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Jewish World Review June 12, 2003 / 12 Sivan 5763

Steve Young

Steve Young
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A lib's (maybe) last love letter to Sean Hannity

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | As you might have read, my last column ("I Want To Be Sean Hannity" 6/2, linked at bottom) spoke to my seeming adoration of Sean Hannity, a conservative talk show host I disagree with 98.786% (statistical major) of the time. Since I disagree with most conservative hosts OVER 100% of the time, obviously Sean was someone...peculiar. And when I say "peculiar" I mean it in a good way. Not a great way. After all, I am a liberal.

My rationale for my grudging admiration came from Sean's willingness to bring on opposing viewpoints. Opposing viewpoints from actual intelligent politicos. Is this a big deal? Well, not being the biggest fan of Sean's politics, it just might be the best I'll get. But it is something.

Some ten years ago talk radio over the AM dial when the big guy captured the ditto'd hearts and minds of what was once to be called "the silent majority." So much for silence. And it was he they wanted to hear. No need for hearing the opposition. They had it up to here with them. Then the floodgates opened. Every Xerox'd pretender who followed did so with much of the same. Even the soft-spoken, No Spin Meister, who brings on those with opposing view points, has a tendency to demean and scream them out of the studio.

Monologuing an argument is no challenge. Try it. Go into a room alone and say the most idiotic thing you can think of. Maybe even say something that is the opposite of what you know to be the truth. Go ahead. Anyone say different? No argument? No debate? Guess it's the truth.

Y'see, half a truth is no truth at all - no matter what side of the aisle. It is only a biased, agenda-driven, political commercial.

Worse is the presumption of your opponent's response or your defining their underlying evil intent, which amazingly supports your argument. It's a pure guess at best, fictionally myopic and a lie at worst.

When's the last time you heard a talk show host say his opponent's positive message was correct and meant to benefit you? Does it not occur to you that the thesis which provides that your opponent is wrong nearly 100% of the time might be suspect?

Political diatribing and speech-making should be left to the politicians -- or partisan columnists.

Still, my dear conservative friends. I come not to bury talk radio -- I'd like to, but I don't have a big enough shovel. I come to 'splain my experience with it.

Complimenting Hannity from the outside is one thing, but just listening to someone on the radio is much different from being a caller or better, an actual guest -- someone who had experienced a give and take relationship -- someone who had the pleasure of his argument being made - someone whose mike volume was reduced when the host decided to interrupt -- so my passion for Sean remained one of those long distanced, unrequited, unaired affairs.

And then...the phone rang. Heart be still. Could it be? I couldn't dare...

"Hello, Steve..."

I couldn't mistake that voice.

"This is James."

Okay. I had mistaken that voice. But it didn't matter for it was Sean's producer booking me as a guest for The Sean Hannity Show. Just imagine, I would be following in the guesting footsteps of the fabulous Bill Bennett, Matt Drudge, Mark Levin and a host of other legends that I can't stomach. But, and this is a huge grudging but I would also be following in the footsteps of those on the adversarial side of Mr. Hannity. Democratic legislators, progressive pundits and the worst of the worst, Hollywood liberals.

I won't go into the specifics of our conversation. Obviously all of America heard it. The question is, did Sean's actions during the interview support my original (yikes!) glowing supposition?

Did Sean allow me to express my views, opposing as they might be? Yes. Did he lower my volume when he wanted to interrupt? Yes, but I did get in what I wanted to get in.

So, was there anything wrong with the way Sean handled our interview? Did he treat me different than the manner he portends with his pals. The answer: Yes. Big time! He did the worst of the worst. The biggest faux pas a talk show host could commit.

He didn't plug my book. And for that, I will never forgive him. But Flipper? She be da bomb.



JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. 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 www.greatfailure.com. Comment by clicking here.

