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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Uncommon Sense: "The Hypocritical Mr. Hannity"

What - you'd rather look at a picture of Hannity?

Thanks to Uncommon Sense for this great take-down on failed shockjock (and that's saying something) Sean Hannity - THANKS UC!

Sean Hannity, a card-carrying member of the Right Wing Outrage Machine, can't seem to manufacture much of it over Ann Coulter's calling John Edwards a "faggot." Hannity is unwilling to express a value judgment about Coulter's statement, and has declared that it is unfair to ask anyone other than Coulter to do so.

Via Hullaballoo, the following exchange took place between Hannity and Michelle Malkin:

MM: Ann Coulter was here yesterday. She gave a very, mostly funny, speech, and at the end of it, dropped a stinker where she used the term "faggot." And I'm glad, I have to honestly say, I'm glad I didn't bring my children here because that's not the kind of language I would use. What was your reaction to that? Because, predictably, the left is in high dudgeon about it. Howard Dean wants every presidential candidate in the Republican Party to renounce it. Do you think that was a really bad move on her part and should be condemned?

Sean Hannity: I didn't hear it. I'd rather see it before I comment on it and whatever. You know, no other person is responsible for what a person says except that person. And so, if they have a problem with what Ann Coulter says, blame Ann Coulter. You can't blame somebody else for what she said. So I didn't see it.

MM: Except that we're all role models here. And there are so many young people they inspire--

Sean Hannity: --I don't use that term, so that's my answer to you if she used it.
It is laughable for Sean Hannity to refuse to offer an opinion on Coulter's statement on the basis that he wasn't the one who said it. This would be the same Sean Hannity whose argumentative style consists almost entirely of straw men, false choices, and the peculiar device of holding individuals, particularly Democrats and liberal activists, accountable for the words and deeds of others.

In June of 2005, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared U.S. treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the way German, Russian and Cambodian authoritarian regimes treated their prisoners. An outraged Hannity unleashed his fury... on Gen. Wesley Clark.

HANNITY: Senator Durbin is refusing to apologize and instead says that the Bush administration should apologize for abandoning the Geneva Convention.

And joining us now with reaction is former presidential candidate, by the way, the newest member of the FOX family. Welcome aboard General Wesley Clark. How are you? We're glad to have you.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm doing great, Sean. Thank you.

HANNITY: Obviously, he doesn't know what the Geneva conventions are. Obviously, he's never read them. Obviously, he doesn't know they don't apply to enemy combatants. But we'll put that aside for just a minute.

General Clark, these comments are insidious; they're repugnant. There's propaganda. This misinformation is outrageous. These comparisons are over the top, and they put our troops in harm's way. And we need prominent Democrats like yourselves to condemn it. Will you condemn him for saying this?
On January 8, 2006, actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte referred to President Bush as "the greatest terrorist in the world." The next day, Hannity demanded to know if Princeton University professor and author Cornel West condemned Belafonte's remarks.

HANNITY: But there's something wrong with an American citizen, on foreign soil, calling our president a terrorist, saying that he's the greatest terrorist and a tyrant. And you went with him on that trip. Why don't you say, "I don't want anything to do with that"?

WEST: Anything to do with what?

HANNITY: With what he said. He's your friend. Weren't you sitting on a plane with him? Wait, wait. You went on that plane with him.

WEST: I disagree with a lot of different people.

HANNITY: Do you condemn what he said?
On March 29, 2006, Hannity was incensed over the presence of Mexican flags and protest signs at an immigrants' rights rally in California. He wanted to know if a former advisor to then-Mexican President Vincente Fox supported or condemned those actions.

HANNITY: No, no, I think [former President Ronald] Reagan made a mistake, one of the mistakes, because he's my favorite president. But, look, I'm saying, at this point, if we allow people to stay that came here illegally and jumped in front of the line, then we're telling other people to do the same.

Here's what I don't like. I didn't like a lot of these signs. "This is you -- this is stolen land, America." "This is our continent, not yours." If you disagree with the idea of amnesty, you're a racist or anti-immigrant. People holding the Mexican flag up. It seemed to be, in many, many ways, outrages, some of the things that were said and done. Do you agree with that?

HERNANDEZ: In any parade and in any group of people, you can highlight, of course, someone who is maybe presenting something that is not proper.

HANNITY: Do you condemn some of it? Do you condemn?
There are many other examples like these. Hannity does not merely ask Democrats to opine on controversial statements by their political fellows, as Malkin asked him to do regarding Ann Coulter. He demands that they issue condemnations, implying that a failure to do so amounts to an endorsement of the word or deed in question.

Suddenly, however, it is out of bounds to ask Hannity for his opinion on Coulter having called John Edwards a "faggot." When asked, all he can mutter is, You know, no other person is responsible for what a person says except that person.

Well said, Sean. Perhaps the next time some left-leaning public figure says something that offends your delicate sensibilities, you might take it up with that person, rather than challenge every other Democrat on the planet to prove their patriotism, decency, or basic humanity by condemning the remark. But then, doing so would require you to embrace intellectual honesty, and reject the hypocrisies which have made you such an adored and prosperous figure in the conservative movement. That's probably expecting too much.

- posted by Uncommon Sense

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