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Stephanopoulos Schools Hannity On Jennings

Reported by Ellen - October 9, 2009 -

Sean Hannity continued his obsessive witch hunt against “safe schools czar” Kevin Jennings last night (10/8/09), devoting several segments to Hannity’s overtly stated goal of pushing Jennings out of the Obama administration. Part of last night’s effort was an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about why the “liberal media” has not gone after Jennings the way Hannity has. After Hannity spent about 7 minutes on his guilt-by-association “evidence,” Stephanopoulos finally told Hannity, ““I think our responsibility is to look into the issue. I looked into the issue and I think when you look at it, there are a lot of answers to questions you’re raising.” With video.

"I don’t think you have the goods on this one, Sean,” Stephanopoulos told Hannity at the beginning of the segment. “Looking at the record, it does seem to me that you’ve got a guy here who’s committed his life to teaching and to education, who’s been praised by more national organizations than you can count.” Stephanopoulos added that he would not praise “everything” Jennings ever said but noted, “I don’t think anybody can stand up to that kind of scrutiny.”

To Hannity’s obvious disappointment, Stephanopoulos continued to knock down every line of attack. Stephanopoulos dismissed the “statutory rape” smear by saying that he “saw the license” of Jennings’ former student, proving that he was of age at the time that Jennings suggested he wear a condom after learning that the then-student had gone home with an older man (Hannity snapped, “You’re looking at Media Matters!); Stephanopoulos debunked Jennings’ supposed admiration of NAMBLA (because he expressed admiration for gay rights activist Harry Hay, a supporter of NAMBLA) by saying, "(Jennings) gave a speech in 1997 – one line of praise for a man who was a pioneer in the gay civil rights movement.”

Stephanopoulos added, “You have to put a person’s career in context. You have to look at his full career. And I think if you look at his whole career, you see a man who’s dedicated his to teaching and to educating,” He said, “I… don’t believe that people should be hounded, especially out of government service… because of some comments they made at some time in their life.”

As Hannity continued to harangue about the student and NAMBLA, Stephanopoulos finally said, “I think our responsibility is to look into the issue. I looked into the issue and I think when you look at it, there are a lot of answers to questions you’re raising.”

Hannity had no answer to that, it seems. He immediately changed the subject to trying to attack the other "czars."