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Sean Hannity, Talk Hunk

by Steve Young

Talk Radio: The Lords of Loud

Eric Alterman was right. There is no Liberal Media. And if there is, they certainly don't vote...or read Playgirl. Faced with stiff competition like Matt Lauer, Brian Williams, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather among others, Sean Hannity was selected by Playgirl Magazine readers as TV's Sexiest Newscaster.

Okay, Hannity spent three hours a day telling his fans that he is embarrassed by it all and he didn't want to talk about it. In fact he spent most of the voting period talking about how he didn't want to talk about it. But despite his daily syndicated three hours of talking about not talking about it, other conservative hosts around the country pushed their listeners to vote for Sean. Still, he was selected.

While by their own admission, nominees like Andy Rooney and Hannity might better fall into the infotainer category, Hannity's hard-earned, seeming right-wing victory, has political and family value implications and questions far outdistancing any single poll, no matter how titillating.

First of all, if it was all that powerful, why didn't one of those kings of the so-called liberal or elite media, Messrs Jennings, Rather or Brokaw win? Would anyone believe that the liberal voters would have voted for the severely conservative Hannity? Would Hannity attribute his win to Messrs. Rather, Jennings and Brokaw splitting (ouch) the leftist vote? Perhaps Sean swayed the swing voters.

But one must be curious about how the devout and aw-shucks modest Hannity feels about the possibility of being the naked centerfold that arouses Playgirl's female readers. More important, how does Sean feel about the large percentage of Playgirl fans being gay men who make the magazine their go- to- sleep- sufficiently- gratified bedtime reading? Not that there's anything wrong with that -- Log cabin Republican have their needs, too.

And if Sean refuses to bare it all, how will he deflect the rumors that his unwillingness to display the altogether Sean is because there's a left turn he'd rather not reveal. Possibly a cold left turn.

No matter, how it all pans out, I think we can all agree: Thank God Rush Limbaugh doesn't have a TV show.

Can't wait to hear how the snubbed Bill O'Reilly doesn't spin this.

Steve Young, a L.A. talk show host, writes on talk radio for the Albion Monitor and is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful

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Albion Monitor July 17, 2004 (

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