'Hannity & Colmes' Much Closer to Fair and Balanced Tonight!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004, 7:47pm PT  

Well, your email paid off! As much, perhaps, as we could hope given that we're dealing with the Republican behemoth that is the Fox "News" Channel. So all in all, a job well done, guys! It pays to make noise and fight for your Democracy.

As originally reported here, the Hannity & Colmes show had announced on Friday that tonight's guests would be:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

By the time tonight's show aired, Morris and Weld on the Right were dumped, and Terry McAuliffe added on the Left. Unfortunately, Jeb Bush (obviously on the Right) was added as well. Yet, on it's face, it appeared to be more "Fair and Balanced" as such:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Jeb Bush
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson, Terry McAuliffe

Well, that looks more "Fair & Balanced", doesn't it? But here was the actual show breakdown (Right leaning segments bold)

SEGMENT 1: Jeb Bush
SEGMENT 2: Jeb Bush
SEGMENT 3: Bill Richardson
SEGMENT 4: Karl Rove
(Seg 4 Rove interview by Hannity only! Colmes not allowed!)

SEGMENT 5: Terry McAuliffe

Final tally was 3 segments with the Right (one that Hannity had all to himself) and only 2 segments with the Left.

As I've mentioned in the past, my source inside H&C tells me that they have a very difficult time getting the DNC and Kerry campaign to cooperate and give them guests for the show. The theory --- a mostly plausible one --- is that Fox is so far to the Right, the Dems feel they won't get a fair shake when they go on.

I share my sources belief, however, that it's foolish for the Dems to simply write off Fox "News" in the bargain.

Yes, of course they won't get a fair shake on Fox, but it's better to show up and represent as best they can than to allow Fox to overweight with Republicans, or worse, stick someone like Pat Cadell on there and call him a "Democratic Consultant" when he hasn't worked or supported any Democrats since, I believe, Jimmy Carter! Or have Susan Estrich on there --- who worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger! --- and call her a "Democratic Consultant".

Like it or not, more Americans watch Fox these days for political news than anybody else --- and it's not all hard right wingnuts. There are a lot of reasonable, normal, Left-leaning Americans that watch FNC as well! I'm certainly one of them! Frankly because it's not quite as dull as it's competition (who are only slightly less slanted to the Right these days). So it's imperative that Dems show up and at least fight on that turf to try anyway to partially balance Fox's constant imbalance.

If I hear from my source any plausible explanation as to why H&C still managed to skew things to the Right tonight, on Election Eve of all nights --- even though they had a seemingly even number of Democrats to interview --- I'll update this item.

Other than that, I'm without ammunition to defend it. So instead, I'll just leave you with this exchange from the end of the segment tonight with McAuliffe:

MCAULIFFE: Fair and balanced, baby!
HANNITY: Well, we let you on...that's about as fair and balanced as we can get.

I guess it is.