Thursday, March 30, 2006

An Explanation for Little Miss Chatterbox

"The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts." ~ William Hazlitt

Little Miss Chatterbox expressed concern the other day in a comment she made on my post about the fight between Sean Hannity and Alec Baldwin. I seem to have left the impression that I disapprove of the way Sean Hannity handled himself in the argument.

I do.

But I want to add this caveat: I like Sean Hannity. I believe his heart is in the right place. I believe him to be genuinely concerned with injustice in all facets of American life.

He expressed disapproval for the Kelo decision, and often features guests on his show who are honest hard working Americans yet are in danger of losing their homes and/or businesses due to that controversial decision.

Just yesterday, a caller, a gold star mother, mentioned that she and 11 other gold star mothers were planning a trip to Iraq and had raised $40,000 already and only needed $20,000 more. Without hesitation, Hannity promised her he would write a check out for $10,000.00 to assist them.

He is not just a partisan hack, as some commentators have suggested. If he believes the Republicans, or even President Bush, is making a mistake, he will say so. He was solidly against the President on the Ports deal, as well as the Harriet Miers nomination. He often complains about what he calls President Bush's out of control spending, also.

He doesn't agree with President Bush about the guest worker program and has no problem explaining his position of opposition.

These are many of the multiple reasons that his is the second most listened to radio program in America.

This is what I have against him, some of which I touched on in my previous post about the Baldwin v. Hannity fight:

He often interrupts callers on his show whom he disagrees with, and doesn't let them finish their comment. He shouts them down and sometimes even calls them unflattering names, and makes unfounded accusations. As in the brouhaha the other night, often he fails to control his temper and his arguments degenerate into an immature insult trading session.

Many Hannity apologists would say, and often do, that he is merely responding to worse ad hominen attacks upon him, and that is undoubtedly true.

However, I believe trading insults with Liberals only serves to cheapen him and give his opponents something to reference when accusing Republicans and Conservatives of indulging in trash talking and mean spiritedness. This is the reason I at least try to be respectful when discussing volatile subjects with those who disagree with me.

I believe we, as Conservatives, need to be respectful when debating issues of ideology with our political opponents.

Try to look at it this way:

If the pastor of your church made a point, every sermon, to instruct his congregation about living your life in such a way as to glorify God, you would expect him to set the example, wouldn't you? After all, the way to make the non-believers want to have that intangible thing that you have, because they can see the Love of the Lord in your everyday walk with Christ, is to "live your faith".

If your pastor was seen drunkenly frequenting bars, or soliciting prostitutes, or simply cursing out another driver from behind the wheel of his car, how much credibility would he then have in the community?

When Hannity is on the air, he represents Conservatives. He must be respectful at all times, otherwise he will get the reputation of being someone with a narrow prejudiced viewpoint and his credibility suffers. And, because he carries the standard of the Conservative Republicans, he creates an impression of intolerance for other viewpoints that all of us less articulate Conservatives ultimately have to answer for.

Hannity is an important voice in American politics, and an influential one. He must not lower himself to the level of the imbeciles with whom he argues. How can he convince the fence sitters that the Republicans are actually the compassionate ones with that kind of behavior?

Resorting to the same behavior as the lunatic fringe on the left reflects negatively on all of us.


Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Thanks, I appreciate this. And I'm glad you give him credit where credit is due.

The 3 main talk show hosts that I listen to are: Rush, Sean and Tony Snow. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Out of the 3 Tony is probably the nicest with Sean being next and Rush being last.

I understand where you are coming from but you must have a lot of patience. When I listen to Rush and Sean I get impatient way before they do with callers and I think they put up with a lot.

Maybe it is the passion thing. I have a lot of passion about my beliefs and so do they. Passionate people also don't have a huge amount of patience. But I'm not sure you can have what it takes to be a talk show host and care about what you're doing without passion.

I see where you're coming from and I think you have some valid points but I guess I just can't fault Hannity for his responses.

I'm not opposed to disagreeing with Rush, Sean or Tony when I think they are wrong. I just don't happen to disagree with him on this issue.

Christian Pundits said...

"Hannity is an important voice in American politics, and an influential one. He must not lower himself to the level of the imbeciles with whom he argues."

I agree whole-heartedly Mark.

Although in my opinion, the Hannity-Baldwin exchange showed the idiocy of Baldwin - especially the "construction worker" comment - Sean should not have stooped to the grade school name-calling that liberals often resort to when they can't prove their arguement.

Erudite Redneck said...

Dude, this is the main reason I can't stand Hannitty. Same for Bill O'Reilly. The result is this:

If either Hannitty or O'Reilly ever does make a valid point, it's lost on me. They've lost their ability to persuade me and any others who won't tolerate their nastiness.

