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Hannity Puts Aside Bullyboy Theatrics For Bill Maher

Reported by Ellen - September 20, 2006 -

In a pleasant change of pace on Hannity & Colmes, Bill Maher was a guest for a double segment last night, 9/19/06. There was a frank discussion that covered such issues as free speech, the upcoming elections and torture. Sean Hannity was unusually respectful toward someone with whom he disagrees. He put aside the gotcha questions, the bullyboy theatrics and the Hanctimony and settled in for a real debate. But I couldn’t help but wonder, would Maher have gotten such a warm welcome and so much time to speak his thoughts if he hadn’t had a dust-up with one of FOX’s favorite targets, CBS? With video.

Part 1 of the interview can be seen on FOXNews.com. Maher told Alan Colmes that President Bush seems to think, “As long as we’re good, we can do bad things.” Ordinarily, that would be enough to prompt Hannity to interrupt with some peevish remark, maybe even end the interview. But last night he remained silent until he had a chance (and an extra minute over Colmes) to rebut the notion that Bush’s “aggressive interrogations” are torture.

Maher asked, “How about this? If this isn’t really torture, if this is something you’re OK with our enemy doing to our troops if they were captured, why don’t you undergo it for a week?”

Surprisingly, Hannity put aside his usual bully-boy sarcasm. Instead, he remained unruffled and allowed Maher to continue. “If it’s not torture, how come all the people who have served like Colin Powell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham –"

Hannity said pleasantly, “I disagree with them.”

Maher retorted, “Right, because you haven’t served either.”

Still calm, Hannity responded, “No, because I believe in free speech.”

Only with certain people. In Part 2, with video below, Hannity brought up one of his favorite issues: the purported “double standard” for controversial remarks by conservatives and liberals. The same could be asked for Hannity, of course. Why is Bill Maher given respect but not, for example, Representative Earl Blumenauer, who, unlike Maher, never needled Hannity? Hannity has proven that it’s not just the “liberal media” that has a double standard.

Also in the video below, in which Hannity gets over a minute more than Colmes, Maher nailed it as to why Trent Lott’s “joke” caused him to lose the senate leadership. Not that Hannity won’t bring it up again at his first opportunity. Let’s hope the next liberal or Democrat can respond so well.