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FOX News Guests Bash Obama From Both Sides

Reported by Ellen - January 4, 2007 -

The Obama-bashing continued on FOX News as both the Republican and the Democratic guests on last night's Hannity & Colmes (1/3/07) took pre-emptive strikes at his still-undeclared candidacy. The purported topic was the "revelation" in Obama's 11 year-old memoir that he did drugs in his youth. During a teaser for the segment, the screen caption read "'Blowing' Up?" But Bob Novak and Sean Hannity quickly turned it into an excuse to attack Hillary Clinton along with Obama. FOX News contributor Laura Schwartz, supposedly a Democratic strategist, also used the occasion to gratuitously attack Obama for being too liberal. With video (coming).

Last night was the first time I heard Schwartz introduced as a “FOX News contributor.” Apparently, she has been rewarded by the network for her fecklessness as a Decmocratic spokesperson. As is often the case when Schwartz is a guest, Alan Colmes made a lot of points she overlooked.

Colmes started out by bringing up the fact that many of the same allegations surfaced during Bush’s candidacy. “He just didn’t admit to any of them.”

Novak dismissed that immediately by changing the subject away from drug use and using the incident to smear the potential candidacies of Clinton and Obama. "What these men did a long time ago is not very important… The problem is the Democrats have been attracted to (Obama) because they see a potential train wreck if Hillary Clinton is nominated for president and they thought this guy could save them. Now if he has that much baggage to carry, I think they're worried about him as well."

Colmes groaned at the mention of Clinton’s name. He then fed Schwartz a great opening to make political hay out of Republican foibles. “I see a double standard here because Republicans have a lot of explaining to do for some of their own behaviors and to somehow act as if Obama is the one who's got to explain himself more than certain names that have been surfaced on the Republican side is pure hypocrisy.”

Schwartz turned down the bait. As usual, she had one talking point and one talking point, only, to advocate on behalf of Democrats. However, it was a decent one. She said Americans "are refreshed" by Obama’s frankness and that "the strength of him as a leader and as a senator and a father today far outweigh the weakness and confusion of his adolescence."

Schwartz not only ignored the Republican hypocrisy, she also didn’t think it worth noting the ways conservatives are using the story for their own partisan purposes. So once again, Colmes did it for her. He pointed out that the White House dismissed Clarence Thomas' youthful drug use as "inconsequential" and added, "This is much ado about nothing and simply an attempt by conservatives to use it to blast Hillary Clinton as (Novak) just did or Barack Obama because of the fear he actually may gain some traction and hurt the conservative cause."

When it was Hannity’s turn, he harped on Obama’s liberal record. "Where does he reach the middle in America?" Hannity asked.

Schwartz called that "a very interesting question… and I think it will be interesting to see how he positions himself. He may want to stay to the left." OK, fine, but then Schwartz threw in this uncalled-for slur. "That's not where this country's moving. That's not where the Democratic Party needs to move."

Hannity started to interrupt her, apparently impatient with her response.

Undeterred, Schwartz added, "And Hillary has realized that a long time ago."

Why would Hannity grow impatient with the Obama-bashing? Probably because he wanted to move on to Hillary-smearing. Despite the fact that the drug-use revelation was in Obama's 11 year-old book and being repeatedly hyped by conservative FOX News, Hannity made a not-so-subtle insinuation that Hillary and/or Bill Clinton "leaked" the story to smear Obama. Hannity said, "Why am I always suspicious when the Clintons are involved in anything? …This story was leaked to the Washington Post… the timing was interesting… Why do I suspect, Bob Novak, although I have no proof whatsoever, that dirty political tricks, leaking damaging political information where (Obama) is ascending quite rapidly?"

Novak agreed that he doesn't have any evidence, either, "but every reasonable person has to suspect." Novak added, "If he looks like he is a serious threat to her, watch out below because the Clintons would do anything to win this nomination."

Novak said “the Clintons” in a deliberate attempt to smear Bill along with Hillary and to make it look as if he is some kind of running mate. Schwartz didn’t address that either. She just sweetly said that Novak and Hannity were being “too cynical.”