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After Unbalanced Discussion On Minuteman Melee, Hannity & Colmes Allows Guest To Complain That “KKK” Liberals Are Terrorists Who Stifle Free Speech

Reported by Ellen - October 6, 2006 -

Last night (10/05/06), Hannity & Colmes aired an unbalanced discussion of the Minuteman melee at Columbia University. Given the network’s persistent pro-Minuteman, anti-illegal immigration and anti-academia bias, I’m sure nobody has to wonder which side got preferential treatment. But the show went over the top when it allowed Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist to call student liberals “domestic terrorists” and the 21st Century KKK who squash free speech.

The unbalanced panel included Jim Gilchrist, the Minuteman co-founder who was the Columbia speaker whose presence sparked the protest that ran out of control, and the president of the Columbia University Republicans, Chris Kulawik. No representative from the protesters was there.

Alan Colmes read what seemed like the “official” Hannity & Colmes introduction which said, “a group of liberal students disagreed with (the Minuteman’s) comments and stormed the stage.” To his credit, Colmes twice brought up the heretofore unmentioned reports that the Minuteman supporters were the ones who sparked the violence. Colmes said to Gilchirst. “One report I read, maybe you can straighten us out on this, said only when the Republicans came on stage, after the liberals came on stage who were opposing you, only then did violence break out. Is that an accurate representation?”

Gilchrist dodged the question. “Not sure what that means. What happened was – what triggered the assault was, when I gave Marvin Stuart, who’s an African-American member of my board of directors, a good buddy hug after his speech, and shortly thereafter, I guess within 30, 40 seconds, they made a charge, a stampede charge for the stage and that’s when they encountered some Minutemen who blocked them.”

Colmes did not press the issue further with Gilchrist but turned to Kulawik and asked, “What about those reports that Republicans came on stage, there was some fisticuffs between the Republican group that came on the stage and the group that was opposing Jim?”

Kulawik also avoided the issue. “Once (the protesters) came on, they surrounded Jim and Mr. Stuart, so then our members tried to block the stage and help security, and several Minuteman supporters came from the back room and tried to get…”

Sean Hannity, who got 2:40 to Colmes' 1:52 discussion time, interrupted to ask in his bullyboy voice, “Who are these kids?”

Kulawik didn’t miss the cue to demonize as many liberal groups as possible. “(They include) everything from the Chicano Caucus to the International Socialist Organization.”

As Kulawik spoke a “fair and balanced” banner appeared on the screen saying “Minuteman speech disrupted by left wing Ivy Leaguers.”

Just the day before Hannity had refused to allow a Democrat to complete her thoughts during a panel on the Foley scandal. But suddenly, he was all Hanctimonious about liberal intolerance. He half-joked (maybe even just a quarter), “There’s an orchestrated effort by liberals to hit conservatives with pies.”

Gilchrist admitted he was all for participating in the violence. “I have to tell you, I was about ready to deliver the very first Minuteman knuckle sandwich to whoever tried to attack me and do bodily harm to me. I was not going to remove myself.”

No outrage from Hannity there. Nor was there any when Gilchrist veered off into an all-out attack on liberals and college students. “What we’re facing with is not just one group. It’s a tangle of different radical, anarchist groups. I call them the fascist, liberal anarchists and yes, the true face of the 21st Century KKK is not a white guy in Atlanta, Georgia now. It is a multi-spirited conglomeration of college students like you saw at Columbia. Some of them wear terrorist-masks, others don’t but this is the 21st Century KKK. And we’d better get used to it. They are domestic terrorists. Their goal is to disrupt and to deprive anyone else of the First Amendment except themselves.”

Far from indicating any concern over that kind of hate-speech, Hannity seemed to endorse it by probing for more information. He asked Kulawit if the same things happen when liberals speak at Columbia. Surprise, surprise, Kulawik said no.

But nobody mentioned the violence perpetrated by anti-immigration groups. Here are a few incidents that Hannity & Colmes never seems to get around to discussing. Thanks to our Marie Therese for the links.

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?aid=54

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=576

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?site_area=1&aid=149

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=571

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=93

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=505

10/08/06 UPDATE: The next night, Friday, 10/06/06, Hannity & Colmes hosted two of the student protesters. That provided balance to the guest roster. However, the questions for the protesters were consistently tougher and more critical than those asked of Gilchrist and Kulawik. Neither protester made any kind of accusation akin to Gilchrist's.