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Hannity Rips O’Reilly

Reported by Ellen - January 22, 2007 -

During a discussion of Missouri kidnapping victim Shawn Hornbeck, Sean Hannity ripped into “people" judging victim Hornbeck and those making suggestions that Hornbeck stayed with his captor because he enjoyed it. But after a good amount of searching, the only one I found making such a suggestion was Bill O’Reilly. Is this an indication that his star has fallen at FOX News? (video coming).

Hannity told Megyn Kelly (until recently, known as Megyn Kendall), “I’ve really had it, you know, people judging. This was an 11 year-old boy, ripped away from his family and people are suggesting… ‘Maybe he just enjoyed being away from school,’ I’ve heard people suggest. This kid was kidnapped. This was a victim here. Why do people think like that?"

Kelly, the rumored extramarital galpal of Brit Hume, is always more than eager to jump on a FOX News bandwagon, regardless of her credentials or lack thereof. Predictably, Kelly adopted Hannity’s outrage and took it a step further. I have previously noted Kelly’s attempt to play doctor and psychologist. This time, she played sociologist. After noting that nobody raised the same questions about Elizabeth Smart, Kelly added that she thought it was because Hornbeck was a boy. “He looks like a typical teenage boy, you know, sort of a rebel-rouser, maybe, people are thinking somehow that maybe he wanted to be away from his parents… I think that there’s some kind of discrimination going on against this kid because it hasn’t been done to others.”

Hannity, who also never hesitates to offer professional opinions beyond his college-dropout education, declared, “It seems a lot of people don’t fully understand (the Stockholm Syndrome.) It’s a very common reaction to being under this type of enormous pressure.”

Then Kelly was back to being a psychologist, this time with a specialty in parenting. “Dr. Kelly” told Hannity she didn’t have a problem with Hornbeck’s family going on Oprah but, “Personally, I thought it was problematic that they brought the boy on because he’s been through so much trauma, Sean.” And what kind of authority does Kelly have to make such a judgment? None, that I can find. Nevertheless, Kelly continued sticking her nose where it didn't belong and providing an unqualified opinion. “I think they shouldn’t have been doing that to him so early. I think they’re going to live to regret that decision. And let me say this. The parents did EVERYTHING right in this case. I mean they worked tirelessly. They gave up their whole life sayings but I feel like this was a mistake and it will be a lesson for them.”

If O’Reilly is in the doghouse with FOX News management, it seems to be because he arrived at such a repulsive conclusion, not because he made a judgment he was not qualified to offer. There seems to be an abundance of “professional” opinions offered on FNC by those without the credentials to provide them. So far, management doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.