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Sean Hannity Attacks Concern About Humanity Of Saddam Hussein Execution As An “Extreme Left Wing” Position

Reported by Ellen - January 3, 2007 -

Predictably, Sean Hannity enthusiastically endorsed the execution of Saddam Hussein as a sign of progress in Iraq. But the choice of guests indicated otherwise. Instead of a military or international policy expert who might have provided authority for that assertion, the conservative “experts” on last night’s Hannity & Colmes were Brent Bozell, of the Media Research Center, and political pundit Dick Morris. Author Mark LeVine, who IS an expert in Arab affairs, was the sole liberal. Rather than debate LeVine’s concerns about the whether or not Saddam’s execution was just, Hannity and Bozell attacked his patriotism and attempted to smear him as an extremist. With video (coming).

Anyone familiar with Hannity’s style would have known that when he began his portion of the discussion with his bullyboy squint and bullyboy tone of voice, he was getting ready for an ad hominem attack on LeVine. Sure enough, Hannity’s first “question” was to demand that LeVine say that Saddam is evil, as though that had anything to do with the justness or propriety of his execution.

LeVine answered that though he’s an opponent of the death penalty “I’m certainly not shedding any tears, however, for his death… The world is only a better place without him. That’s for sure.” But, LeVine said, as a reiteration of points he made during his prior discussion with Alan Colmes, “The question, however, is whether or not he was put to death legally. There’s actually some question about…”

Just as he did the last time LeVine appeared on the show, Hannity refused to allow LeVine to finish his thought and changed the subject by smearing him. “Not really. Only in the minds of extreme left-wingers.”

Bozell, who had previously argued to Colmes that hanging was one of the most humane ways to execute someone (without offering any evidence to back up that declaration), conveniently ignored LeVine’s point in order to jump on the ad hominem bandwagon. Still offering only one side of his face to the camera, Bozell sneered, “Look how that’s turned around by the radical left… You see the execution of one of the most evil men on the face of this earth turned in one sentence into condemnation of US foreign policy.”

Having avoided a real debate with LeVine, Hannity next turned to demonizing the media and “liberal bloggers” for not telling what he called the “true” story of Iraq.

Bozell, of course, echoed the sentiments. “Now that Saddam’s been executed, the same naysaying comes from the American press. There is NOTHING that they won’t say is good about what we’re doing in the Middle East.”

LeVine said, “There’s a very good reason for that which is most of what we’re doing is not very good and the repercussions are very dire.”

After having traveled there once as an official guest of Donald Rumsfeld, Hannity now fashions himself an Iraq expert. That doesn’t mean he has to go into detail about life on the ground, however. Once again, he interrupted LeVine in order to change the subject. “I was in Iraq, too, and I spoke to a lot of the troops,” Hannity said. He didn’t mention that speaking with a guest of Donald Rumsfeld is not exactly an occasion for complete candor on the part of our military. Hannity melodramatically ticked off on his fingers as he soliloquized. “The guys that are on the ground, the guys that are fighting, the guys that are risking their lives overwhelmingly say – and Brent you chronicle this as well or better than anybody - that the media is not telling the true story.”

Hannity reiterated his vision of the grand progress: That there have been three elections and that Saddam has been executed. He conveniently didn’t mention how dangerous and unstable life is there for ordinary Iraqis. He also avoided talking about the latest Military Times poll which reports “For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war.”

Maybe Hannity should embed himself with the troops, without the benefit of Rumsfeld’s security detail, in order to revel in the full glory of all that progress.