- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

On Media

Is another conservative blockbuster on the way? Broadcaster Sean Hannity is making the jump to print with a new book which casts liberal thinking as an American health hazard.
"Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism" will be released tomorrow.
"Politically speaking, I believe the left must be defeated if we are to preserve life as we know it," Mr. Hannity told The Washington Times. "It's a battle of ideas."
His book celebrates the cachet of clear conservatism and does not cozy up to centrist territory or the poll du jour. The reading public craves such fare, judging by the impact of authors with a similar bent.
Ann Coulter's "Slander" remains No. 1 on the New York Times' Best Seller List; former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" also enjoyed several weeks in that spot early this year.
The siren call of print media has lured broadcasters with multiple ideologies into publishing. MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, Bill Press and Chris Matthews have all authored books in the past year. Fox's Bill O'Reilly has penned two, while CBS' Dan Rather's book on the September 11 attacks will be released in October.
Meanwhile, TV and radio host Mr. Hannity is out for blood, convinced the country is in peril and the liberals are to blame.
"The left still doesn't get it. We need people in power who know the world is a dangerous place and can act accordingly," Mr. Hannity said, speaking by phone from New York City, where he tapes shows for the Fox News Channel and ABC Radio.
With 1.1 million nightly viewers, Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" ranks third behind CNN's "Larry King" with 1.4 million viewers and Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" with just under 2 million. Mr. Hannity's call-in radio talk show is featured on 150 stations nationwide.
He is, however, an easy mark.
Critics have called the fervent Mr. Hannity a "hard-hearted hypocrite" and "all heat and no light" in past months, but he remains unabashedly conservative with a distaste for those who would demonize the right wing.
"Conservatives need to get out there and sell their real beliefs," he said. "We don't have to lie."
That said, he begins a 14-city tour this week, complete with live radio broadcasts and some ready history lessons for a post-September 11 world.
"Ronald Reagan was a visionary; he didn't flinch. He was leadership defined," Mr. Hannity said. "But this world is getting trickier every day. That's why I think President Bush's moral clarity against terrorism he said, 'You're either for us or against us' is right on the money."
In his book, Mr. Hannity methodically deconstructs the philosophies of many Democratic stalwarts, among them former President Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri.
Their collective thinking, he believes, has devalued patriotism and undermined the nation's security in favor of soft touch issues.
"Look at Gore," he said. "He believes that the environment presents a bigger threat than terrorism. And border control under Clinton was equated with racism instead of national security. Democrats continue fear-mongering about Social Security and use divisive rhetoric about Enron or right-wing racism."
His 288-page book is published by HarperCollins. Mr. Hannity will broadcast his show live Thursday afternoon from Borders Books, 5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW in the District.

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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