Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Palin interviewed by Hannity
Sean Hannity's interview with Sarah Palin can be found here. I could not get the video to work, but looked over the transcript. I believe the camera angles are more pleasing to Palin that what Charles Gibson and company set up. Of course, Hannity's tone is different as well.
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I don't doubt that Hannity's tone was very different from Gibson's, but Hannity is one of the most grating, blind-to-reason, defend-the-Republican-party-at-all-costs, amateur sophists out there in the talk world. He reminds me of a right-wing James Carville.
Dr G, let me preface my concern with your blog of the last couple months or so by saying the following: You are one of my heroes, a committed man of reason (with a nose for BS), and a very serious follower of Christ, and so on. I have a great degree of respect for you and your ministry (you know this, but I write this for those that might be thinking I am one of these guys that posts just to disagree with anything you write). With this said, I am bothered by the almost complete lack of critical engagement with McCain and Palin on your blog. Based on your entries, the enthusiasm you seem to express for McCain and Palin doesn't seem to line up if you are desiring to vote for what you take to be the lesser of two evils. I was under the impression that this was your view of this election; is this still the case? In any case, please tell me you aren't listening to Hannity now; unless, of course, you are looking for some classic examples of logical fallacies for your philosophy classes! Let me just conclude by saying this: I have been impressed over the years with your fair-mindedness as a scholar, teacher, and conversation partner, so to see such a glowing endorsement of the likes of McCain on your blog seems out of character to me. Am I completely off base here?
I was simply indicating that the interview was available and was more fair than the one with Gibson; I was not endorsing everything about Mr. Hannity.
Hannity could have pressed Palin more, especially on the bridge to nowhere issue. It seems she supported it, withdrew support when it cost too much and when an alternative to the problem was found' but that money from the feds went to Alaska infrastructure in the end.
Hannity is pro-conservative, but often disagrees with Republicans when he thinks they are inconsistent with a conservative position (a la Reagan). I do not take him to be a lapdog for the party; nor do I find him to be particularly illogical. If you can give examples of logical fallacies, please let me know.
I was far less positive about McCain before he chose Palin. Palin brings a more conservative voice that may move him to the right of the party.
Palin has limits, of course. Although she was not treated fairly by Gibson, she did not do well on "the bush doctrine." Being an outside to Washtington is good in some ways; troubling in other ways.
I hope that helps, my friend. Perhaps another issue is that I am a convinced conservative on politics. This solidified many years ago through reading and thinking things through. I had previously been liberal, even reading Sojourners regularly! But, of course, when consevatives err, they need to held accountable. I never want to be an ideologue for any side!
Some key books for me were:
1. Bill Buckely, Up From Liberalism.
2. Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative
3. R. J. Rushdoony, The Politics of Guilt and Pity. No, I am not a reconstructionist.
4. Richard John Neahaus, The Naked Public Square--more on the church state issue.
I do agree that Gibson took a combative tone and that one would hope for a pressing interview that wouldn't be done with the questioner literally looking down his nose at the candidate. But I will give Gibson this: he was doing journalism. Hannity was a caddy teeing the ball up for someone he clearly adores.
Thanks for the reading recommendations; I will take a look at those books. I've read the Neuhaus book, which I thought was extremely good.
Years ago I watched some of the TV "debate" show "Hannity & Colmes" and found myself completely put off by Hannity's mastery of the red herring and filibustering any time a guest with whom he disagreed asked a question he couldn't answer. I attempted in vain to find one particular "interview" he did with David Corn, who I think was an editorial writer for The Nation periodical, which featured the typical Hannity fare of talking over the guest and diverting the issue. Important issues need to be discussed respectfully and with great care and attention to the arguments; I don't see this when he engages those with whom he disagrees (and how much of it is done for entertainment and ratings anyway?).
Thanks for your helpful response.
I know Hannity almost exclusively through his radio show. The only "Hannity and Colmes" I've seen is about 15 minutes of his interview with Palin. Apparently, he is not too rational or fair on TV. But, then, who is--at least now that Bill Buckley's "Firing Line" and Buckley himself are dead?
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