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Colmes and Beckel Challenge Conservative Smears Suggesting Obama Supports Infanticide

Reported by Ellen - August 20, 2008 -

For the second night in a row on last night's (8/19/08) Hannity & Colmes, FOX News used a discussion about Barack Obama’s vote against an Illinois law that would have protected infants after a botched abortion procedure as a vehicle to attack Obama and suggest that he supports infanticide. As Alan Colmes and Bob Beckel noted, Obama’s opposition to the Illinois bill was due to the fact that he felt it threatened women’s right to choose while criminal statutes already in force protected infants. But rather than playing defense on the issue, as we are all too accustomed to Democrats doing, Beckel and Colmes went on offense and challenged the conservative agenda at work. With video.

Obama’s record on abortion is hardly radical. During the primaries, he was criticized for not being a strong enough advocate for abortion rights. Currently, the Democratic platform is being revised to bolster the section on reducing the need for abortion. Furthermore, a lot has been made of the fact that pro-life Senator Bob Casey will be speaking at the Democratic Convention next week. The fact that FOX News keeps harping on this one vote of Obama’s (and Hannity promises there will be more on his Hannity’s America show) rather than conduct a fair and balanced review Obama’s complete record on abortion proves (again), at least to me, that the producers have an anti-Obama bias.

Meanwhile, McCain’s waffling on the issue never seems to come up.

Beckel was rightly furious as he told a taken-aback Sean Hannity, “I don’t know how low you people are going to go. To suggest that Barack Obama would be in favor of killing babies is absolutely the most obscene, disgraceful – stick with your other right-wing stuff but that – come on! He’s got two little kids of his own!”

When it was Colmes’ turn, he was just as forceful. “This is outrageous,” he said to Republican guest Andrea Tantaros. “I’m talking about the suggestion that somehow Barack Obama supports infanticide. Do you believe that? Isn’t that the implication here?”

Tantaros, a former aide to the very pro-choice Rudy Giulian, disingenuously answered that it wasn’t.

Beckel burst in. “To suggest – I mean, say – you call him a Muslim. Call him all the other stuff you guys are trying to hang on this guy.”

Hannity jumped in, even though it wasn’t his turn. “Wait a minute, Bob. Nobody’s called him that on this program.”

It wasn’t clear to me whether Hannity was denying that anyone had called Obama a Muslim or denying that anyone said Obama supported infanticide. But both have been recently suggested on the show. On August 5, 2008, FOX News banners on the lower third of the screen repeatedly suggested that Obama is at least partly a Muslim, even while an authoritative guest said otherwise. And just on Monday night, Ann Coulter said Obama "wants the doctors, you know, chasing (an infant born after a botched abortion) through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed.” Hannity never objected to Coulter's remarks and he never retracted the biased banners about Obama's religion.