The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

06 January 2007

Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Al Franken, Media Matters


With Colmes, Libs Have Love - Hate Relationship

(For other weekend updates, click here)

When it comes to television and radio talker Alan Colmes, lefties can't seem to live with him, nor can they live without him.

Paired with Sean Hannity on the FOX News Channel's Hannity and Colmes, the liberal co- host drives some on his side perfectly batty. An infamous critic is Al Franken, who blasted him in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and at least once had an angry public confrontation with the talker as well.

Some lefties see Colmes as soft and a mere punching bag for Hannity, to the point where a website exists for the sole purpose of demanding he be replaced with another "progressive" (this image comes from that site).

So why, then, is there renewed anger from the left, this time because he's not included in a new show featuring Hannity alone?

This one's a real mystery, coming to us courtesy of the serial FOX- bashing Media Matters For America site:

Despite touting Colmes as "balance," Hannity to host own Fox News show

On January 7, Fox News will premiere a new weekly show, Hannity's America, starring Sean Hannity, who currently co-hosts the Fox News show Hannity & Colmes along with Alan Colmes. Hannity and others have defended themselves against charges that Fox News leans conservative by pointing to the purported conservative/liberal balance represented by the co-hosts of Hannity & Colmes, but Colmes apparently will not be a co-host of Hannity's America.

According to a January 4 Hollywood Reporter article, Hannity's America will "blend the debate style that Hannity is noted for on TV and syndicated radio," featuring interviews and reports and a "debate component, called 'Hannity's Hot Seat,' [that] will feature a lightning round of five yes or no questions put to a liberal and then a debate."

Each show will also reportedly include "the naming of a 'Great American' ... 'people that on a daily basis make this a great country and never get noticed." According to a Fox News advertisement that aired during the January 2 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity's America will air every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET; Hannity will continue to co-host Hannity & Colmes and his daily ABC Radio Networks show.

As Media Matters for America has noted, several people, including Hannity himself, have previously defended Fox News against charges it skews to the right in part by pointing to the pairing of Hannity and Colmes on their show. For example:

* CNBC's The Tim Russert Show, August 7, 2004:

TIM RUSSERT [host and NBC News Washington bureau chief]: Do you think that Fox News Channel has a conservative spin to it?

O'REILLY: If you look at the Fox News commentators in prime time, starting with Hume and ending with Van Susteren, it comes right down the line, OK? Van Susteren is a liberal, Colmes is a liberal, Hannity is a conservative, I'm a traditionalist, Shepard Smith is really nothing and -- you know, he's just in -- a neutral guy, in the neutral zone, and Hume, I would say that he's slightly conservative, but certainly no bomb-thrower. All right?

PAUL KRUGMAN [New York Times columnist]: Unbelievable.

* Hannity & Colmes, February 17, 2003:

MIKE GALLAGHER [radio host]: But the problem with Alan, like most liberals, is they don't -- you guys don't use enough logic in your arguments. You want to say Republicans want to take away the seniors' health prescription. You know, George Bush wants to go to war just to satisfy his own personal gain.

COLMES: That's not my argument, Mike. Don't put my -- that's not what I'm saying. Gloria, go ahead.

GLORIA ALLRED [attorney]: Let me tell you about logic. You have Sean out there talking about how Hillary and Bill are behind this as though if they were that would be a terrible thing. I think it's great.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, Gloria. Hang on, Gloria.

ALLRED: He never mentions Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes behind the Fox News network, and they are well known conservatives. I have no problem with that.


HANNITY: What is Alan Colmes, a potted plant? Is [Newsweek contributing editor] Eleanor Clift and Ellen Ratner -- they're all on our payroll, Gloria. They're all liberals. They get paid here. Now let me move on to the more important --

ALLRED: The last time I checked, they were not hosts of a show.

HANNITY: They get paid. Alan is a -- we have a stopwatch in the control room. He gets half my time. It drives me nuts.

Great, so now the problem is that Hannity will get his own show and it won't feature Colmes? It's a weekend program, what's the big deal?

Somebody should get a reaction from Franken on that "potted plant" quote, by the way.

If balance is really such a major issue on cable talk shows, then where is Keith Olbermann's conservative co- host? How about a counterpoint to Chris Matthews? Or to CNN's entire programming schedule?

The fact is that because FOX is primarily conservative and successful, liberals are constantly looking for ways to undermine it. If even weekend scheduling changes are now worth protesting for "lack of balance", then the cable channel must be doing something right.

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  • I have no problem with Colmes. He is paid well to be Hannity's stooge and who can blame him for it.

    On the other hand, for you wingnuts who think the show is "fair and balanced", take a look at the banner they recently displayed on the show here.

    Face it. Fox news is the Republican news channel.

    By Blogger none, at 06 January, 2007 00:48  

  • Yeah Colmes can't win against Hannity. Being fair and balanced does not mean Hannity has to let him win an argument. You win on logic.

    By Blogger pf1, at 06 January, 2007 07:27  

  • MSNBC: The balance for Matthews (who hates Hillary, bu the way), is Tucker Carlson. The balance for Olberman is Scarborough.
    Fox: The balance for Hannity is Colmes. Who is the balance for Hume, Gibson, O'Reilly, Cavuto or Fox & Friends hosts? Exactly -- there is none.

    By Blogger Justin, at 06 January, 2007 14:21  

  • Juan Williams? How about Neal Gabler
    on Fox News Watch?

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 07 January, 2007 00:35  

  • Chris Matthews is a Carterbot.

    He's a Democrat. Obiouvsly.

    By Blogger Good Lieutenant, at 07 January, 2007 01:10  

  • "Juan Williams? How about Neal Gabler
    on Fox News Watch?"

