Libby Trial Covered Briefly On Hannity & Colmes, Enough Time To Rehash Old, Debunked Talking Points
Reported by Ellen - January 26, 2007 -
Finally, Hannity & Colmes addressed the Scooter Libby trial last night (1/25/07). Well, Alan Colmes did – at the end of a discussion with Mary Matalin about the war in Iraq. After a segment full of lies and distortions from Hannity and Matalin, they suggested that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, deserved their troubles because Wilson was a liar. Unfortunately for that rationale, the “Wilson lied” story has been just as discredited as the Obama “madrassa” smear. Updated with video.
The segment began with “the war between Democratic heavyweights” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. There was no Democratic guest to balance the Republican Matalin.
Hannity feigned concern for Obama as a way to smear Hillary Clinton. “I am a little concerned that Republicans may be a little behind in terms of really understanding how ambitious the Democrats are for this office. For example, Barack Obama said ‘I’m gonna be the victim of scurrilous attacks.’ Since he’s announced, there’s been one attack after another against him. I have my suspicions where they come from.”
Hannity's touching interest in Obama's well-being is belied by the fact that his own website continues to tout the discredited report from InSight Magazine that Obama attended a madrassa school. The post on his site begins: "Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage? This is the question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s camp is asking about Sen. Barack Obama."
Hannity moved on to misrepresenting the results of a FOX News poll. “A FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll recently showed that most Democrats don’t even want the president’s plan to succeed.” Uh, did he mean this one, the most recent poll? If so, it clearly indicates that a majority of Democrats “personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed.”
Meanwhile, it was Happy Iraq time for Matalin. “(Al-Maliki’s) really delivering,” she enthused. “There are these benchmarks already being met before the troops even get there.” She didn’t mention that, as ABC News reported, last Saturday was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in two years and the third-highest of any single day since the war began in March 2003,
When Alan Colmes jumped in to take his turn, Matalin declared it “morally repugnant what your side is doing relative to these war issues.”
Colmes told her, “First of all, this is not a left/right thing. You’ve got many Republicans against the President’s policy. You’ve got John Warner…”
Hannity couldn’t muster up the good manners to keep quiet when it wasn’t his turn. He could be heard peevishly saying, “Wow,” off camera.
Colmes continued, “And to simply point at Democrats and say that what they’re doing is morally repugnant when most of America does not agree with the president’s war policy… You’re the one playing partisan politics.
Matalin went on to reiterate the false conservative talking point that Democrats have no plan. Colmes corrected the record.
Colmes then brought up the Scooter Libby trial for the first time on Hannity & Colmes. “His defense is Libby is being made a scapegoat by a White House eager to protect Karl Rove. Why do you think Scooter Libby is turning against Karl Rove and the White House?”
Matalin answered, “I don’t think he’s turning against Karl Rove. As far as I know and have witnessed, Karl and Scooter Libby are good friends.” She added, “The only certifiable, demonstrable, verifiable liar in this whole case is Joe Wilson which the bipartisan intelligence committees and everybody that’s studied this thing has said: The only guy that lied in this whole thing is Joe Wilson.”
Actually, neither certifiable, demonstrable nor verifiable. As Media Matters reported, “While the CIA interpreted Wilson's findings as confirmation of Iraq's supposed efforts to acquire uranium from Niger, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) interpreted his findings as confirmation that the Niger claim was not credible. The CIA reversed its position in July 2003 when then-Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet agreed that the claim should not have been included in the president's speech.”
Colmes reiterated that Libby had turned against Rove.
“No, no, he has not. He’s trying to lay out what happened in this case inside the White House,” Matalin claimed. So does that mean Libby is turning against Bush, not Rove? You can read more about Libby's I'm-a-sacrificial-lamb-for-Rove defense here.
Still on her high horse (despite her low tactics) Matalin told Colmes, “If you were a fair American, you’d be considering (Libby's) family and what this is doing to good public servants.”
Colmes countered, “And you would consider Joe Wilson’s family, too.”
“Well, he lied,” Hannity chimed in, as if to say that Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, had gotten what they deserved.
Matalin continued, “Joe Wilson lied about this and, it’s been demonstrably proved, to have lied before these various committees that looked at what it was he said after he went on his mission to Niger.”