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Was It Just Me Or Was Hannity's New Show A Crashing Bore?

Reported by Ellen - January 12, 2009 -

Judging by the first edition of "Hannity," the show is a flashier version of Hannity's America. But despite the glitzy gimmicks, it was Hannity warmed over with new dressing: Non-stop attacks on Democrats, punctuated by some admiration of President Bush, with lots more graphics.

The guest line-up was as stale as Bush acclaim. Newt Gingrich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (has that woman ever said anything interesting?), President Bush, himself, talking about his feelings about leaving the White House and where he goes on his daily walks (Part 2 tomorrow) plus some "fun" with a feature called "liberal translation." Even that seemed tame.

The "Great American Panel" had more yawners: Michelle "I want to investigate whether members of Congress are pro-American" Bachmann toned it down. Maybe she was concerned that she might have to again deny having said such a thing (even though she did). Bachmann didn't even bring up Jesus and how he has saved the planet so that we don't have to.

Next to her was Al Sharpton. I like Sharpton but I can't for the life of me figure out why he gives Hannity a pass on race. Maybe Sharpton likes Hannity. I've got to think that Hannity also does something for Sharpton. Whether it's the extra air time or something financial, Sharpton must have calculated that staying buddies with Hannity was worth overlooking Hannity's disgraceful record on race.

The "wild card" guest was Meat Loaf. It says a lot about a show if it chooses a celeb from 30 years ago as its X Factor. The hottest debate was over whether or not kids - specifically Hannity's - should be allowed to listen to Paradise by the Dashboard Light. News flash for Hannity: They probably won't want to.

Who's the wild card tomorrow? Wham? Wake me up before I go-go... to sleep.

My favorite part of the new set up? The blog on FOXNews.com. It's called The Great American Blog which, I've got to admit, is a cute title. No posts from Hannity yet, even though it invites readers to "get interactive with Hannity." Apparently, they mean the show, not the man. The interactive part is a bit over-hyped, too. Red letters on the front page announce that comments have been turned off for the evening.

It's entirely possible that the show will find its legs. One thing you can say about FOX News: it's not boring. Until now. Whether or not Hannity can refashion his bullyboy browbeating of the Hannity & Colmes days into a compelling host of Hannity remains to be seen.