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FOX News Blames Democrats For Iran Captives

Reported by Ellen - March 30, 2007 -

Last night’s Hannity & Colmes (3/29/07) was replete with claims that Democrats and the Democratic Congress were to blame for emboldening Iran into seizing the 15 British sailors and marines. But, in my view, the slimiest was a discussion that started out as the zillionth segment on Rosie O’Donnell but soon turned into another Democrat blamefest. The topper (or should I say the bottomer?) was conservative radio talk show host Bill Cunningham's statement, "I love Guantanamo." With video.

Sean Hannity gave a teaser for the segment earlier in the show by saying, “Loud mouth daytime diva Rosie O’Donnell - well, she opens her big mouth again, blaming her own government for the atrocities of 9/11.” But before long, he was blaming his own government – the Democratic Congress – for emboldening Iran.

Cunningham said, “She has no right to speak. I hope (FOX News Contributor and Democratic "stratgegist" Kirsten Powers) doesn’t say a clown, a fool, a deranged activist like Rosie has a right to speak… ABC must agree with Tokyo Rosie by putting her on. This is a gay rights activist who’s a fat slob and she’s mentally ill.”

Alan Colmes confronted Cunningham on such speech, saying that Cunningham was making himself look petty and low. Comment: How about mean-spirited and vile?

Turning to Powers, the other guest, Colmes said the issue is not whether we agree with Rosie or not, but that she gets ratings for ABC.

Powers seemed to have no problem with what Cunningham had just said. But, in lockstep with FOX News (Hannity & Colmes covers Rosie more often than the Iraq war), Powers said, “What she said today is particularly upsetting.” Then, in further lockstep with FOX, Powers accused O’Donnell of siding with Iran over the British troop seizure.

Colmes pointed out that O’Donnell did not say that she sided with Iran. Instead, she had said that the US and Great Britain had alienated the rest of the world. Powers disagreed with Colmes’ interpretation but a transcript at NewsBusters shows he was correct. According to the transcript, O’Donnell said, “It's now Britain and the United States pretty much against the rest of the world… I'm not saying (President Ahmadinejad’s) a good guy and I want him over for breakfast. No I’m not. I’m saying that in America we are fed propaganda (demonizing Iraq) and if you want to know what's happening in the world go outside of the U.S. media because it's owned by four corporations one of them is this one.”

Powers claimed that O’Donnell suggested that the US and Britain made up the incident. Judging from the clip played on Hannity & Colmes, it appeared to me that Powers was wrong again. O’Donnell was saying that the US version of events – that the British ship had been in Iraqi waters and had not strayed into Iranian water – may not have been true.

“I think it’s pretty outrageous,” Powers said. “I think ABC should probably ask her what she’s talking about.” I wonder if Powers thinks FOX News should ask Hannity and any number of like-minded guests what they’re talking about when they make outrageous and proven-false accusations against Democrats. Judging from her appearance last night, the answer, sadly, is no.

Hannity began his segment by saying, along with “patriot” Cunningham, “God bless America,” in awestruck tones. That was an immediate precursor to characterizing their fellow Americans as traitors and worse.

Hannity said, “In all seriousness here, these ignorant rantings and ravings have an impact… She seems to rush to the side of our enemies.” Hannity suggested that Americans have the right to tune out O’Donnell. (Comment: Unless you watch FOX News where they follow her so closely, I wonder if they won't start their own show about her.)

Cunningham, perhaps worried that tuning out O’Donnell might mean he wouldn’t have enough opportunity to monger hate, immediately widened his attacks to include Democrats. Cunningham said, “She said similar things to what Senator Durbin said about American soldiers, to what Senator Kerry has said, to what Al Gore has said. This is mainstream political thought among the Democrats today.”

Colmes jumped in to say “No, it’s not,” and explained that Durbin said nothing of the kind but had been talking about conditions at Guantanamo. Hannity insisted (wrongly) that Durbin had compared our soldiers to Nazis. “You can’t handle the truth, Alan Colmes,” Cunningham said. As the link above shows, it's Cunningham who can't handle the truth. BUT Powers remained silent about those false representations and smears.

Hannity said, “Bill Cunningham, you’ve touched on something here that is really profound and I think it’s the problem we have. We now see Democrats cut, run and surrender. They’ve now appeased the world to the point where we watch the Iranians feel very comfortable using weaponry, killing our troops, taking the Brits hostage as they are. Isn’t this directly related in part to the incendiary rhetoric of the left?”

Finally, Powers woke up. “Rosie has nothing to do with the Democratic Party,” Powers said.

“No, the Democrats, frankly, are worse than her,” America-loving Hannity said.

“That’s ridiculous, no they’re not,” Powers said. “How many members of Congress, elected Democrats, have come out and said what Rosie O’Donnell said?” She didn't seem to mind that FOX News allowed Hannity and Cunningham to say such things on the air, the way she objected to ABC allowing Rosie.

Hannity upped the ante. “I’m saying the Democrats are worse. Because the Democrats are in a position of power. Our enemies are watching their votes and their actions and their reckless rhetoric.”

“I think Tokyo Rosie ought to run for the Democrat nomination for the Senator from New York when Hillary’s our president,” Cunningham shrieked.

When Colmes broke in to end the discussion he once again corrected the record on Durbin’s comments about Guantanamo.

“I love Guantanamo. I love Guantanamo,” Cunningham said.

“You’re a great American,” Hannity told him.

Powers was silent.