May 4th, 2007

Rocky vs. Hannity

Tonight I watched the debate (or as FOX 13 termed it, the “smackdown”) between Sean Hannity and Rocky Anderson. It was two hours of heated debate (if you can call it that) and partisan bickery.

The entire thing smacked of double standards. It was nothing more than putrid partisanship and personal insults.

Luckily, I didn’t expect much more of it. I knew that it would be an entertaining “death match” of sorts between these two personalities, diametrically opposed to one another.

I must say, however, that I was sorely disappointed with Sean Hannity. Instead of answering simple questions and sticking to the subject matter, he consistently made personal attacks (even though some were valid), repeatedly labeled Rocky and members of the audience as liberals, used fearmongering to validate foreign policies, and talked up the troops in order to belittle any opposition to war policy.

Rocky had a hard time formulating questions as he repeatedly cited statistics and statements to build up his case, while Hannity towed the Republican party line and refused to answer valid questions posed him, instead using videos to smear Democrats and create further political divisiveness.

It was actually very tiring to watch. It’s the same rhetoric you see on CNN, FOX, most radio programs, and all other major media outlets. It’s harming our nation. It’s deepening our seemingly bottomless quagmire. It doesn’t aid in coming to a solution at all.

The highlight of the evening was after Hannity continually referred to John Kerry as “the president Rocky voted for”, in a continued effort to insult and demean his political opponents, the Democrats, by associating Rocky with them. After numerous times of making this connection, Rocky finally threw it back in Hannity’s face and informed him that he had voted for Ralph Nader. This was yet one more example of Hannity’s typical tactic to smear his opponents using statements that may or may not be true. I was glad to see him put in his place, for he did indeed deserve it.

So who won the debate? Neither of them. This mud-flinging match served for nothing else than to further polarize the issues brought up.

5 Responses to “Rocky vs. Hannity”

  1. Chris
    May 5, 2007 at 8:01 am #

    Gee now I’m glad I missed it – that’s a sad commentary o the times we live in and the state of politics, media and government in general.

  2. Kelly Winterton
    May 5, 2007 at 9:23 am #

    Unfortunately I did not hear the total debate. I heard much of it on the radio as I helped my daughter move into her new house. For me there were 3 distinct points of interest to the debate. 1 – Anderson used numbers, videos, quotes and facts to support his argument. 2 – Hannity used insults and critiques of “democrats” and “liberals” to make his argument (*) (asterik, see below). And finally 3 – The audience was perhaps the most annoying part (even more so than Hannity’s insults!) because of their constant yelling, booing and cheering.

    * Hannity BEGAN his first sentence on-air by saying: I’m glad Mayor Anderson has taken some time out of his busy protesting schedule to come back to Salt Lake City for a while. I wonder what Rocky’s PowerPoint presentation has cost the taxpayers of Salt Lake?”

  3. Chris A
    May 6, 2007 at 2:39 am #

    I watched the debate last night….but what struck me most was not the subject matter or the predictable personal and political party line attacks….it was the audience.

    I sensed a lot of frustration, hostility and anger from both “sides”. To me this is a good sign.

    Unfortunately most Americans are too scared or are too ignorant to think for themselves, but these kinds of debates make the news and hopefully make people think.

    I really hope that through this type of public debate that more people will begin to start thinking about their political values/stance and understanding the reasons why they believe the what they do….and not about what restaurant or store they are going to visit next.

  4. Kelly Winterton
    May 6, 2007 at 10:15 am #

    I agree, Chris A. I caught the wrap-up portion of the debate on KSL radio where Hannity came and gave an after-debate response on the air to the radio hosts. Hannity himself commented on the “spirited” atmosphere from the audience, and he said it didn’t surprise him, because this same atmosphere of violent disagreement is mirrored everywhere else all through the USA.

    Normally I wouldn’t give any attention to a comment made by Hannity, but I actually think he is correct in this. The chasm between Hannity and Anderson is very wide, with the only people still sitting on the fence at the bottom of this chasm are totally politically unaware.

    Unfortunately for Hannity however, is that if the poll went out NOT within Utah, but within the whole of the USA, his views would only represent 22%, and Rocky’s views would represent over 60%.

  5. Josh Williams
    May 6, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks, Connor. Personally I was not that interested in watching said debate. It’s good to know my low expectations were not disappointed….

    Ah, if only Socrates were alive today………. He would quickly put down the “add campaign” speech, poorly substantiated claims, unresponsiveness to questions, and lack of authentic debate and dialog present in such programs…..

    It is my observation, that in a certain sense artful conversation and real discussion, are enemies of the modern political candidate; for several reasons…..

    First, modern politicians are educated in the school of business advertising. They are interested in gaining influence, and selling themselves and their message. Their talk is intended to get results, not to educate, entertain, or to explore ideas.

    Second, on the one hand politicians value excessive politeness (for fear of offending their contributors and constituents); this makes for speech that is neither spontaneous nor authentic. On the other hand, modern culture seems to value expressions of anger, disdain, or verbal bullying. Such expressions are applauded as “real”, “manly”, or “telling it like it is.” An attitude of listening and asking thoughtful questions is perceived as being “weak”, or “submissive”.

    Last, the modern electronic media are rarely examples of good listening and thoughtful conversation. Instead they tend to show lots of yelling, speech-making, uncivil discussion, “dumbed- down” language, and mindless “sound bites.” (real conversation takes time.)


    Upon proofreading this, it seems I am guilty on all counts………But I have run out of time, and can’t insert any thoughtful questions right now……lol

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