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Republican Karen Hanretty Calls Webb’s Salacious Fiction “100 Times Worse” Than Foley’s Real-Life, Pedophiliac Emails

Reported by Ellen - October 29, 2006 -

On Friday night’s (10/27/06) Hannity & Colmes, Republican strategist Karen Hanretty jumped at the opportunity to tie Jim Webb with Mark Foley by comparing Webb’s reportedly salacious fiction to Foley’s emails to underage pages. But in her eagerness to find a way to condemn Webb and all Democrats with him, Hanretty overlooked the difference between the fact of Foley’s real life, predatory pedophilia and the fiction of Webb’s narrative writing. With video.

Friday night’s show took place in San Diego, on the USS Midway, as part of the third and final “Thank you, America” special with a live audience. As in the previous two specials, the audience gave an unrealistic picture of America that must have come from Sean Hannity’s fantasies: seemingly all enthusiastic Republicans and nearly all white.

Hannity introduced the discussion with a clip of a radio interview with Webb in which he said that he had not written a pedophilia sex scene but something he witnessed as a reporter. “He wasn’t reporting,” Hannity declared, without offering any proof or evidence that he knew what he was talking about. With his voice full of self-conscious Hanctimony, Hannity added, “The scenes that he wrote about were beyond triple X pornographic and disgusting.” How did he know? Did Hannity read the book? Just the “disgusting” parts? Hannity didn’t say.

The ever-shrewish and shrill Hanretty wasted no time attacking Webb and the rest of the Democratic Party with him. Suggesting that the Foley scandal was just about off-color language, she called Webb’s writing “100 times worse than anything Mark Foley ever wrote to a 16 year-old boy.” She also whined that the media had given a disproportionate amount of time to Foley. Hannity didn’t seem to mind that she had just mischaracterized the Foley scandal and disregarded its underage victims. And, of course, he offered no objection when Hanretty attacked Democrats for not condemning Webb, while Republicans “censored their own.”

I wished Bob Beckel, substituting for Alan Colmes, had confronted Hanretty on her brand of “family values” that shrank predatory emails to the level of off-color writing. But it was hard to be disappointed. His response was to confront her with a comparison of the military service records of Webb, George Bush and Dick Cheney. Beckel said, “I’m not about to (condemn Webb). You know why? This is a guy who was writing from his own experience. This is a guy who got the Navy Star while George Bush was hiding out from the National Guard Service and the Vice President of the United States… ducked the draft three times.” The audience started booing. To his great credit, Beckel remained at the top of his game all night despite being so outnumbered.

Hanretty carped, “That’s a great way to deflect from what a man has written and what he’s profited from and what he doesn’t want to answer for.”

Beckel came right back and said that Webb's opponent, Senator George Allen, has “profited” from having nooses as decoration.

Oops, too much information for Hannity, who interrupted to “pay the bills,” even though Beckel used under a minute of time in the segment while Hannity had more than two minutes of discussion time.

Note: I found an interesting post by blogger Scoobie Davis, who claimed to be one of three liberals in the audience. Davis wrote that he was bounced off the ship after the show, when he tried to ask Hannity a challenging but respectful question.

If you'd like to contact Hanretty about her "family values," you can reach her at vote2006blogs@news10.net. You can contact Hannity at hannity@foxnews.com or FOX News at comments@foxnews.com.