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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

At first listen, Sean Hannity's passion for the re-election of Joe Lieberman, would seem to showcase the fear that the Right has with losing a friendly pro-Iraqi war ally. But methinks what shows on Sean's poker face hides a much more devious hand than the he would want the other players at the table to figure on.

So many in and out of the talk biz don't give Sean too much credit as a thinker. But Hannity didn't get to the top of the talk show con game along with a $25 million contract without smarts.

Oh, he may play dumb when it suits his fans. Just last week, Hannity told his listeners that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ripped apart Senator Hillary Clinton's questioning in Senate Hearings when Rummy, my-goodness-graciously, lied when he testified that he never said the Iraqi incursion would be easy and that the Iraqi army, gosh-oh-golly, disbanded itself.

Don't expect Sean to go to the tapes:

"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." -- D. Rumsfeld Feb 7, 2003 to our troops.

Or mention that Operation Rosy Picture was this administration's pre-war talking point:

"I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months." -- Vice President Cheney, March 16, 2003, on NBC's Meet the Press.

But Hannity would never admit that he's playing dumb, nor that he is smart enough to do so. It works too well for him and his audience. Remember, this is the man who hiccups every time he mentions Ted Kennedy's name, refusing to admit to his loyal callers that he did it to poke fun at Kennedy's problem drinking, but instead sincerely told them he was unaware of Kennedy's drinking and was only playing with the Senator's speech pattern. Ri-i-i-ght.

If Hannity's play is only to get Lieberman to win his primary against Ned Lamont, who in his audience is a registered Democrat in Connecticut who will actually vote on Tuesday because Sean said so? More likely, he knows that his support alone will push many voters away from Lieberman and to Lamont.

The real play is in pushing Lieberman to run as an Independent in the November mid-term, splitting the Democrat vote and putting a Republican in Lieberman seat.

Hopefully, if Lieberman isn't blinded by potential Zell Miller-type book sales and is truly a Democrat, he'll not buy into Hannity's bluff.

Former regular guest on Hannity's radio show, Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" with his new book, "15 Minutes" (HarperCollins) hitting the shelves this week

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Albion Monitor   August 3, 2006   (

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