06/02/03: I WANT TO BE SEAN HANNITY
05/27/03: No popcorn refills? What's next, no stealing Sweet & Low?
05/19/03: Measuring failure of character is an uneven science: Failure May In Fact Be A+
05/16/03: Liar, liar, American Idol's on fire?
04/16/03: TAKE ME OUT OF THE BALL GAME: Politics pitched at national pastime and baseball strikes out
04/11/03: Goodbye Shecky Al-Sahaf, We Hardly Knew Ye
04/04/03: An open letter to the right...and left
03/25/03: Should we be funny during war?
03/19/03: The 2003 Academy aWARds
03/04/03: Energy shortage vs energy profit: A Political Primer
02/28/03: Celebrities for war
02/20/03: So you want to be a liberal talk show host
02/18/03: The Sting, Part II: Osama turns himself in
02/10/03: Michael Jackson threat level raised to "orange"
02/07/03: LET'S GET RID OF SADDAM --- ON EBAY!
01/23/03: Can we really blame HBO for terrorism?
01/09/03: You can buy your very own family...on eBay
01/02/03: A look back at a sorry but pretty funny year
12/30/02: Using 2002ís failures to make a successful 2003
12/20/02: McCartney Credit Reverse Sets A Dangerous Precedent
12/18/02: Radio talk takes a surprise hit
12/16/02: Apologies running rampant: The country is in a sorry state
12/13/02: Lott apologizes for his apologies
12/09/02: FDA OKAYS "SOLARIS" FOR TREATMENT OF SLEEP APNEA
11/26/02: Finding the McTunity within their McFailure
11/15/02: Can the Dems learn from Lincoln's failures?
11/06/02: The Day After... who'll comfort me now?
11/04/02: We can all fight ageism!
10/29/02: Was I totally responsible for the market's upsurge?
10/09/02: Finding The Bull Within: Wall Street Needs To Rethink The "F" Word
10/01/02: Merriam-Webster Needs To Rethink the "F" word
09/25/02: Held up in the passing lane ... and life's other positive curve balls
09/23/02: Shrinking the waist problem: Using Good Old American Failure To Lose Inches
09/17/02: Earth to Florida: No more elections
09/11/02: The humor will return. Just not yet
09/09/02: Bush coalition on fast track
08/30/02: N'Sync's Bass gets NASA okay: Former astronauts Gagarin and Glenn form boy band
08/21/02: Insider trading...it's a good thing
08/05/02: America goes Madison Ave.: The Selling of America
07/29/02: ROCKIN' RENO: The Newest Political Strategy For Filling The Coffers
07/23/02: Is Wall Street the enemy? No, but that's where the enemy hides
07/10/02: Cooking the books
06/27/02: Apocalypse now!?
06/14/02: Coulter for the defense?
05/21/02: SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS SELF! NO ONE ELSE INJURED! Inept bomber is refused entrance into Paradise. 72 Virgins breathe sigh of relief
05/19/02: Hey world! How about trying the shoe on the other foot hypotheses
05/13/02: AM Radio and Enron
05/03/02: "Deep Throat" to Be Revealed ... But will America Swallow It!?
04/29/02: Britney Spears next in line to blast off into orbit
04/22/02: Former Liberal Seeks Conservative Book Deal
04/15/02: If you truly care about America, you'll read this column
04/01/02: My Uncle Miltie
03/27/02: The Fightin' Righties
03/20/02: Woody Allen refuses to cast self...
03/18/02: The Realies
02/19/02: Greenspan Announces Lower (Television Network) Interest Rates
02/15/02: Ken Lay sells soul to the devil: Beelzebub loses life's savings
02/12/02: Enron's Skilling mistakenly takes the Fourth, forcing him to spill his guts
02/06/02: BOOSTING THE SAGGING ECONOMY: Let Green Stamps be our financial brassiere
01/24/02: "I'M THE ONE!"
01/16/02: Goodbye "Rincoln Continental," we hardry knew ye
01/14/02: "But He Was Such A Good Boy" gene, found to be defective
01/04/02: PLAY BUZKASHI!
12/31/01: Come on war. You can do better!
12/26/01: NOT MY OSAMA!
12/24/01: TIME caves
12/20/01: Finally! Friends of Color
12/14/01: Bin Laden's Funniest Home Videos
12/10/01: What if Catching bin Laden is in dispute?
11/30/01: Back to normal...too bad
11/16/01: Osama not enough for some
11/09/01: Networks at war!
11/05/01: Bridges Over Troubled Water
10/29/01: The other terrorists
10/16/01: Diary Of A Young Defense Department Comedy Writer
10/01/01: Playlands, burgers, and family sanity
09/25/01: Dissent is walking on red, white and blue egg shells
09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
09/17/01: Gary, we miss ya
09/10/01: Smelling out a real hero
09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is
08/06/01: IN OPEN LETTER FROM THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS AND TALK SHOWS OF AMERICA

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© 2002, Steve Young