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Friday, May 18, 2007

Hannity and Hitchens: Best Friends Forever

Apparently there's an unwritten rule in the media that when a prominent person dies, you are only allowed to say nice things about him. At least, that's the impression I've gotten from watching a lot of the media coverage of the death of Jerry Falwell. But then along comes Christopher Hitchens and blows the lid off that convention. Hitchens, an athiest, lobbed his first grenades on CNN, and then lobbed a few more on Fox's Hannity and Colmes.

Hannity (and Colmes, too) seems to think that Hitchens should hold his fire until some more time has passed, out of respect for the Falwell family. I suppose you could make a case for that, but this is a classic case of hypocrisy on the part of Hannity and Fox. They invited Hitchens onto their show, knowing full-well exactly what he would say. (They just watched him on CNN the day before!)

If they were truly concerned about causing pain to the Falwell family, they would never have invited him to come on the show. But of course, Hannity knew that Hitchens would cause fireworks, and he knew that he would get to attack him and call him silly names. He knew that it would be good TV. The allure of big ratings apparently trumped his concern for the Falwell clan.

The truth is that when a person dies, people often feel more charitable towards him. However, in the case of Jerry Falwell, that's a pretty tall order.

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