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Alan Colmes Exposes Conservative Falsehoods Re Talk Radio “Conspiracy”

Reported by Ellen - June 23, 2007 -

Hannity & Colmes reprised its discussion of the liberal “conspiracy” to silence talk radio last night (6/22/07). Once again, FOX News tried to link a recent report on the conservative domination in talk radio by Center for American Progress/Free Press with a questionable allegation by Senator James Inhofe that Senators Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton were heard to say they wanted a “legislative fix” for the medium. However, Alan Colmes revealed every falsehood and myth and left conservative guest Dennis Prager without a single rebuttal. With video.

As Melanie reported, Inhofe made a major blooper during his appearance on Your World With Neil Cavuto earlier that day which cast on doubt his claim about Boxer and Clinton. In contradiction to his radio interview of the day before, in which Inhofe said he overheard Boxer and Clinton “the other day,” Inhofe told Cavuto the conversation had occurred three years ago.

Cavuto, noting that Boxer and Clinton denied the story, said “someone’s got their facts wrong” but he failed to notice or at least report that Inhofe had just contradicted himself.

Rich Lowry, substituting for Sean Hannity, similarly failed to note the discrepancy during his scripted introduction. Like Hannity before him, Lowry also conflated the supposed remarks by Boxer and Clinton with the Center for American Progress report, “the most important liberal think tank in Washington.” As he spoke, the screen showed Barbara Boxer above a chyron that read, “Left-wing group tries to silence conservative talk radio.” Footage of Hillary Clinton was also shown. Later, there was footage of Boxer and Clinton pumping their fists and cheering at some kind of rally together. The clear implication was that they were pumped up at the idea of silencing talk radio.

In addition to Prager, Ellis Henican was there to represent liberals in the discussion. Both Prager and Henican re-iterated the false conservative talking points that the CAP/Free Press report advocated for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. The inference was that somehow Clinton, Boxer and the Center for American Progress had conspired to legislate against conservative talk.

In fact, Colmes had made the same mistake the night before. But last night he rectified it and made up for the error in spades. “This is not about the fairness doctrine… This is about diversification of ownership. That’s what their suggestion was. Nobody said ‘fairness doctrine.’ This is not what this is about.” Colmes later added, “This study showed where you have minority ownership, where you have ownership by females, by women, you have a broader spectrum of talk show hosts.”

Colmes quickly highlighted Inhofe’s discrepancies and asked, “Where’s the credibility there?” Prager had no answer.

Prager claimed, “We have real debates because we have guests on. I’ve had virtually every major leftist in America.” Prager, you may recall, is the talk show host who not long ago accused Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison of making the country more vulnerable to terrorism and undermining American civilization because he used the Koran, instead of the Bible, during his ceremonial swearing in.

Colmes and Henican immediately said that neither of them had ever been on Prager’s show, though Prager has been on Colmes’.

Colmes also queried why, if what Inhofe alleged was true, Boxer and Clinton had not acted on their “plot.” “What have Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer done in the last three years to advance this legislatively?” Colmes asked.

Prager had no response for that, either.

Furthermore, Colmes said, “The person who most recently, most critically complained about talk radio was Senator Trott Lott, a conservative.”

Prager had no answer to any of Colmes’ points, other than to try to change the subject. But Colmes brought him back to the topic each time.

Prager conceded, “Alan, listen. Alan, If you’re right, then there’s no issue.”