    What about Jane Hall or Kirsten Powers--the counter to Michelle Malkin?

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 07 January, 2007 10:42  

  • Hannity, Nice guy, complete HACK. Last week Hannity stated "I believe there are WMDS in IRaq". Hannity while not the racist monster like Savage, Gallagher, Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh is a complete empty suit, no ideas. He actually bases his arguments based on "I believe". Complete HACKERY

    Kind of like Brian
    CNN's entire programming schedule?
    LIBERAL??? Brian, saying it does not make it true. Get some new material. CNN is not "liberal". This is complete stupidity. Nobody takes these 20 year old talking points seriously, except for a few impotent 12%ers

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 07 January, 2007 11:19  

  • Juan Williams? Gabler? Are you kidding?
    They both are contributors, not hosts. For each of them, there are conservative counterparts (fred barnes, dick morris, ollie north, etc.).

    The point is that fox News HOSTS are overwhelmingly conservative. Again : Cavuto, Doocey, Kilmede, O'Reilly, Hannity, Gibson and Hume -- just Colmes and (perhaps) Van Sustren on the left.

    By Blogger Justin, at 07 January, 2007 19:13  

  • Okay, then, Justin: Let's take a look at CNN: Lou Dobbs, The O'Brien Twins, Wolfie, Paula Zahn, Larry King, Anderson Coooooooper, Nancy Guilty-Guilty-Guilty Grace. Find the GOP ideologue in that group. What, you can't? No balance for Wolfie? No one to tell Dobbs to stuff a sock in it from time to time?

    Well, then. Let's take a look at MSNBC, then, shall we? Imus, Tucker Carlson, Matthews, Olbywan, Scarborough, Rita Cosby and Her Deep Voice. The sinistrosphere will claim that Scarborough is the 'balance' provided to that decidedly lefty lineup, forgetting the fact that Ordinary Joe is less than enamored with the political right of late, stating they have left their principles (to which I agree BTW), and has drifted closer to the Lou Dobbs orbit of political thought. Other than that, lefty, weakling in a bow tie, Carter lefty, nutjob lefty, and a transvestite.

    Bottom line: People are not constrained to one channel. The knowledge is out there for all to see. CNN, MSNBC and the legacy networks are all historically and currently tilted egregiously to the left. So, when a competitor comes along that is tilted to the right, it is natural for the lefties to decry someone with the effrontery to actually challenge the status quo - and succeed in doing so.

    The ratings speak for themselves, gents.

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 07 January, 2007 22:50  

  • I find it laughable that the right sets Fox news as the standard for fair and balance reporting and then smears any media organization as liberal that falls to the left of it.

    As for Tucker's qualifications to be a conservative, I think it is clear he was disqualified long ago for his personality flaws rather than his message.

    Of course, there are some conservatives who give Tucker his props no matter how much it offends the more manly segment of the Republican party.

    Per Little Green Football website:

    "Who would have thought that one of the most consistently excellent mainstream media questioners of radical Islam would be ... MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson? Here he is giving another dissembling victimhood-advocating CAIR representative the third degree:"

    By Blogger none, at 07 January, 2007 23:41  

  • Elmonica,
    You know how to link, you demonstrated it in your first post. By not linking the lgf quote I suspect you've taken it out of context.

    By Blogger Rich in MT, at 08 January, 2007 20:51  

  • Rich MT,

    Yes I was being lazy but No not because I was trying to take it out of context:

    Here is the link

    By Blogger none, at 09 January, 2007 01:24  

  • No, it was not taken out of context.

    Elmonica, bear in mind that many of these suppressives have undoubtedly been home-schooled, and therefore, possess little initiative in terms of researching or doing homework, etc., to resolve what little curiosity may have been developed.

    Looking over, they appear to be going the route, and aiming for an even lower echelon.

    These are not very intelligent or well-informed people.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 09 January, 2007 20:04  

  • Hash,
    At least elmonica brings something to the table, you spew crap that doesn't resemble contribution.

    Elmonica pointed out that Little Green Footballs wrote the truth about Carlson, in spite of what the mainstream conservative thought was. Well no kidding, conservatives do that all the time. That's how conservative principles are developed, through vigorous give and take, not the feel good, finger in the air policy development of the liberals.

    If you think the little green footballs is such a crappy site, your argument is with elmonica, not me.

    By Blogger Rich in MT, at 10 January, 2007 08:41  

  • Rich,

    Where did I specifically address my reply to you? Or do you perhaps imagine the WORLD just is constantly personally speaking to you, and you alone?

    I disagree fully with your assessment of conservative vs. liberal "policy development". The only "policies" that conservatives are interested in is opposition to marriage equality, opposition to reproductive rights, obsession with non-existent "Islamofascist" terrorism, and unquestioned loyalty to security....of the state of Israel.

    NEVER are the legitimate issues of deficit reduction, DOMESTIC security including open borders, immigration, and ports, government corruption, outsourcing of jobs, healthcare...IOW, what REAL Americans expect their government to address are ever attended to...because the conservatives are part of the problem!

    There is nothing but corruption and malfeasance on your side of the aisle.

    A liberal understands that, on a team, you are only as good as your weakest link. They COOPERATE to help the weakest one become strong, so the rest can prosper. It's not the boardroom, it's not cutthroat competition and profit maximization.

    Liberals think critically. It's not so important to pledge undying loyalty to a failed set of principles. Liberals can adapt to changing circumstances in a reality-based manner.

    Why WOULDN'T the American people support them?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 10 January, 2007 13:09  

  • I rest my case.

    By Blogger Rich in MT, at 10 January, 2007 14:38  

  • You had none to begin with.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 10 January, 2007 19:26  

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