Sean Hannity is, to me, one of the main poster boys for everything that’s wrong with conservative punditry. This is a guy that simply isn’t credible day-in, day-out and yet a decent number of people continue to listen to this guy’s rhetoric.
Mr. Hannity still claims to be a major supporter of President George W. Bush. This alone should make most people question his intelligence or, more to the point, his motives. It doesn’t matter what the President or his administration does. Sean Hannity will find someone or something else to blame.
What I find most entertaining is his debating tactic. When callers call in and put him in an indefensible position his response is always the same — change the subject. I’ll give him credit. He tries to be sneaky about it by making it appear as something else entirely. Most of the time that shift happens when Sean will respond to a guest by saying, “Let me ask you a question.” At that moment you know he’s out of ammo, and you can bet the topic the caller inquired about won’t be center stage for the rest of the call.
Lately there have been a slew of callers talking to him about the Attorney General and his actions. This guy is yet another example, in a long line of examples, of George W. Bush choices that you knew was going to be a failure from the start. Alberto Gonzales stood up the other day and took responsibility for mistakes made in the firing of eight US attorneys last year. Actually it’s giving him too much credit to say he took responsibility. He said he did and then went on a long diatribe about how we wasn’t actually responsible. However, none of this mattered to Sean Hannity. In his view, it doesn’t matter if anyone admits to mistakes. That’s not the point. The point is to change the subject. When callers asked about this his response was to say, “Let me ask you a question” and then asking if they thought there was anything wrong with Bill Clinton‘s administration having let go 93 attorneys at the start of his term (though Hannity, of course, pins this squarely on Bill himself).
First, there are dramatic differences between these two events. Clinton did this at the start of his administration, just as Presidents have done all along. New President, new party, new people. The scale to which he did it was large but it also followed 12 years of Republican control of that department. What’s also different is that Clinton’s administration didn’t specifically segment their choices into those who played ball and those who didn’t. The other major difference is that Clinton didn’t re-write the laws to benefit from such a move. This administration stuck a change in the law into the Patriot Act that allows the President to appoint anyone he wants to these jobs without Congressional approval. This thing stinks to the high heavens.
However, none of this matters. The point is that this is the tactic that Sean Hannity uses to try to avoid being pinned down on a no-win situation. There’s no defense for what happened here so he has to go back 14 years to invoke Bill Clinton to diffuse the issue and move the discussion.
This guy is a joke. His motives have nothing to do with anything other than making sure he does and says anything he has to in order to keep people listening. The arrogance alone should be enough to enlighten most people. From the opening music to the final moments, the entire show is a choreographed exercise in manipulation. Think about the end of the show. He has a segment where he goes, “rapid fire” to callers to give them 5 seconds to make a statement and move on. If that ever happens let me know. They should call this segment the “Marty” segment. Listeners know what I’m talking about. This listener calls in and has his on mini-show at the end of a huge number of shows. I wonder how many people sit on hold thinking they have a chance to be heard if only that Marty wasn’t so fast on the dialer. Then there’s the whole “Hannitization” concept. How arrogant do you have to be to refer to something like that? It’s one thing to have someone else use the phrase but it’s entirely telling that he uses it and advertises around it. I also have to wonder about someone who needs to be told he’s a great American every few minutes.
Sean, let me ask you a question. When are you going to admit you’re a sham?