Rep. Keith Ellison warned he was “not backing down” to Sean Hannity during his aggressive exchange with the Fox News host on Tuesday evening. Now, a new and painstaking academic report finds that the Minnesota Democrat has received more time to speak his mind on Mr. Hannity’s nightly show than during any of the congressman’s other primetime appearances on the network.
Among other things, Mr. Ellison told Mr. Hannity he was “immoral,” “a broken record” and the “worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen” on Tuesday.
Though he was elected to Congress in 2006, the lawmaker waited more than four years before he appeared on Fox News, making nine appearances on the “O’Reilly Factor” and two on “Hannity,” reports Eric Ostermeier, director of Smart Politics, a political research group and blog at the University of Minnesota.
But ironically, Mr. Hannity gave him the most time to speak his mind.
Mr. Ellison spoke 1441 words during one appearance, and 645 words during his appearance Tuesday night. Mr. Hannity, meanwhile, merely spoke 1066 and 594 words respectively during those two interviews, resulting in a plus-426 word advantage for Mr. Ellison.
By contrast, on “O’Reilly,” Mr. Ellison tallied a 1,059 word deficit to the host, 4,307 words to 3,248.
“Even though critics have hypothesized Ellison was gunning for a fight with Hannity from the onset, the congressman nonetheless seemed unprepared in light of numerous documented examples of Ellison simply parroting back Hannity’s words in a ‘I know you are but what am I?’ argumentative technique that Smart Politics suggests might have been left on the cutting room floor of Monty Python’s famous ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch,” Mr. Ostermeier observes.
Then there’s always politics. Nimble politics.
“Although he represents one of the safest Democratic districts in the country, the Republican Party of Minnesota is already circulating the Hannity video in a fundraising email discussing Ellison’s ‘history of losing control’” Mr. Ostermeier says.
Find his report here: www.smartpoliticsblog.org