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While Excoriating Edwards For Cheating, FOX News Overlooks McCain’s Cheating Past

Reported by Ellen - August 9, 2008 -

Hannity & Colmes devoted its entire program last night (8/8/08) to John Edwards’ affair, probably with the same kind of relish that has not been seen since the Monica Lewinsky days. Certainly there was nothing similar in the coverage of the sex scandals of Republicans Larry Craig, David Vitter or Vito Fossella. In fact, don't recall any coverage of either Fossella or Vitter. Sean Hannity waxed sanctimoniously about Edwards, “It’s a character issue... If you cheat on your wife, are you gonna be honest with your country?” Yet neither he nor anyone else questioned whether John McCain could be honest with his country, given his history of cheating on his first wife after she had been gravely injured. And Hannity helped fundraise for another adulterating presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani. Updated: With video.

The video below contains excerpts from a three-part panel discussion that included two Republicans, one of the authors of the National Enquirer article and Kirsten Powers as the lone Democrat.

The video begins with a segment from Part 2, in which Hannity dripped with showy admiration for Elizabeth Edwards. But no sooner had he finished his display of sensitivity than he began to criticize her and directly contravene her request that the public avoid voyeurism. Hannity said, “(Elizabeth Edwards) did take a shot at the Enquirer... She’s gotta know he’s running for president. She’s gotta know he’s a contender for vice president or was. So I honestly applaud the Enquirer.” As opposed to dishonestly applauding Elizabeth Edwards? If you know Hannity, you have to wonder.

Powers made a good point, which was to question whether or not the affair is really germane to Edwards’ political life. When Hannity expressed doubt, Powers cited other presidential cheaters: FDR and JFK. Funny how she did not mention McCain. As Cenk, of Young Turks, notes, Edwards' adultery is very similar to McCain's.

“It’s a character issue,” Hannity told Powers. “Don’t we have a right to know before we elect somebody? ...If you cheat on your wife, are you gonna be honest with your country?”

Powers made another good point, that the character issue really pertains to someone marrying the guy. She added, “Do you think that FDR was not an honorable president? I mean I think that he was. So I don’t think that that should necessarily be the measure.”

Funny how neither McCain’s nor Giuliani's names came up that time, either.

In the next segment, Hannity began whining about the “double standard” shown by the media. “If it’s Mitt Romney, if it’s Mike Huckabee, if it’s John Edwards, there seems to be a double standard as it relates to Republicans,” he complained.

Funny how he left out McCain and Giuliani in the comparisons.

My hopes were temporarily raised when Alan Colmes said, “Let me go on this, this political angle... this double standard, as if somehow there’s a left vs. right double standard.” But then he added, “Anybody remember Bill Clinton?”

Update: On 8/11/08, Hannity & Colmes held another discussion about Edwards' affair, this one framed around the supposed lack of media coverage of Democrats' indiscretions. Guest David Sirota brought up Newt Gingrich and Colmes brought up McCain.

Update: 8/11/08 During a discussion on 8/11/08 about Edwards, Colmes brought up McCain's cheating.

Update: 8/12/08 A firestorm erupts when Colmes demands that conservatives explain why John McCain is fit to be president after his infidelity if John Edwards is not.