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No Time For Alberto Gonzales Or CIA Plan To De-Stabilize Iran But Plenty Of Time To Bash Rosie And The Democrats

Reported by Ellen - May 24, 2007 -

Once again, Hannity & Colmes ignored the controversy surrounding Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department. There was no discussion about Monica Goodling’s testimony before Congress nor has there been any discussion of ABC News’ report that Bush authorized covert action against Iran. Considering how fixated H&C has been on Iran, you’d think they would have made that report a top story. But no, the top story for two segments last night (5/23/07) was Rosie O’Donnell’s tiff with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View. Predictably, the discussion turned into an excuse to bash Democrats. Talk Show Host Bill Cunningham made the false assertion that 35% of Democrats believe George Bush flew the planes into the World Trade Center. With video.

“Democratic Strategist” Laura Schwartz once again seemed at a loss for strategy, this time for dealing with the Rosie “issue.” She could have suggested, for example, that the discussion focus on some real news, such as Goodling’s testimony which, as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported, “accused the No. 2 Justice official of giving false testimony to Congress, implied that Gonzales himself had improperly tried to influence her testimony, and generally described Gonzales's Justice Department as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican National Committee.” Instead, Schwartz inanely analyzed O’Donnell’s personal motives for attacking Hasselbeck and then complained that O’Donnell “sure doesn’t help the Democrats.”

The other guest was radio talk show host Bill Cunningham. In his last Hannity & Colmes appearance, Cunningham told Alan Colmes that when the next terrorist attack comes, “People like you and Rosie O’Donnell will be responsible.” Last night, Colmes confronted Cunningham on that statement and asked him to “walk us through” the claim.

“Alan, let me help you understand something,” Cunningham shouted (Cunningham seems unable to speak in a normal voice). Then he made his false accusation. “According to polling, about 35% of Democrats believe that George Bush flew the planes into the World Trade Center.”

As Colmes rightly disputed that accusation, Cunningham yelled, “Alan, take responsibility.”

Actually, Cunningham is the one who should be taking responsibility. After Colmes repeatedly demanded that Cunningham cite the poll, Cunningham changed his story from saying that Democrats believe Bush flew the planes to saying that he knew in advance about the attacks. “I’m talking about a Gallup poll from October of last year that 35% of Democrats believe that George Bush knew about 9/11 ahead of time.” However, a search of the exact phrase “September 11” on the Gallup site brings no result later than January, 2006.

Cunningham appeared to be referring to a May, 2007 Rasmussen poll which asked the question, “Did Bush know about the 9/11 attacks in advance?” As Colorado Media Matters reported, the wording is ambiguous and respondents could have been merely saying that Bush received ample warning of possible attacks. In any event, 35% of Democrats did not say that they believe Bush flew the planes into the World Trade Center, as Cunningham erroneously stated.

However, I doubt that information would have much effect on Cunningham. His main goal in life seems to be to trash Democrats. “The soft underbelly of American politics is the radical left,” he yelled. “The truth will set you free, Alan Colmes.”