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Jewish World Review March 2, 2004 / 9 Adar 5764

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Sean Hannity's ‘favorite lib’ reviews — err, rips — his latest bestseller | As you all know who've read or heard me, I am a liberal. Worse. I am a liberal who actually likes Sean Hannity. Not his views. Sean. Hope that's very clear. I have been a frequent guest on his radio show jabbing satirical political elbows into the side of the loverly golden boy of the right.

In my previous column, HANNITY VS YOUNG IV, I explained that Sean had complained of evil liberals ripping his latest political primer, "Deliver Us From Evil, Defeating Despotism, Terrorism and Liberalism," without even reading it. Not that it hurt him as his book opened Numero Uno on the New York Times Best Seller's list.

(Click HERE to purchase the Hannity book. Sales help fund JWR.)

Still, he wanted a fair shake and being fair and balanced as he claims to be he wanted someone to read the book before reviewing it. That someone became me. In fact he invited me, a writer who he calls "a liberal who gets it - a good friend of the show" to review it on air, betting me that I would not be able to find any inaccuracies. As always, it was a Ruth Chris dinner, and because I have never been truly comfortable with Sean keeping his word (I won before but said I didn't), I asked you, the readers, to be my poll watchers.

Well, if you listened, as you all said you would, last Wednesday I made the trek down to the hallowed grounds of the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA to appear with Sean in front of some 2,000 rabid conservative Orange County Hannity fanatics. All the loverly women looked like Pat Nixon and all the men looked...well, white. I'm sure Jackie Robinson went through worse, but I truly felt like I might have been breaking the Nixon Library liberal barrier. Finally, liberals would be able to visit the missing Nixon tapes just like everyone else. Still, the audience was quite cordial and allowed me to say whatever I wanted unless it wasn't was what they want to hear, which was most of the time.

I was the first guest on the show and was well-prepared to give Sean exactly what he had asked for. Or so I thought.

Sean explained to the audience that I was a liberal, as if they couldn't tell it from my prominent tail and horns. He alluded to the fact that I had actually read the book, which I indeed did. After we shook hands and kissed each other on the cheek (an old Hannity greeting that I had yet to get used to) I began. Making sure that I first got the Ruth Chris steak under my belt, I went right for the jugular. Page #252. The spelling of "campaignining," which I'm pretty sure was meant to be "campaigning." Score. I had the steak dinner. Right? Wrong. He blamed the mistake on his editor. He said it didn't count. Being that I try to blame all my mistakes on my editors, I felt forced to give him a pass. Afterall, I had plenty more inaccuracies and mistruths in my bag.

So I went with the killer.

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Page #22. Sean quotes a portion a 10/22/01 New York Times editorial referring to the U.S. insurgency into Afghanistan that he said made it "clear" that America "was not strong enough to conquer these foes, so we might as well compromise before we suffer too much. It was only the latest evidence of how little faith the Times truly has in the resolve of the American military." What Sean must have accidentally overlooked was that the very next sentence in the editorial, said, "Even though the risks are great, President George W. Bush made the right choice," and ended the editorial with "As (our soldiers) go (into war) they should know that the nation supports their cause and yearns for their success."

Sound like the Times had little faith in the military or the President?

Well, that's what Sean wanted his readers to believe even if the facts (the actual document Sean refers to) implies just the opposite.

So, what do you think happened then? Did Sean pat me on the back and start making dinner reservations for me and my wife? Did he even let me finish my statement? Nope. Instead, hard to believe, he started talking over me, urging the crowd to chime in, and said that in spite of the proof I showed him, that the Times editorial wrote that the president "made the right choice," and "the nation supports (the military's) cause and success," he said, "No it didn't." And that was that. I show him "black" and Sean said it was "white." And the 1000 Pat Nixons and their 1000 men all cheered. It wasn't that black was white to them. What was right was whatever their knight in shining armour said was right, no matter what a liberal might provide, even it were fact...and documented. For it is liberals that are much of what Sean is attempting to "Deliver Us From" and if it takes shouting down the truth, well, for the good of those being saved, sometimes truth be damned.

From that point on there was no opportunity to finish a sentence let alone get other of the books deceptions across. Deceptions like page #228, Sean takes Senator Dick Durbin to task for a 9/12/01 issuing a press release vowing to hold gas stations accountable in the wake of any price gauging. Sean asks, "Did Dick Durbin condemn the terrorists who perpetrated this despicable act? No. Did he voice sorrow over the loss of three thousand Americans. No. Instead, in the aftermath of our national crisis, Senator Durbin appointed himself as high watchman of America's gas stations." Did Durbin issue the release? Yes. But who is truly being despicable here. What Sean again fails to explain, is that he doesn't give you ALL the facts.

Never mind that there was a state of panic with cars lined up and fist fights breaking out at the Illinois gas pumps where some prices had jumped to $5. per gallon, Durbin would have been derelict in his duty as a public official not to address the potential crisis, but he, in fact, signed on to a 9/12/01 proclamation condemning the 9/11 attacks (S.J Res. 22), but vowed publicly the same day that "We will respond. America's been attacked. Those who attacked us will pay a price." (Globe and Mail 9/12/01). I'm guessing that Sean felt that the complete record of Durbin's words and actions would only confuse his fans. The same fans who rely on Sean and his brethren "fair and balancers" for the truth. The same fans at the Nixon Library or at home who didn't get to these liberal lies. Lies that just happen to be the truth. You can look it up yourself. I did. Wonder how Sean missed it. I know he had to miss it because Sean is not the type of guy to purposely leave out information. That certainly couldn't be considered fair and balanced.

Don't even asked about Karl Rove's admonishing Republicans to politicize war.

There's much more but why even try. Sean's probably shouting over this column right now.

But the reason I'm writing today is not to prove Sean wrong nor to be bitter. I — please don't tell Tim Robbins — actually enjoyed my visit to the Nixon Library. The people were really sweet and treated me with respect...most of the time. The reason I'm writing is for all of you to do the right thing and the job I asked you to do when I wrote last week. Judge Hannity vs Young IV and decide if I proved Sean inaccurate.

Check out my facts. Check out the complete text of the 10/22/01 NY Times editorial. If it is as I said, call Sean. Send him e-mails. Tell him in no uncertain terms what all of America already knows. He owes me dinner. My wife and I thank you.

As far as me and Sean. Sorry libs. He's all mine.


JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is film correspondent for BBC radio. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is Comment by clicking here.


© 2004, Steve Young