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“Real Journalism” FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes Silent About Ann Coulter’s Plagiarism And Voter Fraud Allegations

Reported by Ellen - July 7, 2006 -

It’s been five days since the New York Post reported at least three instances of “textbook plagiarism” in Ann Coulter’s latest book and found “similar patterns of cribbing” in the last 12 months of her columns. Yesterday, Coulter’s syndicator, Universal Press Syndicate, announced it was going to probe the allegations, itself. And she remains under investigation for voter fraud in Florida, a third degree felony. But none of that was reported last night (7/6/06) on “fair and balanced” Hannity & Colmes where Coulter made another of her frequent appearances. Instead, she was hailed as a bestselling author, an expert on foreign and domestic affairs, in danger of being “stifled” by liberals.

Not only were allegations of Coulter’s ethical transgressions overlooked, she was there on Hannity & Colmes to pass judgment on the principles of others, particularly Sean Hannity’s nemesis, Alec Baldwin. Hannity introduced the segment with Coulter by talking about “a very bizarre posting” by Alec Baldwin on Huffington Post. “Baldwin shared a violent fantasy of murdering Osama bin Laden with a box cutter and then concludes with the following quote. ‘I gather up the body of the world’s most notorious terrorist and hurl it over the balcony. Then, in a final stroke of luck, Bin Laden lands on Dick Cheney. God Bless America.’” Despite the Dick Cheney fantasy, Baldwin’s complete post is really about how much he loves this country. He talked about his feelings of patriotism and pride in the United States. He talked about getting choked up when he hears the National Anthem sung and he talked about what he has in common with conservatives. Funny how nobody on Hannity & Colmes mentioned that.

But before getting to Baldwin, Hannity “promoted” Coulter from political pundit to foreign policy expert despite the fact that she has absolutely no expertise nor experience in that field. Speaking about North Korea, Hannity asked, “Obviously, this developing news is too important to ignore… What should happen next?”

Coulter took less than half a minute before bringing the subject back to the only thing she really knows how to discuss – bashing liberals. I’m convinced that Coulter prepares her “witticisms” in advance (I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t hire a writer to do it for her) and whenever she is asked to extemporaneously comment on something other than the prepared subject, she looks dully into the camera and fumbles childishly over her words. “(Liberals') idea is, as it is with, with heinous killers, with, with Willie Horton – it’s always – and terrorists – um, it’s always ‘Let’s be nice to them and maybe they’ll repay us with good behavior.’ It’s never happened.”

Before the discussion with Coulter, there was yet another H&C segment bashing Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan was criticized for, as Hannity put it, “calling the president a lying, filthy bastard.” With his phoney-baloney Hanctimony, he added that Democrats “stand by the most despicable statements that have been made about our president… It’s despicable.” Guest Melanie Morgan (recently awarded the Worst Person in the World Award by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann for suggesting the New York Times’ editor might deserve the gas chamber) complained that Sheehan was “slanderous about our American troops” when she said, “Our soldiers, trying to survive are committing war crimes.”

Comment: There has been no discussion on “fair and balanced” Hannity & Colmes about the recent tensions between the Iraqi government and the US troops over investigations into the death of Iraqi citizens by US soldiers. Instead, Hannity yelled at guest Al Sharpton that the war is going well.

But while Cindy Sheehan was painted as un-American for exercising her First Amendment rights of political protest, and Hannity called Baldwin, “unhinged,” he portrayed Coulter as a victim. “There is an effort now going on where liberals want to silence your voice and your column,” Hannity said. “If Ann Coulter suggested Bill Clinton should die, as Baldwin suggested, what would the reaction be all over the country? It would be quite different than what we’re seeing here, wouldn’t it?”

Actually, not. Ann Coulter DID suggest Bill Clinton should die. She suggested he should be assassinated, in fact. As Media Matters has reported, “Coulter argued that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether President Bill Clinton "did it," but rather "whether to impeach or assassinate" him.” Coulter has also called Clinton “a very good rapist” who has “molested the help.” (H/T Media Matters again.) But Hannity didn’t seem to have any problem with those statements. Nor has Coulter suffered any apparent ill-effects from those remarks, made in 1998 (“assassinate”), 2005 (“rapist”) and May, 2006 (“molested”).

Alan Colmes half-heartedly confronted Coulter on her own hate-speech, though he overlooked Coulter’s comments about President Clinton. “You seem to think it’s not a joke when Alec Baldwin says it. You said they should put rat poison in Justice Stevens’ crème brulee. You said… Timothy McVeigh should have bombed the New York Times. When you do it, I realize it’s funny. When Alec Baldwin does it, I guess it’s a liberal saying horrible, dastardly things, right? I see there’s a big dichotomy here.”

Coulter admitted she did suggest putting rat poison in Justice Stevens’ crème Brulee. “And after his majority opinion in the Hamdan case last week, I think somebody beat me to the punch on that.”

Hannity had no problem with that comment, either. As the music started and the segment was ending, Hannity’s only comment to Coulter was, “Ann, congratulations on the book.”

While Ann Coulter can do no wrong, Democrats can do no right on Hannity & Colmes (except Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller). After the attacks on Sheehan and Baldwin, there was one on Senator Joe Biden for having made a faux pas about Indians. Alan Colmes introduced the brief segment by saying, “The biggest obstacle to Senator Joseph Biden’s White House chances may be Senator Biden, himself.” Biden was shown explaining that Indian-Americans are a fast-growing group in Delaware. “You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Hannity complained that Biden's comment was racist, that if a conservative said such a thing, he'd get in the same kind of trouble Trent Lott did (though Hannity often defends Lott's comments as not racist).

Colmes told Hannity that it was a joke, that Ann Coulter jokes about bombing the NY Times and poisoning Justice Stevens’ crème brulee. “What’s been the reaction?”

“Forget about Ann Coulter," Hannity bullied. "I think Senator Biden should be apologizing TOMORROW because if a conservative did it, they’d have to apologize.”

Not on Hannity & Colmes, they wouldn’t.

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