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Meteor Over Edmonton Video | Main | Automated Blogger Personality Test
November 24, 2008

After 12 Years, Alan Colmes Quits Hannity & Colmes
Cites Desire for New and Fresh Career Opportunities to Read Democratic Talking Points, and Desire to Spend More Time Reading Democratic Talking Points to His Family

He could read Democratic talking points like no one's business.

Morris is right -- Colmes is generally nonresponsive and nonconversational as a "host." Rather than accepting an opponent's premises and then crafting prosecutor-type questions which would exposes weaknesses in his claims -- you know, actually engaging in debate and argument -- Colmes consistently simply read off a list of Democratic talking points that more often than not were not even tangentially related to the point his "guest" was making.

Hannity is a meathead, too, of course, and it's pretty hard to move him off his prewritten talking points too.

The show had the predictably nonresponsive, nonsequitor pattern of every argument you've ever had with your SO (especially, um, if your SO is of the female persuasion):

"Dear, I'm very upset you chose to give $400,000 of my money to Nigerian scam artists."

-- "Well what about that time six years ago you canceled on coming to my parents' house at the last minute?!"

There was very little genuine debate on this supposed "debate" show. Instead, Hannity would just do five minutes of his one-sided, "Don't you agree with these points I'm reading?" radio show, and then Comes would do five minutes of his own one-sided, "Don't you agree with these points I'm reading?" radio show, and so forth for an hour.

Not sure if this is a result of the format and just getting lazy and overly comfortable with the job security the show provides or something fundamentally dunderheaded in both hosts... but I suspect the latter.

If someone who can think on the fly and actually engages in debate is nominated in Colmes' place, not only will the show be far more interesting, but Hannity will begin to have his ass handed to him, at least if he doesn't elevate his game.

The Trouble With Talking Points: Is that any news junkie, which I have to think is most of H&C's audience, has already heard all of them six or seven times (at least!) by the time H&C airs at 9 ET.

I suppose a fair fraction of the audience gets its political spin from H&C for the first time when they tune in, but even so, do the same points have to be read every single night?

Update: Hot Air updates to say Fox is leaning towards Hannity solo.

Allah asks, "Do you really want Hannity's America five nights a week?" Eh, hate the title (it's your America? Really?), but the couple of episodes I saw were decent red meat with a fair amount of thoroughness in summing up the case they were making. In other words, far better than Hannity & Colmes.

True, this makes nonsense of Fox's "fair and balanced" slogan, at least at night, but then, that's what MSNBC is doing, and CNN and the networks do it too, quite frankly.

The Difference Between Rush and Hannity, and Rush and O'Reilly: A very long time ago -- like when I was a kid, and Dan Rather was just replacing Walter Cronkite -- I read in TV Guide an analysis of how the two men presented themselves.

Rather had always strived to portray himself as a hero -- concerned, daring, crusading. Cronkite, on the other hand, had (mostly) cultivated a chillier, more distant persona.

Is that true? I don't know. I never watched Cronkite. I do know that Rather definitely did try to sell himself as a News Hero.

Limbaugh avoids (mostly) the self portrayal of hero via the distancing lens of irony. His boasts are so over-the-top they're funny (and meant to be). He undermines his own authority by poking fun at it, which has, as it turns out, the probably intended effect of increasing his authority.

On the other hand, Hannity and O'Reilly deliberately set out to portray themselves as heroes. O'Reilly's always famously "looking out for the folks" and "on your side." Hannity indulges too much in earnest caring and all-around good-guyism.

It's a bit too much, at least for me. It's oversold.

I prefer the self-mocking irony of a Limbaugh rather than the earnest crusading of Hannity or O'Reilly. O'Reilly does himself some good by noting his outsized ego, but then takes three steps back by his constant pose as Brave Defender of "The Folks." There's just too much transparent selling of himself along with selling of whatever position he's ranting about.

Limbaugh's selling himself, too, of course -- but doing it in a much cagier reverse-psychology sort of way. It goes down easier. I just can't listen to people always trying to sell me on what terrific guys they are.

Colmes Smarter Than Hannity? So one reader asserts. I don't think so.

I don't believe Colmes is any smarter than Hannity, and I think he might be a bit dumber.

Colmes self-characterizes himself as intellectual; Hannity doesn't. I think that's the only difference.

Colmes has as much claim to the intellectual label as a ficus. But that's never stopped anyone on the left before.

I think an awful lot of what is taken by the left to be the right's "anti-intellectualism" is in fact really anti-faux-intellectualism. I've never heard a conservative put down Thomas Sowell for "being too damn smarty-pants." Same with Hitchens, when he was on our side. Or even Andrew Sullivan, back when he was mistaken for 1) a conservative and 2) an intellectual.

"Intellectualism" is a pose favored by the left, a preferred method of self-characterization mostly unsupported by the facts. It's not intellectualism per se most on the right object to, but this pose of it, and furthermore, this unjustified equation of intellectualism to left-liberalism.

Some on the right are actually anti-intellectual, full stop, of course. But then, they've got those on the Democrat side too. All those bitter, clingy gun-hugging Jesus lovers in Pennsylvania, for example.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:19 PM

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