Sure, lefties are rude. But most of 'em don't have radio shows, regular audiences and platforms from which they can not only exhort the faithful, as it were, but also reach out to nonbelievers, so to speak. For Hannitty and O'Reilly, *commincation* with the widest possible audience, while staying honest to theor central message, should be the guiding factor.

Hannity and O'Reilly's rudeness -- no matter if it IS "less" compared to the worst of the leftes, has cost them the opportunity to persuade me, because I don't listen to them at all, ever, which means communication never even commences.

Eh, on the other and, I think Colmes is a gutless twit -- or I did last time I watched 'em, many moons ago.

Mark said...

That's a pretty narrow way to look at things, ER. Everybody has their faults. Even you. If I took that same attitude because I disagree with something you do or say, I would never read your blog. Same with Hannity. I don't like it when he gets "passionate" like that, but It doesn't make me refuse to listen. he often makes good points, and is entertaining. I have listened to Ed Shultz and Randi Rhodes before. I don't like very mich of what they say at all, but I still listen once in a while.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

However, I believe trading insults with Liberals only serves to cheapen him and give his opponents something to reference when accusing Republicans and Conservatives of indulging in trash talking and mean spiritedness.

Sometimes its great fun to just trade insults. But it has nothing to do with defending a position or attacking a position; and it certainly gives the other side ammunition. When conservatives try and claim the moral high road of not resorting to ad hominems or profanity more than liberals do, that sort of argument, nonsensical as it is in the first place, is taken off the map once you have Dick Cheney saying F-you on the Senate Floor (even if Congress wasn't in session, he said it publically for all to know about), or our favorite talk radio pundits losing their cool to make personal attacks as well.

Ideologically, I'm aligned to Hannity, Rush, and Coulter. But unless there's something they said that I absolutely love, you won't find me quoting from them when trying to get a point across. You quote from them, or from FOX, and you're automatically dismissed. Doesn't matter if they do have a good point. Their credibility amongst liberals is automatically suspect. Similar to how we point and laugh should they quote Michael Moore, Al Franken, or Bill Maher, regardless of whether or not these idiots (see? There I go!) actually do have a good, legitimate point to make.

Anonymous said...

Um. Nice article but you're insulting liberals in it. If you want to play nice, try harder.

Remember, Liberals are the ones who don't fight back enough right? So that means Conservatives have created this problem. Not libs fault they'll stand up once in a while. You sure seem scared by it.

Erudite Redneck said...

Ah, but the point is I'm not inclined to listen to ANY political talk radio in the first place. Hannity's nastiness just makes it easiwer for me to ignore him.

Now, Rush, I like. He's biting. He's sharp. He's witty. He is hard on swaths of types of people -- "feminazis" and whatefver -- but I've never heard him be mean, or anything less than courteous to an individual. Plus, he's funny and he doiesn't take himself too seriously.

Hannity and evryone else seem to think the country would fall apart if their voices fell silent. Not.

Sheila said...

Word, as always your such a gentle man with a lot of sense. Even though I ere center left and don't like anything Coulter. LOL

Er, I agree with you too...except the Rush remark. I've heard him be mean....

Now here are my two bits. The consevative radio circuit was many years longer and stronger than the liberals.

I mean come on and admit it. There have been too many times a conservative was rude about the REST without a liberal voice to come back on it. Now the liberals get cahones and you guys and perturbed?

Please. I turn off the right and the left side when it gets less then civil. The majority of this country does too.

Make a good case and I'll listen. Start ranting and I don't care who you are. I like about 30% of Hannity's guff and the rest I turn off.

whit said...

Hannity can be "short" with libs but all in all, he's a good person. Personally, I think it's better to stand back and let a fool expose themselves for what they are.

Marie's Two Cents said...

I'm glad Sean whipped Alec's behind. He had it comming. Hannity showed everyone what a spineless, 3rd rate actor, jackass Alec is.

Semper Fi said...

I'll tell you someone who makes more and more sense the longer I listen to him on my afternoon commute: Larry Elder.

BTW, I have no problem with righteous anger even when it degenerates into name-calling. The problem is that it is impossible to engage the other side in battle of wits because they are unarmed. For example, Alan Colmes has become so caught up in the leftist agenda that he is increasingly unable to make a cogent remark that does not smack of the whining, non-constructive liberal pap. I don't even watch Hannity & Colmes anymore -- Colmes is just too painful to bear.

Marie's Two Cents said...

Colmbs is MILD compared to alot of Liberals I see on the MSM circuit!
He is leaning lefter and lefter, but they are supposed to be fair and balanced right? lol