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Unmistakeable Bias And Divisive Partisanship On Hannity & Colmes’ 9/11 “Special”

Reported by Ellen - September 12, 2006 -

Sean Hannity toned down his partisan rhetoric on last night’s (9/11/06) Hannity & Colmes “special” 9/11 commemoration but the pro-Bush, anti-Democratic bias was undeniable. As has become the norm when national policy is in the spotlight, all the guests were Republican and no critical analysis of Bush’s speech, which delayed the beginning of the show, nor any of his actions since 9/11, was offered. And despite the fact that just minutes before, President Bush had said our country “must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us,” Hannity couldn’t resist divisive partisanship, even on such a solemn occasion.

The guests were then-mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor George Pataki and then-police chief Bernard Kerik, along with a host of 9/11 survivors. I’m surprised they didn’t find an Iraq war vet to extol Iraq as “the frontline in the war on terror in a post 9/11 world.” Maybe that’s coming tomorrow. Or maybe they couldn’t find anyone willing to testify.

The beginning of the program featured Giuliani, interviewed by Hannity only. Giuliani gave an apolitical account of his experiences on that day. But Hannity, near the end of the interview, asked this leading question: “Here we are, five years later – pretty united then, pretty divided now on the issue of the war on terror. Does that surprise you and what does it mean to you? Darryl Worley wrote a song ‘Have You Forgotten?’ Do you think it’s easy to forget the magnitude of what happened this day, and the danger in the future? Do you think some people forget that? Is that part of the divide?”

Giuliani took the bait, albeit not in the demonizing way that Hannity probably hoped for. “I do think that some people – that maybe it’s natural, you know it’s a very painful event… And people want to either forget about it or they want to deal with it euphemistically. The reality is, we don’t have the luxury to do that… When I think of the attacks of September 11, I think of them as ongoing attacks... The same group of people loosely defined as Islamic fanatics, still want to come here and kill us… I think people want to make it (be) over. It just is easier to deal with life if you pretend this is over. But it’s not.”

Was it just me or did Alan Colmes seem like he was feigning enthusiasm for last night’s show? In any event, he had no opportunity to rebut Giuliani’s assertion and point out that the divide is not between those who feel safe and those who don’t, but between those who agree with the steps that the Bush administration has taken and those who think there’s a better way.

Also unremarked upon was Bush's questionable statement in last night's speech, “Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists are still in hiding. Our message to them is clear: No matter how long it takes, America will find you, and we will bring you to justice.” Nobody seemed to find it striking that Bush would say such a thing when, during a March 13, 2002 press conference, Bush told a reporter, “So I don't know where (Osama bin Laden) is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.” More recently, the CIA unit that had been devoted to hunting bin Laden and his top henchmen was reported to have been disbanded. I saw the brief discussion about Bush's speech with the Special Report panel in the usual H&C timeslot and nobody mentioned it there, either.

The video is posted on FOXNews.com.