After twelve years, Fox News “liberal” Alan Colmes has announced that he is leaving his TV perch, the “Hannity And Not Hannity Show.” Many viewers are now asking themselves, “Alan who?”
Colmes was never a particularly effective foil for Hannity. He was more like Ed McMahon, taking the show into and out of commercial breaks. Hannity controlled the air time and the tone of the program. Colmes himself offered a pretty accurate description of his role when he was interviewed by the New York Times in 1996:
In the interim the production crew called the show ”Hannity and LTBD.’‘ LTBD stood for ”Liberal to Be Determined.’‘ ”It was fill in the blank,” said Mr. Colmes … ”I was the blank.”
He certainly was. And despite press release niceties, don’t look for Colmes to get his own show. The Hannity hour was the only program on Fox that ever had a “liberal” name on the marquee. Now it is being speculated that Hannity will continue the show solo – not much different from the past twelve years. At least he would have an opportunity to parade his ego without pesky interruptions.
In the past few weeks Fox News has renewed contracts with Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. They have launched a new program with Mike Huckabee. And the Glenn Beck Show is premiering in January. All of this activity is occurring as the Obama administration is getting ready to move in to Washington. So contrary to some of the naive conjecture that Rupert Murdoch was softening his political views, Fox is actually calling up reinforcements for what will likely be an even nastier battle. It cannot be regarded as coincidental that Fox is hardening its lineup at this moment in time.
Fasten your seat belts.