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“Patriotic” Hannity Uses The Troops As Political Pawns To Bash CBS Report On "Appeal For Redress"

Reported by Ellen - February 26, 2007 -

Approximately 10 minutes after Hannity & Colmes “debated” Hillary Clinton’s candidacy with two guests with similar views, a Republican and rabidly anti-Clinton Democrat, Sean Hannity was bragging about the fairness of FOX News, lying about CBS’ role in Memogate and using the troops and the news network to promote his own political advocacy. With video.

Near the end of Friday night’s show (2/23/07), Hannity offered a sneak peek at the “investigative piece” he’s working on for next Sunday’s Hannity’s America. It’s Hannity’s answer to a piece on last night’s 60 Minutes (2/25/07) about more than 1,000 military personnel who signed a petition urging Congress to end the Iraq war.

“It’s really not a piece worth watching, to be honest with you,” Hannity told his viewers. “This Sunday, 60 Minutes will run a hit piece about a thousand or so active duty service men and women who’ve signed what’s being called a redress, saying that they think the US troops should leave Iraq.” Hit piece? On whom? I read the transcript and there was no trashing of anybody. The soldiers who signed the petition made it clear that they intend to keep serving, that they are not loonie lefties, they are not criticizing President Bush but that they, the ones doing the actual fighting, feel the need to exercise their American rights to speak out against what they feel is a lost cause.

As I have previously noted, Hannity’s biggest (if not his only) concern for the troops seems to consist of using them as a club with which to clobber his political opponents. Friday night was no different. Did Hannity care about the rather extraordinary circumstances of having more than 1,000 soldiers protesting their mission? Did he have any interest in the feelings and opinions of those brave men and women who had the courage not just to fight for their country but speak out about something on their consciences? No, he only wanted to run interference on any political damage to the Bush administration and his own cheerleading for the war.

“Now since we want to give both sides of the story,” Hannity began disingenuously, “Well we’d like to hear from active duty reserve and National Guard members, those who think that we need to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved. Now, if you’re one of these great Americans serving our country and think that we need to stay until the job is done, well you can email us.” In other words, only those of a certain opinion should bother emailing him at the address he gave, victoryiniraq@foxnews.com. Hannity didn’t serve when he had the opportunity, despite the fact that he would have been of age during Desert Storm. Nevertheless he conferred upon himself the right to call only some of our soldiers “great Americans.” Perhaps some of our vets would like to contact him, at the address above, or via comments@foxnews.com.

Next, Hannity got his facts wrong about CBS, once again proving that he is either the lyingest or most ignorant and ill-informed host on a news network. “By the way, we should note that this is the same network, Alan, that, you know, forged documents 40 some-odd days before an election.” Actually, Alan wouldn’t know and Hannity wouldn’t either. As these articles in USA Today and The Washington Post indicate, there were never any credible allegations that CBS forged the documents. In fact, it was never proven that the documents were forged. The problem was, CBS never properly authenticated them. There’s a big difference and Hannity should have known it.

“This is a hit piece,” Hannity repeated, still without explaining who was getting hit. “It is designed to, as far as I’m concerned, to work with the Democrats in Congress, embolden the enemy, undermine the troops.” There he goes again about the troops yet, if this clip is an indication, he is making no attempt to investigate or relay what the troops really think. A year-end Military Times poll found that

“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, according to the 2006 Military Times Poll.”
Anybody want to bet that information will be in Hannity’s “investigation?”

Alan Colmes said he hadn’t seen the 60 Minutes piece but that he didn’t believe objecting to the war undermines the troops.

Hannity squinted his eyes, pointed his bullyboy fingers and peevishly interrupted Colmes’ attempt to present an alternate side to Hannity’s view. “They never told the good story. They’ve never taken the time to tell the other side of that story, about all the good things that have happened because they have a bias.” Pointing to his chest, which is almost always a tell with Hannity, he said “We don’t.”