Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) Hangs Up On Sean Hannity, Talk Radio
Testy Voinovich / Hannity Exchange Has 'Net Buzzing
*** Update: Amnesty Bill Dead? Rush predicts talk radio will be blamed for any violent fallout, says bill's defeat a blow to Harry Reid's leadership ***
Rather than back down in the face of unprecedented, nationwide opposition to their fishy amnesty plan for illegals, why do elected officials now prefer to make asses of themselves on radio and television?
Sunday morning, it was Trent Lott and Diane Feinstein plotting ways to shut down talk radio. Then, Senator Ted Kennedy made a foolish attempt at singing in Spanish on a Hispanic radio station:
Yesterday, Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) tried to top them all with a rude and obnoxious performance on the Sean Hannity Show. Even worse, he hung up on Sean, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Voinovich hangs up on Hannity
Posted by Sabrina Eatonseaton@plaind.com June 28, 2007 07:01AM
Sen. George Voinovich took heat in the GOP blogosphere last night after a testy exchange over immigration with conservative talker Sean Hannity. The curmudgeonly Cleveland Republican ended up hanging up on the radio host.
The conversation begins to degenerate about halfway through the interview.
"Thank you very much and I hope that the next time around, we have another subject that we can be more rational about," Voinovich said as he got off the phone.
"So I'm irrational because I disagree with you, the almighty senator," Hannity replied. "OK. I got it. Thank you."
Perhaps he was in a hurry to sing some of his own canciones.
Here, Hot Air provides its own analysis and a number of reader comments, in addition to this clip:
And here, FrontPage's Ben Johnson unloads on Voinovich for his dubious performance:
During his appearance yesterday on The Sean Hannity Show, Sen. George Voinovich displayed a rare public trifecta of vices: he was ill-mannered, ill-informed, and condescending. In other words, he was the perfect image of those who oppose securing our borders, winning in Iraq, and keeping our economy out of recession.
In the most elegant and dignified talk show appearance since Lester Maddox walked off The Dick Cavett Show, Voinovich demonstrated profound ignorance, indicted an entire communications medium, and told his constituents not to trouble their political masters.
Sean Hannity opened his program by asking the Republican senator’s position on the free speech-stifling Fairness Doctrine. Voinovich replied, “I’m all for the Fairness Doctrine, whatever that is.” The move to censor talk radio has been in the news since its revival was first broached by Dennis Kucinich, a member of Voinovich’s Ohio Congressional delegation and his predecessor as mayor of Cleveland. It gained infamy all week long, as Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Kerry, and Clinton openly or covertly pledged their support. To Voinovich, it was a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.
He then insisted the Hutchinson amendment to the Senate immigration bill passed the Senate that morning. When confronted with the fact that it failed 53-45 – and a talk show host knew more about Senate proceedings he’d participated in that morning than he did – Voinovich responded, “I thought it passed, because, frankly, I voted for it.” When asked if the failure signaled this is an amnesty bill, Senator Fiat responded defensively, “Well, the fact of the matter is that we are gonna continue to have more amendments, and we’ll see how that all works out.” How reassuring.
The interview’s defining moment, though, came when Voinovich lashed out at Hannity specifically and talk radio generally, demanding they stay in their place:
I’ve had people at my back calling because of programs like yours saying, “If you vote for this bill, then it’s the end of your political career.” And I just want you to know, and I want everyone else to know: You. Do. Not. Intimidate. George Voinovich. This is my 40th year in this business.
… I’ve gotten calls from people that, basically, are intimidating me. They’re saying, “If you do this [vote for the bill], I’ll do that [vote against you].”
How did these elected officials get so out of touch with reality? And why have they so casually disregarded the power of talk radio? Does Voinovich really think it's a good idea to treat so shabbily a host heard on hundreds of radio stations, including in his home state of Ohio?
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