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Sean Hannity, Sore Debate-Loser

Reported by Ellen - February 17, 2008 -

Sean Hannity more than met his match with Democratic strategist Tanya Acker Friday night (2/15/08). Hannity did his best to berate her about Democrats’ “retreat, defeat, surrender (of) Iraq to Al Qaeda and Ahmadinejad.” But Acker did better than hold her own, told him those words were his “pejorative spin,” gave him the facts of Barack Obama’s position on Iraq and, for good measure, told Hannity he was “doing nothing but writing bumper stickers” and to “cut it out.” So how did tough guy Hannity react? He changed the subject and claimed to do so “because these are old issues.” With video.

In a previous post, I criticized Acker for giggling through a discussion about firefighters’ criticisms of Rudolph Giuliani. But in this case, I think she struck the perfect balance between fighting back when it was appropriate and laughing in the face of the slurs at other times. No trying to cozy up to the conservatives like far too many of the Democratic “strategists” on FOX. Acker interrupted to say, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” when Republican Karen Hanretty said that in the primaries, “Liberals are doing what liberals do. And they’re voting based on emotion.”

Acker was pleasant and non-abrasive but she got under Hannity’s skin several times during the debate. During her time with Alan Colmes, who was also no slouch, Hannity bristled when Acker off-handedly referred to “these right-wingers.” Of course, conservatives can accuse Democrats of any awful crime imaginable and Hannity never bats an eyelash. But he was so stung over the term "these right wingers" that he couldn’t restrain himself from peevishly interrupting. Colmes, however, insisted that Acker be allowed to speak and she continued, unruffled.

Acker also laughed at Hannity’s “retreat, defeat, surrender” comment. Refusing to allow Hannity to out-talk her, and after coming back against Hannity’s accusation that she was “believing your own bumpersticker,” she continued, “What Senator Obama has said is that if elected, if elected, (she had to repeat herself because Hannity kept trying to over-talk her) he will convene his generals and figure out the most responsible way of proceeding in this situation.”

Hannity sounded more than a little sullen when he responded, “Alright, let me go to some other issues here because these are old issues.” Old issues? It sounded more like sour grapes to me.

The other guest, writer Byron York, started cracking up.