LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2013 — A recent episode of Sean Hannity’s television program devolved into pure ugliness when a panelist turned the political deeply personal. Conservative radio host Bill Cunningham attacked liberal attorney Tamara Holder with behavior completely unfit for television in general and civilized society in particular.
Only days after Salon columnist Joan Walsh issued her billionth screed against Sarah Palin, Cunningham showed that the political gutter is not confined to the liberal ideology.
The debate was about Attorney General Eric Holder’s abuse of power in pursuing a warrant to investigate Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator. Cunningham was right about the substance of the argument, but lost in the court of public opinion with his boorish behavior.
He crossed the line right out of the gate, telling Tamara Holder, “You are one of the stooges of the left.”
He then repeatedly pointed his finger in her face.
His most condescending remark came when he told her to “know your role and shut your mouth.”
After giving his entire argument in an intensely loud decibel level, he then taunted her by asking, “What, are you going to cry?”
His behavior was disgraceful, and mainstream conservative outlets should not have him on as a guest any more. There are plenty of people who can articulate conservative principles without behaving like a child throwing a tantrum.
When Walsh attacked Palin, there was a reason not to just let her screeching go unanswered. My own comment was, “Walsh should not be ignored. She is a bully, and the only way to deal with bullies is to confront them head on.”
Either one stands up against all bullies regardless of ideology, or they risk the charge of hypocrisy. Like Palin, Tamara Holder is a strong, successful woman. She is not a frail wallflower who needs a man to come to her defense. Yet defending her is the right thing to do.
Tamara Holder is an intelligent, thoughtful, kind woman with a heart of gold. She is a human being worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. There is absolutely no excuse for the words and actions Cunningham directed at her. If he wants to live in a thirteenth century cave, that is his knuckle-dragging right. Bringing down the entire conservative movement with him cannot be allowed to happen.
Right now liberal strategists are preparing campaign commercials perpetuating the mythical GOP war on women. Put Sandra Fluke and Tamara Holder on one side, and then splice in clips of Cunningham. Conservatives defending Cunningham will have as much success as Tamara Holder justifying the behavior of Eric Holder.
Rather than stand on principle, some conservatives have even tried to smear Tamara Holder with conspiracy theories that cross the line separating sane thought from lunacy. She has been accused of defending Eric Holder because they are related. He is not her father, uncle, or related to her in any way. Others have played the race card and claimed that she makes excuses for liberal blacks due to her 2006 sexual affair with Reverend Jesse Jackson. She vehemently denies having had an affair with him, and such smears are contemptible on so many levels.
Conservatives normally abhor boycotts, preferring to let the free market dictate behavior. Yet if conservatives are going to bash Hollywood and Washington liberals for sacrificing quality on the alter of ratings, they have to be open to the same criticism when guilty. People need to vote with their remote control. Hannity is a great program, but the next time Bill Cunningham is a guest, his carnival barking should be tuned out. A break for ten minutes to clean the bathroom grout would be more productive than listening to him.
Cunningham does not need a microphone. He needs either a sedative or a rubber room with white walls that he can share with Walsh, Chris Matthews, and others who confuse screaming personal attacks with constructive dialogue and discussion. The First Amendment gives them the right to yell at inanimate objects as sure as the drunk in the town square or the street vagrant unwilling to take prescribed medication. That same First Amendment also gives the rest of us the right to make moral stands such as calling out their bad behavior and then tuning them out altogether.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS.
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