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Hannity & Colmes Presents Ann Coulter As Authority On Tasteful Remarks

Reported by Ellen - April 4, 2008 -

Hannity & Colmes devoted a couple of segments last night (4/3/08) to criticizing Air America radio host Randi Rhodes who was just suspended from the network after making profane remarks about Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro that included likening Ferraro to David Duke. There was no spokesperson speaking on behalf of either Air America or Rhodes on the “fair and balanced” network’s prime time debate program. Instead, Rhodes was vilified by both hosts and a succession of guests. Ann “Boombox” Coulter, on the other hand, with a much longer and more denigrating, divisive history, was part of a two-conservative panel analyzing Rhodes’ behavior. Over the course of her two segments, Coulter got almost a complete pass on her hate speech and was even compared favorably to Rhodes. Near the end, Coulter compared Barack Obama to Hitler. But there was little to no opprobrium for her. With video.

Coulter cannily avoided commenting on Rhodes' language and instead made sneering jokes about how few listeners Rhodes has. But at least Coulter was coherent, unlike her “boombox” appearance, and her speech was only slightly slurred last night.

Boomie has carried on a flirtation with the married Alan Colmes for years. While Colmes has never seemed interested in quite the same way, he obviously enjoys her attentions. I’m sorry to say he also often seems charmed by her. I like Colmes and I respect him but I have a hard time understanding how he could have been aghast at Rhodes yet treated Coulter like a cute comedienne. “Not that you’ve ever made any controversial comments about anybody,” Colmes bantered. He continued, “Ann Coulter says very nasty, horrible things but at least they’re fairly funny and fairly well crafted most of the time, vile though they are.” The middle-aged Coulter beamed like a schoolgirl.

Unnervingly, Hannity was the only one I could stomach during the entire segment. He waved off the issue by saying, “I’ve been told – I’ve never heard this woman’s show – that she attacks me. Fine! Say anything you want.”

Hannity later pointed out that Rhodes’ offensive words occurred during a public appearance, not on her radio show. He said, “If people want to go to a comedy show, there are certain comedians that you know they’re going to have profanity-laden, you know, routines, and you either want to go or you don’t want to go. If you want to go see Randi Rhodes, she’s, you know, an angry liberal. So you’ll probably hear what you heard. So no one’s forcing anyone to go see her.”

Which, I’m even sorrier to say, is pretty much how I see it, too.

Hannity suddenly turned the conversation by attacking what he called, “a bunch of losers in their basement that literally – John Carlson (the other guest, another conservative radio host), Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity Kirby Wilbur, John Carlson, Neal Boortz, Mark Levin – all they do – FOX News – monitor every sentence, every word, every phrase, every paragraph.” Hmm, could Hannity have been talking about us?

“You know what they want?” he continued. “They want to gotcha! And they want to silence you because they don’t like the political views.”

Something tells me that Hannity is ticked off about the cancellation of his gig in the commemoration of Martin Luther King (which I instigated). Memo to Sean: I have never tried to silence you. In fact, in my email to Rev. Al Sharpton asking him to reconsider including you in the commemoration, I specifically said I applaud efforts to include you in the debate, just not under King’s mantle. UPDATE: I have received several reports from listeners to Hannity's radio show that he says the event was cancelled due to a family emergency.

In Part 2, the discussion moved on to the presidential campaign. Coulter talked about her purported support for Hillary Clinton over John McCain: Coulter said about Clinton, “She’s not obsessed with waterboarding and stopping waterboarding and given the glint in her eye, I think she’d like torturing them. Have you seen that woman give a speech? I think she would enjoy torturing them in Guantanamo.”

Nobody on the panel was offended. Is that really so much better than calling Clinton and Ferraro “fucking whores?”

Coulter went on to say, “The most important question right now is who it is John McCain chooses as his vice president because he may end up being the luckiest man in the world running against this absolute racist Obama, as noted in my column.”

Coulter also said, “He has a racial hair trigger, he’s a complete loon.”

Rather than debate her, Colmes probed Coulter’s thinking. Quoting from her column in which she said about Obama, “If only people had read, Mein Kampf," Colmes asked, “So in other words, he’d be as dangerous as Hitler?” Colmes’ tone was mocking but also indulgent.

Coulter, impressed as ever with her own wit, responded, “Oh, he’s a dime store Mein Kampf!”

“Oh, he’s a two-bit Hitler,” Colmes echoed.

“He’s an absolute racialist,” Coulter said.

Carlson had earlier suggested that Rhodes should have the good manners to resign from Air America but he seemed to find nothing objectionable in what Coulter was saying. In fact, he laughed heartily at some of her “jokes.”

Colmes was obviously not pleased but he was hardly outraged. “We should be as wary of Obama as they should have been of Hitler in Nazi Germany… I just want to get you on the record.”