by Steve Young
Wait till the right-wing blogs hear about this.
If this were the New York Post the headline would read, "WHAT WAS CONSERVATIVE TALK HUNK DOING WITH A SEXY LIBERAL IN SANTA MONICA HOTEL?" Blurry pictures on back page.
Well, I'm not the New York Post...yet. But the headline could just as well appear in the Christian Science Monitor. Because it's true.
Now, before you go any further, proper journalistic disclosure a must (so I probably will never be in a White House press conference) let it be known that this past week I guested on Hannity and he kindly pushed my book, "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful." He didn't have to. Especially the way I regularly rip into him. But he did and as his wont, my book sales skyrocketed. Ah, to be a hot conservative talker.
Okay, now the dish.
Forget tree huggers. Sean Hannity is worse. Far worse. He is a liberal hugger. Really. And I saw it with my own wittle eyes.
This past Friday I stood in the lobby of Loew's Hotel, on the Santa Monica beach in California, but I might as well have been in Hell about ready to freeze over.
I spotted two of the most gorgeous faces in talk radio. The ever-blossoming syndicated liberal talker, Stephanie Miller, and mega-star, talk show god, Sean Hannity. They approached each other and, shock upon shock...smiles crossed the faces of the lovelies. Nice words, I tell ya. Not a punch nor jab, physical or verbal, thrown. Well wishes. Gosh darn respect. What were these two from opposite sides of the room and even further opposite sides of the political spectrum, doing in a hotel thousands of miles away from their east coast bases of operation making nice?
In actuality, I was getting my first real taste of the strange inside world of talk radio. This was the setting for Annual Radio and Records Talk Radio Seminar. And with Sean ready to hit the stage as the featured speaker at the gathering, he and Steph would have to cut their pleasantries short.
Besides the fact that liberal and conservative pros actually act civil to each other, a gathering of radio bigwigs is a real eye-opener. First of all, you find out real quick why none of them, short of Fox News, ever made it in TV. Holy-makeover-necessity. And you'd wouldn't an exercise bike with a mile of most of them. Of course, the exception to both of those points is Hannity, though on his show he pshaws to death his soft-belly.
Second, you're just amazed that these guys would ever be caught dead in the same hotel, let alone, same side of the country. The strange bedfellows who took part in the event were gloriously diametric.
Ed Shultz and Mike Gallagher. Phil Hendrie and Tom Leykis. KGO's Karel and Dr. Laura. Sean Hannity and Al Franken. Well, actually, while R&R couldn't keep Sean and Steph apart (even with a crowbar it seems), they were smart enough to keep Sean and Al a day apart, as Franken would be the next day's featured speaker.
Before I go any further, let me first say that Phil Hendrie, now that Albert and Mel Brooks have seen fit to disappear into the mediocrity of commercial filmdom, may be the funniest character on the face of the earth. Hendrie made the opening panel of the seminar his own satirical showcase. Not DJ-writing-service-joke funny. Satire at its edge best. It was unfair to the others on the panel, who actually thought they should give real answers to questions. Hendrie is smarter than that. He saved the serious stuff until after getting the execs attention with a character that worked just as well in person as it would on radio. And the serious stuff, which Leykis joined, took the radio execs in the audience and talk radio conservatives to task for their hypocrisy in NOT dealing with the FCC's humongous fines and limiting of free speech or even slips of tongue. The big boys of Clear Channel, Premiere, Sirius and XM Satellite and such smiled uncomfortably. The way you do when your drunk girlfriend tells her friends that you break wind in your sleep. So fun.
When the closet liberal-hugger, Sir Hannity, hit the stage, after those who are making gazillions from his larger than life shadow quickly overtaking Sir Rush, finished genuflecting to his appearance, He went into his standup...
"I don't care what Al Franken says about me. (Timing pause) Because no one hears him anyway."
"I'm only kidding." He wasn't.
"Franken will speak to 500 people here tomorrow. (Timing pause). That's more people than have heard his show all year."
"I'm only kidding." He wasn't.
"Franken plays clips of me and Rush on his show. He's using two good shows to save one bad one. (Timing pause) Genius. He's on 30 bad stations. We're on 500 good ones."
Clear Channel and ABC Radio network laughter.
"I'm kidding." He wasn't.
Sean killed. To be fair (and balanced), he was only getting in his licks for what he expected to be Franken's Saturday licks.
After his speech he ran off the stage and I could find neither hide nor perfect hair of he or Stephanie. Hmmm.
Next week: Franken shows up
P.S. Brian Whitman of L.A.'s KABC and Hannity's regular Friday radio guest impressionist, killed at the luncheon. He may be the only Susan Estrich impersonator out there, but if he isn't, he has got to be the freakin' funniest.
Sunday's episode of David Kelly's "Boston Legal" deals with Fox News and the Robert Greenwald documentary, "Outfoxed." Though the episode concerns Fox, ABC has had Kelly remove all mention of Fox. And, to boot, ABC has refused to accept a commercial pertaining to "Outfoxed." Why? ABC wouldn't tell Greenwald. Perhaps Greenwald might get started on "OutABCed" so we can all find out. Check out Greenwald's blog at robertgreenwald.org for updates...if he's allowed to mention them.
March 9, 2005 (http://www.albionmonitor.com) All Rights Reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use in any format.
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