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Sean Allen, The "Swift Boat" Snitch With The Switcheroo

Reported by Ellen - March 14, 2006

As FOX News continued its war on education, it brought back its junior-league "Swift Boater," Sean Allen, the Colorado snitch with the ever-changing story about why he recorded his teacher’s critical remarks about President Bush and gave the recording to a conservative talk show host. Last night (3/13/06) on Hannity & Colmes, Allen had a host of new tales. Alan Colmes poked holes in nearly one of them. But Sean Hannity ignored the inconsistencies and made truth secondary to his partisan agenda.

When Hannity asked what advice Allen has for other students, the 15-year old Allen made it very plain he was enjoying his status as the darling of conservative talk shows. “Hopefully, it will be a little easier for students, you know, around the country that have these kind of same situations.” Claiming to have received an email about an English teacher telling his students Karl Rove was taking over the earth, Allen pompously declared, “Obviously, that’s definitely a breach of policy so you know I always advise them to check with a lawyer, check with the school that it’s OK to record that class and then do so because I think it is a widespread problem among high school teachers that they are giving biased, radical opinions that aren’t appropriate for class.”

Allen evidently thought the only sacrifices made for his new-found fame would come from Bennish. I have yet to see Allen express a word of sympathy or concern for the trouble he has caused Bennish whose job was put in jeopardy and who, unlike Allen, was thrust unwillingly into the public eye. Yet Allen, in his fourth appearance on Hannity & Colmes (and at least one appearance on Hannity’s radio show), professed himself a reluctant guest who was only there because he had been misquoted by Bennish’s attorney. Claiming he wanted the matter closed, Allen said arrogantly, “I feel it’s ridiculous they’re still going to the media attacking me, which is very childish in itself.” Comment: Allen alleged Bennish's attorney said Allen admitted that Bennish gave both sides in his classes. I could find no such quote from David Lane, Bennish’s attorney, but as Allen told it, it hardly seemed like an attack. This would not be the first time Allen misconstrued a statement that disagreed with him as an attack.

Now that he has caused so much trouble for Bennish, Allen is too cowardly to face him again in school. When Hannity asked why Allen wasn’t going back to Bennish’s class, Allen replied, “I think that would be probably one of the top 10 most awkward moments of my life, going back into that class.” But later, during Alan Colmes’ portion of the interview, Allen claimed that the reason was because Bennish had expressed a lot of anger toward him. When Colmes said that Bennish had stated in an interview he welcomed Allen back to class, Allen dismissed it as “kind of, you know, a show.”

Alan Colmes did an excellent job in bringing out the contradictions in Allen’s story. First, Colmes said he found it “interesting” that Allen claimed last week on the show that the reason he didn’t go to the teacher with his complaints first, instead of the media, was because he felt intimidated. “But you’re not intimidated to come on national television night after night to talk about the teacher.”

Allen blinked petulantly into the camera as Colmes spoke and then gave another hard-to-believe answer. “Well, first of all, it wasn’t – it wasn’t the fact that I was intimidated by – to confront the teacher. I mean, this guy’s got my future in his hands, basically, because he has my grade and he controls my grade. If I would have confronted him on it and there would have been some sort of repercussions in my grade, that would have affected my future…”

Colmes interrupted to say “But going to the media’s certainly going to affect your grade, if that’s the case, isn’t it?”

Allen then made the ridiculous statement, “No, it’s also the fact that I transferred out of his class before I went to the media to, you know, make sure my future was safe.” Oh, come on! If he transferred out of the class, why was he worried about his grade?

Allen insisted last night (as he has previously on H&C) that he recorded Bennish solely for the purpose of taking notes. Yet he told The Rocky Mountain News he made the recording because he grew tired of Bennish's lectures. Comment: The only thing more obnoxious than being a snitch is being a snitch and pretending you're not.

Colmes also asked why Allen “selectively” recorded 21 minutes of the class. Allen maintained that the 21 minutes was the only part of the class he needed to take notes about but, under further questioning from Colmes, Allen added, “The rest of the class was devoted to, you know, setting up class, getting everything ready and then taking definitions off the overhead." (my emphasis). Colmes observed the latter was part of the class, too, which Allen did not dispute.

“Where are the other students complaining?” Colmes asked, pointing out that 140 students had walked out in solidarity with Bennish.

Allen never answered the question, other than to assert that “most of those students were enjoying a sunny day and they did interview a lot of those students who had the exact same complaint.” But once again, the articles I found on the internet did not back up Allen’s statement. For example, here’s one about the protest, here’s one about the other complaints against Bennish and here’s one which indicates, as Colmes suggested, that Allen is now a pariah among the students who is nonetheless defended by Jay Bennish.

Sean Hannity loves to accuse liberals of intellectual dishonesty but he never once indicated an iota of concern about any of Allen’s contradictions nor did Hannity seem to feel the need to hear from anyone involved in the issue other than the questionable Allen (and, on an earlier show, his mother). No other students, no other parents, no member of the school administration were interviewed. There was one night with Bennish’s attorney who Hannity only wanted to attack, not interview. If ever there was proof that FOX News is neither fair nor balanced, the Jay Bennish/Sean Allen story is it.

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