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Hannity Doesn't Ask (But Conveniently Minimizes), Giuliani Doesn't Tell About Kerik Debacle

Reported by Ellen - April 4, 2007 -

In a softball-questions-only interview from which Alan Colmes was shut out, Rudy Giuliani told Sean Hannity on last night’s (4/3/07) Hannity & Colmes that while hiring Bernard Kerik was “a mistake,” it “didn’t affect the results.” Giuliani made it sound as though Kerik were just one of thousands of employees instead of the friend, campaign advisor and business partner Kerik was. There was no remorse, no acknowledgment that Giuliani had served as Kerik’s mentor, no consideration that perhaps the American people deserved an explanation as to how and why a candidate for president made such a colossal mistake in judgment. Sean Hannity never asked, either. In fact, he accomodatingly said that Kerik was not part of Giuliani's "record." With video.

Kerik may have gotten results for New York City but he also double crossed it. For example, he once dispatched a homicide detective to find a girlfriend’s lost cell phone. He is also alleged to have used a ground zero apartment, donated after 9/11 for the use of workers there, for his extramarital trysts. Even worse, he has pleaded guilty to taking nearly $200,000 in gifts while in office from companies reputed to be affiliated with organized crime.

After leaving public office, Giuliani and Kerik became business partners in a lucrative firm which profited from their political connections. Any responsible interviewer would have wondered about some of those deals, especially in light of Kerik’s later ethical and legal troubles. As the Washington Post reported,

“In some cases, Giuliani and Kerik simultaneously advised a private company and the federal agency whose actions could affect it. Giuliani's firm, for instance, was hired by Purdue Pharma to help figure out how to keep sales of its popular painkiller OxyContin from being restricted by the government; street dealers were crushing and converting it into a powerful narcotic offering an instant high. Kerik was personally named to oversee security improvements at a New Jersey manufacturing plant. At the same time, the Justice Department paid Giuliani-Kerik $1.1 million to conduct a management review of the organized-crime drug task force, whose responsibilities included stemming illegal use of OxyContin.

“Likewise, Giuliani, Kerik and other firm partners were hired by cellphone carrier Nextel to win Federal Communications Commission approval for a new, emergency-only wireless spectrum for first responders. The idea was to solve one problem for Nextel -- it had long been subject to complaints that its wireless signal sometimes interfered with the communications channels used by police, fire and rescue officials -- while creating an even stronger business opportunity for the cellular carrier. At the same time, Giuliani's firm was brought in by the FCC to participate in a panel that was advising the agency in its efforts to address the future needs of a police, fire and rescue communications system in the aftermath of Sept. 11.”

Giuliani’s lack of regret was matched by Hannity’s lack of interest in making sure that his viewers received a fair and balanced portrait of a presidential candidate. So, rather than asking Giuliani about any details of his “mistake” or his errors in judgment, Hannity made it sound like the whole issue was an irrelevancy trumped up by the “liberal media.” In fact, Hannity misrepresented and conveniently minimized Giuliani's relationship to Kerik in his sole question on the subject:

“You read about Rudy Giuliani. You don’t really read about your record. For example, almost every article I read, people want to know, if they’ve mentioned Bernie Kerik, your former police commissioner (and campaign manager and business partner), they mention Rudy Giuliani and how that will impact the campaign.”

Maybe Hannity’s reticence to probe had something to do with the fact that Kerik was a pal of FOX News, too. Even after he pleaded guilty to taking the “gifts,” Kerik received a warm welcome as a pundit several times on Hannity & Colmes, as well as other FOX News programs. Maybe a job offer is on its way to him yet.