HANNITYS LATEST LUNCH-MEAT! Hannity plays Kerry spokesmen for fools. Reason? He knows that he can:
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2004
WHAT US WORRY: Theres a must-read piece in this mornings newspapers—and it appears way back on page A23! In his New York Times op-ed column, Nicholas Kristof quotes a widely-respected former diplomat:
KRISTOF: William Perry, the former secretary of defense, says there is an even chance of a nuclear terror strike within this decade—that is, in the next six years.As weve said, you must read every word of this piece. And then you should marvel at the fact that its found on page A23.
Many deeply experienced people believe a nuclear strike is coming. American society will come to an end on the day this happens. But your Washington press corp slumbers and burbles. Alas! Denial plays a powerful role in human affairs. And it doesnt take much to divert the weak minds of those whom we still call a press corps.
It may be that the human race has reached the point where it can no longer cope. Your national press corps is too inane to discuss this topic out on page one. Denial rules the human mind. Lets hope that Bill Perrys a crackpot.
TAIL-GUNNER UPDATE: Wed still like to tell the folks if Blix appeared on OReillys program (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/10/04). But no word yet from the folks at the Factor. People! Were looking out for the folks! Please e-mail this key information.
HANNITYS LATEST LUNCH-MEAT: God protect the human race from the efforts of Dem Party spokesmen! The latest victim was Kerry adviser Jeh Johnson. Sean Hannity ate the spokesman for lunch on last nights Hannity & Colmes.
HANNITY (8/10/04): Let me ask you this, because we're never going to agree. I think everyone should be heard. I think the American people are smart enough to make up their own minds on something like this, especially when there's conflicting stories.Holy cow! Did Kerry really admit that, quote, he committed atrocities? Hannity viewers hear the claim almost every night; he has made it on his last four programs, for example (more examples below). But did John Kerry actually say that, quote, I committed atrocities? Heres a fuller excerpt from last nights show, including the tape which Hannity played. The tape comes from a 1971 episode of the Dick Cavett Show:
HANNITY (8/10/04): One thing we do know is John Kerry admitted that, quote, I committed atrocities. He said that. He admitted he burned villages. Lets take a look at one of the tapes where he did this.Before and after the Cavett clip, Hannity refers to Kerrys statement that quote, I committed atrocities. But when the actual tape is played, Kerry utters no such quote! In fact, Kerry says he didnt see atrocities, but he did take part in free-fire zones and search-and-destroy missions—organized acts of American policy which, he says he later learned, were violations of international conventions. But so what? Before playing the tape—and immediately after—Hannity quotes Kerry saying something he plainly didnt say. What follows is the Kerry spokesmans reaction. Well include the whole gruesome outing:
JOHNSON (continuing directly): Its documented that atrocities occurred in Vietnam in the late '60s, early '70s. Unfortunately, we're seeing some regrettable things occurring in Iraq right now. It's documented. There are people who are three-, four-star generals who have acknowledged what went on. There were prosecutions built around atrocities, the My Lai prosecution. And so—Good God! And Lord almighty! Mr. Johnson, thank you very much for being here tonight, Alan Colmes now said.
Can we make a suggestion to the Kerry campaign? Dont send people on TV if this is the best they can manage! In that 1971 TV appearance, Kerry said that he didnt witness personal atrocities. He said he did take part in US military policy—policy which violated international conventions. Can we make a suggestion to the campaign? If your spokesmen cant deal with distinctions like that, dont let them out of the office! Give them coins for the food machines, and let them sit around and brainstorm. But dont let these people go on TV! Hannity eats your people for lunch. God save the American people from the ongoing work of your spokesmen.
HE DOES IT BECAUSE HE CAN: As with Garofalo, so too with Johnson—Hannity says any damn thing to Kerry supporters because hes sure they arent prepared. He also knows when he cant play these games. For example, heres what he said on Monday night to hapless, sputtering Lanny Davis:
HANNITY (8/9/04): He has decided to highlight Vietnam in this campaign. So therefore, the door has been opened. He admitted in an interview that, quote, "I committed atrocities.And here he is last Friday night, turning Democratic strategist Steve Murphy into his personal punk-ass:
HANNITY (8/6/04): Here's what bothers me. And I assume you want to know the truth. Here's what John Kerry said on the Dick Cavett Show. Let's roll this tape:Amazing, isnt it? Kerry didnt use the words I committed atrocities, but Hannity instantly says that he did! Murphys answer, by the way? Sean, I don't have any problem with this ad running whatsoever, because as I said, it is so mean-spirited it is going to backfire. Where on earth—where in the solar system—do they go to find these spokesmen?
But there you have it! Hannity says these things because he can! By contrast, when Tommy Franks appeared on his show last week, Sean was much more circumspect. Heres the way he framed this issue with a capable soldier on hand:
HANNITY (8/4/04): We continue now with General Tommy Franks. I want to play a tape of John Kerry, and I want to get your reaction to this tape.Note well—with a capable guest on hand, Hannity didnt characterize Kerrys comments. He didnt claim that Kerry had said that quote, I committed atrocities. Why didnt Hannity say this to Franks? Duh! Because he knows that Franks is capable and fair! He makes fake claims to Kerry spokesmen because he knows Kerry spokesmen are lunch.
Its hard to believe the way these lambs are led off nightly to the slaughter. Hannity knows he can lie in your faces—even with Kerrys spokesmen right there!
YOUR PRESS CORPS IS UTTERLY CLUELESS: And make no mistake—on their own, your press corps is clueless. This Monday, the Kerry camp finally began to note that President Bush threatened to veto that uncomplicated $87 billion funding bill. When they did, we caught a quick glimpse of the cluelessness of our big pundits.
Susan Rice, a Kerry adviser, appeared with CNNs Wolf Blitzer. Rice debated various issues with Danielle Pletka (American Enterprise Institute). When Pletka began to batter Kerry for punishing the soldiers in his no vote, Rice finally played the veto card; she noted that Bush had threatened the veto the very same spending bill. According to Pletkas ham-handed logic, Bush was willing to punish the soldiers too. Here was Rices first parry:
RICE (8/9/04): John Kerry voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. But when it was apparent that the president had botched the road to war, had not brought our allies with us, had not equipped our forces adequately, had not had a plan to win the peace, he thought that it would not make sense to then go ahead and support the $87 billion. I want to point out, however, that this was—In short, Bush fought against—and threatened to veto—a form of the bill which he opposed. Kerry voted against a different form of the bill—a form which he disfavored. None of this is worth discussing. But note what happened when Rice made this point. To all appearances, Blitzer didnt have any idea that Bush had threatened a veto:
BLITZER: In almost every speech the president makes, Susan, he makes that specific point, that—that he voted for the war, that he voted against—for the $87 billion, then he voted against the $87 billion. He says it's not as complicated as John Kerry wants it to be.Amazing, isnt it? Completely amazing! There was nothing wrong with Bushs veto threat. There was nothing wrong with Kerrys no vote. But there is something wrong with Bushs clowning, in which he says there was nothing complicated about the funding votes in question. But guess what? Blitzer didnt have a clue about the basic facts of the case! Go check on it, he told his guest.
Somehow, we doubt that Wolf heard back from Pletka. But why hadnt he heard from the Kerry campaign, long before this juncture?
NEXT WEEK: Dont read Clintons book, the Times said. In four parts, we explain why they did.