful and bigoted.
Hewitt, in another fit of "not name-calling," went on to refer to the Daily Kos blog as “vulgar and profane.” When Colmes defended Kos as one that he likes and one that is the most popular, Hewitt said, “So has Larry Flynt got a lot of readership… They are the same line of rhetoric.”
Colmes was obviously annoyed. Turning to Bob Beckel, Colmes said, “This is the way, Bob, they try to paint the left, they try to define who we are, they try to define the Democratic Party and we shouldn’t stand for that.” (YAY, ALAN!!!)
But Beckel dodged a confrontation - for now. He said he's a born-again Christian and “The Bible was not meant to be political propaganda.” Then he changed the subject.
When it was Sean Hannity’s turn, I knew what he was going to say before he said it. “The anger, the shrillness, the bitterness… It’s EVERYBODY out there on the left today. I don’t see any substance.”
Hewitt, of course, picked up the theme and said that liberals' attacks against President Bush “are emblematic of this virulent strain.” With a straight face, he claimed there was no anger in HIS accusations, just “a recognition that the Democratic Party has turned on people of traditional faith... The biggest blogs on the right unlike the biggest blogs on the left… they do not engage in that kind of character assassination.”
Hannity said, "Forget about the blogs! … I’m looking at the leaders of the Democratic Party that call (Bush) a liar everyday.”
Beckel, who was already annoyed with Hannity for interrupting and saying “Stop it” while Beckel had been trying to talk about the right-wing blogs earlier, said, “There you go again. Back up that statement! … A liar everyday? Give me an example of a liar everyday that was said by a Democrat!”
Hannity, obviously flabbergasted, stuttered before saying, “Ted Kennedy.”
“Did they or did they not daily call him a liar?”
“Call who?” Hannity disingenuously asked.
Bob Beckel repeated his demand. “I want you to back that up. You CAN’T BACK IT UP.”
Hannity, who can’t debate unless he’s bullying and playing tricks, sputtered some more. The wind was clearly taken out of his sails. He said, “I just did back it up… You said one. I gave you three. What else do you want me to do, you want me to engrave it and mail it to your house?"
Comment: Proof positive that when you stand up to a bully, you win.
As the music started, Alan Colmes said, “Karl Rove called the Democrats dumb. Rick Santorum compared the Democrats to the Nazis. Come on.”
Next segment was yet another discussion about Alec Baldwin. Guest Ellis Henican picked up the ball put in play by Colmes and Beckel and ran with it.
Hannity played a portion of his donnybrook with Baldwin AGAIN but Henican was not impressed. Before Hannity asked his first question, Henican said, “You all are children... You all are little baby plaything children. I mean, Come on!”
Hannity, proving again that only the left engage in angry, shrill attacks said, “We’re gonna air Ted Turner’s comments about the president. Then you have Richard Dreyfus, who’s an idiot... At what point does this not design (sic) to chip away at the credibility of the president who’s leading troops in harm’s way. What do our enemies think?”
Henican said, “You’re making way too much of it… When you become a big boy and run for president of the United States, people say stuff about you… It doesn’t have REMOTELY the impact that you’re making out of it… Why are you so rattled by this?”
Hannity seemed a bit flustered. His customary bully-boy tone disappeared from his voice. “I’m saying the level now is so destructive and hurtful and I believe it’s undermining our troops and putting them in harm’s way.”
Henican kept it up. “Democracy does not go on vacation when we go to war… You’re confusing open and honest and vigorous debate by throwing this anti-patriotic stone. It’s inappropriate. It’s not democratic.” (YAY, ELLIS!!!)
Alan Colmes took his turn. “Alec Baldwin does not represent the Democratic Party. Alec Baldwin is not running for office. Alec Baldwin is not the reason Democrats will or will not get elected in 2006 or any other time.”
Henican agreed."It is the last refuge of a political organ that has run out of gas. You guys can’t defend the war. The president is hugely unpopular. All you can do is attack.”
Turning back to Hannity and the Baldwin confrontation, Henican joked, “By the way, I don’t think you’ve milked it enough,” as he and Colmes cracked up.
Hannity put his hand on his heart (a tell) and began to lie. “There’s no stunt here... Our troops are in harm’s way… That propaganda’s used by our enemies to justify their attacks on our troops.. I am for honest, intellectually stimulating debate. This is reckless, over the top rhetoric that hurts innocent people.”
Just as I was about to scream an epithet at the TV that might have given Hugh Hewitt some ammunition against me, Alan Colmes made the gratifying response (gratifying because it's the same one I keep making) that several H&C guests have told Hannity that the troops have NOT been affected by the political debate in our country, that they're not paying attention. And they weren't just pundits who said that, they were high-ranking military officers: General Tommy Franks, General Paul Vallely and Colonel Oliver North.
But Hannity, who has never served, declared, “I don’t believe that.” Funny, he never said anything like that at the time.
Colmes continued, "On one level, we are told that they are fighting to protect American values. American values happen to be free speech, the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment… If you’re going to protect those values, you don’t then compromise those values because quote unquote it’s a time of war."
Henican chimed in. "That was very eloquent."
Ellis Henican is our latest top dog.
UPDATE: You can see a video of most of Henican's appearance here.