Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I could give you a big explanation of what follows, but I think I'll let it speak for itself. It's a partial transcript of last night's Hannity & Colmes show on Fox News. In the excerpt, right-winger Sean Hannity interviews John MacArthur of Harper's Magazine. If you avoid political talk on cable TV and don't know why decent people express revulsion at the mention of Fox News or its conservative hosts, just read this. And please pass it along to any conservative friends who think liberals are the nasty ones now, the ones who need to learn civility:

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: While inspectors in Iraq continue searching for weapons of mass destruction, some Americans are outraged at the president that so far no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Our next guest thinks that's grounds for impeachment.

We're joined by the publisher of
Harper's magazine, John MacArthur, who's with us. And the author of the best selling book, Treason, Ann Coulter is with us.

It's not even really intellectually worth discussing. After reading your article, my first reaction is to bubble and fizz and get mad. My second reaction is this is beyond silly, you know, but you really believe this?

HARPER'S MAGAZINE: Why do you invite me to go on the show if you think it's beyond discussion?

HANNITY: Because Alan wanted you on. That's why.

MACARTHUR: OK. But clearly...

HANNITY: It wasn't my first choice.

MACARTHUR: Clearly, if the president of the United States has lied on a grand scale to Congress...

HANNITY: Name me one lie. Name me one lie.

MACARTHUR: Let me finish.

HANNITY: If you're going to call him a liar, back it up.

MACARTHUR: I will, yes. I'll talk about what he said to Bush…Blair at the press conference on September 7 at Camp David. He said…he cited a non-existent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that Saddam was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon and infamously said, "What more evidence do we need?" And from there...

HANNITY: We don't have time for a speech.

MACARTHUR: ... we moved on to aluminum tubes. We moved on to connections with Al Qaeda.

HANNITY: Did you call...

MACARTHUR: We talked about an atomic bomb threat that did not exist. Sean, this didn't exist. This didn't exist.

HANNITY: This isn't a speech time.

MACARTHUR: You need me to give you the facts.

HANNITY: I've got to ask you, did you call for the impeachment of Bill Clinton?

MACARTHUR: I wasn't interested in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

HANNITY: You weren't interested? So you're only interested in the impeachment of Republicans?

MACARTHUR: No, no, no, no. I mean, it's…Listen, I can't stand Bill Clinton.

HANNITY: Did Bill Clinton lie to the American people?


HANNITY: Why do you have one standard for him and another standard for a Republican?

MACARTHUR: I have the same standard for both of them.

HANNITY: No, you don't. Because you didn't write an article asking for his impeachment.

MACARTHUR: Actually, what I'm trying to tell you is that if you, as Senator Graham  put it a few months ago very intelligently, if you apply the same standard to Bush that was applied to Clinton, then it's impeachable. He should be impeached. Absolutely.


MACARTHUR: Because as Alexander Hamilton said in
The Federalist Papers, this has to do with the immediate consequences and harm done to society. What could be greater harm than the deaths of American soldiers...

HANNITY: Excuse me. The immediate consequences…Sir, you have yet to...

MACARTHUR: ... in Iraq, who have been sent to Iraq on a fraudulent pretext, utterly...

HANNITY: My patience is really running thin.

MACARTHUR: ... and they're dying.

HANNITY: Could you please be quiet, because there are other people on the panel?


HANNITY: The idea here, he cannot give a specific example.

MACARTHUR: I did give a specific example.

HANNITY: He's full of crap.

MACARTHUR: I did give an example.

HANNITY: And this is just, hatred of George W. Bush now has become a sport for these guys....

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