Helen Weir
March 10, 2007
Dr. Hannity and Mr. Hyde
By Helen Weir

Those who consider Sean Hannity a "great American" are used to the popular talk show host's signature style. Self-effacing, affable, and dapper, Sean never permits the tag-line appositive to be spoken without turning it back upon the speaker ("You, sir, are the great American here; I am only a commentator," or something to that effect.) In the same way, there is hardly a hard-line leftist anywhere who hasn't been introduced by him as "my good friend" at some time or another. Hannity makes it a point to be cordial, he will often explain, even towards those with whom he disagrees. People whose sympathies lie on the Democratic side of the aisle may be uncouth and unreasonable (can you imagine a Republican getting away with calling certain of his constituents "idiot liberals," as Dave Obey just did?), while conservatives so Colmes' counterpart alleges have no call to sink to this level of behavior.

Evidently, however, he also believes that the amicable approach to political opinion journalism need only be extended to socialists and terrorists. Last night, Dr. Hannity turned into Mr. Hyde while interviewing Rev. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International. Presented with a reasonable, unflinching, and informed refutation of certain fundamental aspects of his own point of view, Sean pitched what can only be called in precise and factual terms a hissy fit, converting a conversation concerning other matters into a bashfest about the clerical sex scandal, repetitively admonishing Father to "judge not lest ye be judged," and making not the slightest attempt to address even one of the many excellent points his poised and authoritative guest refused to be derailed from raising.

Anyone interested in the substance of Father Euteneuer's argument simultaneously publicized and validated by the singularly discourteous treatment it was recently afforded can find it discussed in detail in Matt Abbott's column on Renew America, or on the HLI website (www.hli.org, "Spirit and Life" newsletter Vol. 01, No. 58, Friday, March 9, 2007). What we will consider in this brief column is but the meaning of Sean's meltdown, as it pertains to the larger political landscape of which it is a part.

For one of our highest-profile conservative commentators to come out in favor of Margaret Sanger's pet project, contraception an attitude and practice which has unleashed the American holocaust as we know it today goes a long way towards explaining why we are facing a situation in which there is no pro-life frontrunner, at this point, from either major party. Alan Keyes has been adamant about pointing out our "posterity" as members of the American body politic whose protection has been clearly specified, but who's listening Keyes was weeded out of the mainstream media conversation by MSNBC years ago. It is a measure of Hannity's superficiality nay, of his fundamental if cloaked agreement with all that the MSM wishes to promote that he has survived and even thrived. Whether we actively and selfishly prevent our posterity from coming into existence in the first place, or "choose" to destroy them shortly after they have done so, the result is the same. Conservatism, as RINOs and their supporters describe it, is not the antidote to liberalism but only its kissing cousin.

Could it be, then, that Sean describes leftists as his friends not because he's such a nice guy, but only because, when you come right down to it, they are? Could it be that Hannity's America is but the flipside of Colmes'? It could also be that his meteoric success has simply gone to Sean's head, leaving him little motive and opportunity to apply the Catholic formation he told Father Euteneuer he had, to the issues now facing the country head-on. We should bear in mind, in evaluating this embarrassing episode, that there are times when Hannity does seem to demonstrate good will. It is both unfortunate and instructive that last night can certainly not be counted among them.

© Helen Weir

 

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Helen Weir

Helen is a freelance writer based in western Wisconsin. (Her works have also appeared under her former name of Helen Valois.) She is a member of the Militia Immaculatae movement of Marian consecration founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe.

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