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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Guessing No

When Alan Colmes announced that he was leaving the Hannity and Colmes program, I was more curious as to what Colmes was thinking. What prompted him to leave now?

However, the question should have been more geared toward who Colmes' replacement is going to be. I had alluded to Kirsten Powers, but that wouldn't exactly be raising the bar. The question should be, does Hannity have the sand to stand up to a powerful "liberal"?

Turns out Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune made that the topic of a recent article.

Good. I've long felt that Colmes was to Hannity what the Washington Generals are to the Harlem Globetrotters -- symbolic opposition.

Hannity is quicker, louder, angrier, funnier and more confrontational and self-assured than the comparatively mild, cerebral Colmes, therefore he's the dominant and more compelling half of the team.

I'd love to see Fox News Channel audition some of the liberal pundits out there who'd give Hannity a good match every night: Ed Schultz, Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes come to mind. Al Franken, if he loses in the Minnesota Senate-race recount.

I would suggest Rachel Maddow, but she's such a rising star on her own at MSNBC that even a prime-time pairing with Hannity would be a big step down for her.

The truth is, Hannity is the centerpiece of the show. That's how Roger Ailes set it up, and that's how it's been for 12 years.

Sean would never be able to last with Randi Rhodes or Franken. His utter disdain for those two alone would cause his head to explode, just like that scene in Scanners, should they be sitting across the desk from him.

Zorn almost lost me with the second paragraph. Hannity is only funny to himself, and the only thing he is quick with are his references to Ronald Reagan and whatever the hot talking-point is from his daily memo. Just being boorish doesn't make you a great host. Therein lies Hannity's weakness.

If pitted against any on the list that Zorn has referenced, Hannity would be reduced to a stuttering, fumbling, freshman. He's in his element because he is in control. The show would loose practically it's entire audience if there were a strong, liberal counterpart there.

But one is left with another question when thinking about this. If a "liberal" signs a contract with Fox"News", can they still be considered a "liberal"?

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