- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 29, 2004

Media’s ‘Hannitization’

Don’t care for the conservative powerhouse Sean Hannity’s world view? Well, you have fewer and fewer places to hide these days.

The gentlemanly pundit already gets three hours daily on his nationally syndicated radio show, heard locally at 3 p.m. on WMAL-AM 630. That’s on top of his ideological slugfest, “Hannity & Colmes” airing weeknights at 9 on Fox News.

Now, the resident of New York’s Long Island can talk about his second book, the new “Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism,” on both formats.

No wonder the book quickly took roost at the top of the New York Times’ best-seller list.

Mr. Hannity doesn’t shy away from its incendiary subtitle, even if it sounds like it came from firebrand Ann Coulter’s lethal pen.

“Liberals in this country, not fringe elements, have politicized the most important issue of our time,” Mr. Hannity says. Liberals aren’t evil, he adds, but what he finds most foul is playing politics with national security in times of war.

The book covers the current Iraq fallout as well as the 1990 Gulf War, peppering both with comments from Democratic politicians past and present. The quotes concerning the previous war haven’t aged well, particularly the ones attributed to Sen. John F. Kerry claiming our military was unprepared for the Gulf War.

“I want people to put it into the context of current political debate,” Mr. Hannity says.

“One of the reasons I wrote this book is because I feel so strongly that we’re facing one of the biggest threats this country has faced in its history,” he says.

A peek at the “unofficial” reviews of his book on Amazon.com finds a mix of five-star and one-star critiques. Those turned off by his brand of conservatism don’t mince their words, or feel restrained from dropping F-bombs — by “F” we mean “fascist.”

On his programs, Mr. Hannity’s style of attack can be genteel, unlike some of his guests.

“I had Ed Asner on the air yesterday,” Mr. Hannity says. “And he goes ad hominem right away. He referred to the people applauding my lines as a ‘mob.’”

“I try not to do that. It’s a concerted effort,” says Mr. Hannity, before reminding us how many liberal pundits are invited onto his airwaves.

He spares on-screen sparring partner Alan Colmes from some of his most impassioned verbal strikes.

“What I love about Alan is he believes everything he says. He’s not the type of liberal that I’m describing,” Mr. Hannity says.

Macy’s new ‘Cap’

The versatile William H. Macy touched television watchers with his TNT film “Door to Door,” bagging an impressive six Emmys in the process.

Now, the actor is again teaming up with the cable channel for a new tear-jerking drama.

The tentatively titled “The Wool Cap” stars Mr. Macy as a mute who finds a new friendship with a feisty 9-year-old orphan.

Don Rickles, Ned Beatty and Catherine O’Hara will co-star in the feature, set to air this fall on TNT.

The script is based on an original story by Jackie Gleason.

Shatner to ‘Practice’

“Star Trek” icon turned product pitchmaster William Shatner will guest star on four of the last six original episodes of “The Practice,” ABC has announced.

Mr. Shatner will play Denny Crane, a power-drunk legal legend whose firm goes mano a mano with Young, Frutt & Berluti.

Mr. Shatner’s curious career is enjoying its umpteenth resurgence, based in part on his trippy advertisements for Priceline.com. He also positioned himself handsomely in such film features as “Miss Congeniality” and “Showtime.”

“The Practice” got a new lease on life this year when it jettisoned some of its biggest stars — including Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle — and imported professional eccentric James Spader.

David E. Kelley’s “The Practice,” seen Sunday evenings at 10, debuted March 4, 1997.

Reality is ‘Forever’

A new Fox reality series promises its contestants they can stay on the show for weeks, months and potentially years if they play their cards right.

“Forever Eden,” premiering at 9 tonight and repeating at the same time tomorrow, takes a soap opera approach to the new genre.

The open-ended sudser invites contestants to live in a tropical resort to lead what appears to be an idyllic life. But every Eden has its snake, in this case some unexpected twists — although no preview was made available to us — that make this utopia far less than it seems.

Then again, would we even have cheesy reality shows in a genuine utopia?

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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