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Hannity and Kellyanne Conway Fall Over Themselves Trying To Defend Giuliani’s Bad-Husband Behavior

Reported by Ellen - August 20, 2007 -

Now that Rudy Giuliani’s less-than-stellar personal life has come under scrutiny, suddenly Sean Hannity and Republican Kellyanne Conway have developed a heightened sensitivity for candidates' private lives – so long as they’re Republican candidates, of course. During the 8/17/07 Hannity & Colmes, Conway hilariously insisted there was no analogy between the married Giuliani trolling for an extramarital date in a cigar bar and President Bill Clinton having a tryst in the Oval Office. Hannity “defended” Giuliani by attacking Obama’s pastor again (and pretending he had not before) and Clinton’s brother. With video.

Naturally, the issue under discussion was not Giuliani’s bad behavior but whether or not the press should be covering his family. Susan Estrich did a very good job in this segment where she was substituting for Alan Colmes. She started off by asking FOX News Contributor Ellis Henican, “(Giuliani’s) daughter puts a Facebook profile up that she’s supporting Barack Obama. His son goes to the press and says ‘I’m estranged from my father.’ What is the press supposed to do? Not write about it? Isn’t it a legitimate issue if your own children don’t support you?”

Henican pointed out that if those were his kids, he’d try to keep them hidden away, too, then made the point that Giuliani had humiliated their mother. “Maybe we should listen to them a little bit,” Henican added.

Next, Estrich turned to Conway and noted that in an interview, the current Mrs. Giuliani said she had met her husband in a cigar bar while he was married to someone else. He took her number and started dating her a year before he separated. “In my book, I’m sorry, that doesn’t speak well for a guy,” Estrich said. “You guys all attacked Clinton for cheating on his wife. Why isn’t this just as relevant?”

In a bitchy, holier-than-thou voice, Conway insisted there was a huge difference. “Excuse me, please don’t analogize Rudy Giuliani’s and Bill Clinton’s behavior, a man out in a cigar bar and one as the Commander-in-Chief in the Oval Office being serviced by an intern.” Memo to married Republicans looking to cheat on their wives. Apparently, it’s no biggie so long as you don’t do it in the Oval Office... or maybe it's the cigar bar setting that makes it not so bad.

Still on her high horse, Conway continued, “I find this entire conversation to be unseemly and unclassy… There’s nothing you just said that saved a single soldier in Iraq.”

As Estrich answered back that impeachment (of Clinton) didn’t save any lives, either, Conway took a sudden detour from the high road. “If you want (Bill Clinton’s impeachment) to be an issue in ’08, we’ll be really happy to revisit that, and what a doormat Hillary Clinton was.”

With phony-baloney Hanctimony, Hannity declared, “I say leave these kids alone… Did anyone else ask Chelsea Clinton about her father’s infidelity or allegations of serial abuse of women?” Probably not, but Hannity’s good buddy Rush Limbaugh called her, “The White House dog.” I wonder if Hannity leapt to Chelsea’s defense then.

“Nobody’s forced these kids to talk, Sean,” Estrich interrupted.

With more melodramatic outrage, Hannity asked, “Has there ever been a case where a Democratic candidate’s wife has been referred to as a trophy wife? Have the Democratic candidates been asked about their support of partial birth abortion? No. But every Republican is.”

Then, in a spiteful non-sequitor, Hannity added, “Look at Barack Obama’s pastor.” Hannity made it seem as though Obama's pastor had escaped media scrutiny, at least partially because of Hannity's own good-mannered restraint. In fact, Hannity not only repeatedly assailed Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Hannity & Colmes, but used the smear to imply that Obama was a racist. Other conservatives have similarly targeted his pastor.

For good measure, family-respecting Hannity threw in a gratuitous bash at the Clintons. “I have a tape of Roger Clinton repeatedly using the “n” word. Repeatedly!”

I have a feeling viewers will hear about that one again… and again.

Somehow, Hannity forgot that he had attacked Teresa Heinz Kerry while her husband was a candidate in 2004. As Media Matters reported:

HANNITY: [N]ow Teresa Heinz's latest extravaganza with the media, the hot-tempered Teresa lashing out at critics during a Pittsburgh television interview. By the way, and this was you know pretty much only revealed for the first time nationally in a profile in an issue of The New Yorker magazine, now the most outrageous by far of -- of the, uh, of the senator's wife, pushing the boundary of behavior.
I just -- this could possibly be if you vote for John Kerry to be president, this is what you get.

Some other examples of Republican attacks on Democratic families that Hannity ignored in his lopsided reckoning (H/T Media Matters):

Glenn Beck wondered whether a date rape drug had caused Dennis Kucinich’s wife to be attracted to him.

Talk show host Bill Cunningham told Hannity that the 2004 election was over because “Elizabeth Edwards has sung.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell called Heinz Kerry “rich, white trash.”