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Hypocritical Hannity’s Haditha Histrionics

Reported by Ellen - May 31, 2006

Two segments after Sean Hannity announced his verdict months ahead of a trial in the Duke rape case, he was bemoaning the “rush to judgment” in Haditha. In the course of keeping his “open mind,” he and FOX News military analyst Bill Cowan got in several smears against Congressman John Murtha, who brought the incident to the public’s attention.

As I have reported several times and as Judy also reported, FOX News has sidestepped talking about the issues of Haditha by trying to make the discussion about Murtha. Last night (5/30/06) on Hannity & Colmes, the "blame Murtha first" theme continued.

Lt. Col. Bill Cowan told Alan Colmes that the media coverage of Haditha has been “relatively balanced.” Then Cowan immediately complained that John Murtha had been “extremely emotional” and was “really putting the blame on the marines.”

But Murtha did not blame the marines. Murtha told Alan Colmes on his radio show (most of which H&C declined to air), “Every day when they go out, EVERY SINGLE DAY, an explosive device goes off, it doesn’t hit them. The next day, explosive device goes off, it doesn’t hit them. And then one of the guys gets killed and somebody else gets killed. So the pressure is tremendous. So the context of how I brought this out was – the pressure is getting to these guys.”

In other words, Murtha put Haditha into the larger context of the war in Iraq, as a whole. But nobody on H&C wanted to go there.

Hannity hammed up his outrage. “Let me get some facts on the table here,” he said, gearing up for his bullyboy schtick. He wagged his finger and dramatically announced, “Not one marine has been charged with anything as of yet.” He added, “Many facts that are favorable to the marines involved have not yet been disclosed.”

But Hannity didn’t care about the missing facts in the Duke case. Despite the fact that much of the DA’s evidence has not yet been aired, Hannity and FOX News reporter Megyn “It’s PMS, not rape” Kendall have not only concluded that the Duke defendants are not guilty, they are actively crusading for an acquittal. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kendall and Hannity sought permission to address the jury once the trial occurs.

In fact, Kendall, a former lawyer, temporarily forgot that she’s supposed to be a reporter now. When Hannity asked her about the tough cross-examination the accuser will likely face, Kendall replied, “That’s what we lawyers do. That’s why we get paid well.” You could almost hear the longing in Kendall’s voice as she said, “If I had to do this cross-examination, it would be brutal.”

“This is supposed to be about justice,” Hannity declared with melodramatic flourish. “What we now know is so exculpatory. It is so compelling. We must ask the question why this case is even being brought forward. Why these indictments are still standing.”

“What we now know is what one side wants us to know,” Colmes said. He was the only member of the five-person panel (which once again included Mark “N-word” Fuhrman, an insensitive choice for a racially charged case) who thought that judgment should be suspended until the case is tried in court. “Shouldn’t this, like any other case, have a fair hearing in a court of law?”

But in the Haditha case, Hannity was suddenly complaining about a rush to judgment. Of course, Haditha is not nearly as important on FOX News as Duke. As usual, Duke was the top story last night and lasted 18 minutes into the hour. Haditha was buried in the second half of the show (9:31 ET) and lasted seven minutes.

“You know what’s bothering me, Colonel?” Hannity said to Hunt. “If anybody deserves to at least have their day in court, are we not gonna give it to the marines? And not have people like John Murtha politicizing this war, accusing these guys of killing civilians in cold blood. Can we at least give this to the marines that are risking their lives for us?” Hannity had stopped wagging his finger and started chopping the air with his hand.

“I don’t know what evidence they have now. But nobody’s been charged and we don’t know the facts.” Hannity raised his voice and gesticulated with grand Hanctimony. “It angers me to some level to think that people can sit in their comfortable offices in Washington or in a studio without the facts and adjudicate this case.”

Congressman Murtha visits the troops in hospitals nearly every week. When was the last time Hannity left his "comfortable office" or studio to visit the troops in a hospital? You can email him with that question at:


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