Sean Hannity Asks And Answers His Own Questions To Discredited Schiavo Nurse
Reported by Ellen - July 3, 2006 -
Friday night (6/30/06), Sean Hannity really went to bat for his former guest, Carla Sauer-Iyer, on Hannity & Colmes. Sauer-Iyer is facing revocation of her nursing license as the result of statements she made on television about Terri Schiavo’s condition. The judge in the Schiavo case called Sauer-Iyer’s claims that Schiavo was alert and able to interact with others “incredible to say the least.” But Hannity, who seems to believe that his background as a talk show host trumps the legal education and experience of most judges, not only believed Sauer-Iyer, he coached her for her television appearances against Alan Colmes last year. Friday night, Hannity went a step further. He answered his own questions on her behalf.
Before the interview began, Hannity played some clips of Sauer-Iyer on television during the 2005 Schiavo circus. Schiavo was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state but Sauer-Iyer was shown saying “We would even have Terri sitting at the nurses’ station. She was interacting with the nurses and the staff.” Sauer-Iyer added that Schiavo would speak and eat and that “she would follow commands.”
Hannity started the interview by trying to make it look as though the complaint against Sauer-Iyer arose from statements she made in an affidavit she filed for Jeb Bush. In fact, the legal action is the result of Sauer-Iyer’s statements on television – during a Hannity & Colmes interview, if FNC is to be believed. (Another report says it was the result of a CNN interview). Hannity’s first question was, “You have filed, just for the record, an affidavit in the case, correct? Where you were giving specific information about your recollection, your treatment in the case of Terri Schiavo, right?”
Despite the fact that I deplore such tactics, I almost wished Hannity had coached Sauer-Iyer Friday and saved us all the tedium of listening to her halting, non-sequitor and often incomprehensible answers. Her first response to Hannity was, “Yes, um, there was an affidavit filed under the legal defense for Governor Jeb Bush. I had a affidavit out for state and federal courts. It was all in the public domain and the public record.”
Faced with such inarticulateness, Hannity must have figured he’d just go ahead and make her point for her. “That’s the point that I wanted to get to here. This is an affidavit, this is a legal proceeding. You were compelled to do so. You did so in this particular case. As a nurse, your first job, I assume, is wanting to save people’s lives. You felt the truth wasn’t being told. It wasn’t being told. The story wasn’t being told. You told it. It’s on the public record. So why is there a problem here when you’re just disclosing what was on the public record?”
Sauer-Iyer gave another unintelligible answer. “The first complaint came out of Massachusetts around March of 28th. It has lied dormant until May when I was served by the Department of Health trying to permanently revoke my license, never to entertain any license at any future date which has a domino effect that I can’t practice in any other state, either.”
Hannity, never one to overlook a chance to smear someone he disagrees with, asked if Michael Schiavo “may have any culpability in any of this?”
Sauer-Iyer replied, “I don’t know the hand or hands that are moving this into a revoke situation.”
Then Hannity re-iterated Sauer-Iyer’s talking points for her. “So the bottom line is, as a result of a public appearance just corroborating and confirming what was in a legal case here, you now risk losing your livelihood.”
Alan Colmes started his portion of the interview by asking whether Sauer-Iyer's duty of confidentiality precluded her from talking in public about a patient.
Sauer-Iyer said, “Abuse is not a private, family matter. You have an obligation morally and ethically to stand up and advocate for your patient.” Comment: She thought her moral and ethical obligations included discussing her patient on a nationally televised debate show? It seemed an obvious question but Colmes didn’t ask.
Instead, Colmes discussed the truthfulness of Sauer-Iyer's allegations. “You said that you believe that Michael (Schiavo), for example injected Terri with insulin to intentionally make her sick. An investigation found nothing of that actually took place. You talked on our show about her speaking. The autopsy showed she was not aware of her surroundings. Her reactions were automatic. There was no evidence of thought or consciousness. So there is some quite dispute about whether what you said was accurate.”
Once again, Sauer-Iyer was unable to directly answer the question put to her. “No, I went to the police in August of 1996 and Michael’s mother-in-law worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office so there could be a hand in removing some police reports, altering that.”
Colmes never had the opportunity to ask a follow-up question. Hannity interrupted to end the segment, even though Colmes got 30 seconds less, which amounted to 25% less time than Hannity.
Watch the video and see for yourself.