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Hannity & Colmes Uses Thompson Advisor To Discuss Huckabee

Reported by Ellen - December 12, 2007 -

Last night (12/11/07), Hannity & Colmes chose Mary Matalin, identified as a Fred Thompson advisor, as the sole guest in a discussion about Mike Huckabee’s surge in the polls. Predictably, she spent most of the discussion pumping up Thompson and criticizing Huckabee. Why would a “fair and balanced” news network choose her, as opposed to an independent analyst or pollster? One can only conclude it’s because FOX News wanted someone who would attack Huckabee. There seems to be a deliberate effort afoot in that regard on Hannity & Colmes lately.

In two recent interviews on Hannity & Colmes, Huckabee had the courage to sit down with both hosts. Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson only had the guts to take softball questions from Sean Hannity. Yet in both recent Huckabee interviews Hannity suddenly developed a tougher stance. Even Kirsten Powers who almost never seems to have a disagreeable thought toward conservatives (with the exception of one notable interview with Ann Coulter who fled the set) turned overtly critical of Huckabee the night before while she was guest hosting.

As the screen grab below shows, the Hannity & Colmes website also seemed to deliberately cast doubt on Huckabee’s candidacy.

Huckabee%20screen%20grab%20121007.bmp

Last night (12/11/07), Hannity introduced the discussion about Huckabee by saying the following: “But his rivals are not taking his success sitting down and are now going after Huckabee's record."

Hannity asked Matalin a few questions about how Thompson is doing, then asked the following question, clearly designed to elicit a less-than-flattering response. "What do you make of Mike Huckabee's surge and more importantly, I did notice Fred Thompson and through his campaign, they have been scrutinizing Huckabee's record very extensively, especially on issues of immigration and taxes and this clemency parole issue we were discussing with him last night."

Sure enough, Matalin complied. She claimed that Huckabee's support in Iowa was coming from a caucus community consisting of a "disproportionate" number of fundamentalist Christians. She called his Christian conservatism "real and authentic," but, she added, that there are other issues of importance to conservatives such as national security and economic security, "those other issues where you need to have a conservative record which he clearly does not have. He's a tax raiser, he's a government expander, he's a nanny stater, if you will. He has no national security experience and he's been soft and has a very soft record on immigration.”

She predicted that Huckabee would win Iowa “but it’s not the end of the race.”

To his credit, Colmes asked some tough questions about Thompson, pointed out that Huckabee, instead of Thompson, is the one resonating with conservatives and asked why that was.

Matalin claimed that that was in Iowa, and went on to brag about Thompson’s support nationally. She conveniently overlooked 1) that Huckabee is also ahead in South Carolina and 2) that Thompson is not coming in first or even second anywhere else.

Colmes mentioned that “(Thompson is) only in single digits” and then quickly moved on to cite a poll saying that “not one Republican candidate is viewed as favorably by even half of the Republican electorate… So there’s still great dissatisfaction with the field of Republican candidates.” Presumably, Colmes was referring to this New York Times/CBS poll.

Matalin said, “We do not have an establishment candidate in this cycle… We are deciding what the future of conservatism is going to be. And it’s not going to be a paradoxical Republican, as Huckabee likes to call himself. It’s gonna be a real, clear and consistent conservative.”

I can’t think of a single guest on Hannity & Colmes who has been critical of Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. And there has still been no segment on Rudy’s shag fund.

You can view the two most recent Huckabee interviews here and here. You can also view the most recent Giuliani, Romney and Thompson interviews for comparison. Audio of the Matalin discussion (sorry, my TV is still out) is below.