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Friday, October 08, 2004

First Class Knucklehead -- Sean Hannity

Buried in an article about New York Gov. George Pataki being rescheduled to speak in Gainesville Oct. 27, The Independent Florida Alligator reported this:

"Campus rumors that Sean Hannity, the conservative co-host of Fox News Channel’s “Hannity and Colmes,” has offered to speak at UF for free in response to Michael Moore’s appearance should not be taken out of context, Buchalter said. The pundit made the claim on his radio show but did not contact UF and has not responded to Accent calls and e-mails, Buchalter said."

Accent staffers shouldn't hold their breath, and the group better be prepared to shell out some serious dough and a big can of ass kissing. Here's why:
From Media Matters.org: Less than a week before he was scheduled to speak to students at Washington University in St. Louis, ABC Radio Networks host and FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity -- who regularly casts himself as an "average American" while attacking Senator John Kerry's "elitist lifestyle" -- reportedly canceled the appearance because flight arrangements were not made to his liking.

According to an October 6 article in the Washington University magazine Student Life, Hannity "reportedly asked that the media not be informed of his motivations for the decision." The students who had coordinated the event -- who had raised $20,000 to bring Hannity to their campus -- described what happened:

Hannity cited personal reasons for his cancellation, said law student Ruth Hollander after speaking with the right-wing pundit over the phone yesterday. Hannity, Hollander said, requested a private jet to fly him to St. Louis for the speech, but then rejected "several" different jets offered by a private donor. He told Hollander about a "bad experience" with the prominent company that had manufactured all the jets offered for his trip.

"[Hannity's agent] said he thought we should say that because of the short time frame involved, it didn't work out," said Hollander. "I said I didn't think that was the truth, and...I really felt we had met all of our commitments and we were going to be honest when asked."

When Hollander and fellow law student Melinda Gorman failed to locate a jet manufactured by another company, they offered Hannity a first-class ticket on a commercial flight. He refused.

"He was very forceful on the phone," said Hollander. "It was hard to get a word in edgewise with him. He was interrupting me a lot."
Hannity's prima donna behavior has earned him The Gainesville Report's first Knucklehead of the Week award. For readers familiar with my previous work at MOON Magazine, you'll recognize this as a more frequent variation of MOON's Knucklehead of the Month award. KOTW will publish every Friday.

Congrats, Sean.

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