This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 24, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to 'Hannity.'
Here I am in the "Imus in the Morning" studio here at the Fox Business Network and I am joined by the one and only Don Imus, as well as his longtime his newsman and friend, Charles McCord. We're going to be hitting on all the hot button issues of the day, including health care, that debate, the KSM trial, and Imus' love for Barack Obama.
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, no, we're not. I'm turning on him just like everybody else.
HANNITY: Well, it took you a little bit long — you thought I was crazy for a long period of time.
IMUS: No, I didn't. I just — no, I thought you were a hater. That's all.
First of all, thank you for having us on.
HANNITY: It's great.
IMUS: It's a big deal for Charles.
CHARLES MCCORD, IMUS' NEWSMAN: Huge. Because I'm a huge 'Hannity' — I've been Hannitized.
IMUS: It's so phony.
MCCORD: No, it's not phony.
IMUS: I know you're a fan.
MCCORD: I'm a big fan of Sean Hannity.
IMUS: I understand that. But I mean, the shaking hands stuff, and he's been here for half an hour.
MCCORD: He put his hand forward, you think I'm going to reject that and not be the gentleman that Sean Hannity is? No.
IMUS: Probably not. Don't start.
MCCORD: No, don't you start.
IMUS: No, here, don't you start. And I'll tell you why. Because I talked with Sean and here's what Sean — because Sean likes me. You know why Sean likes me?
MCCORD: No, I don't.
IMUS: Because — don't you ?
HANNITY: I do like you.
IMUS: OK. Because I'm a nice person. I don't look like a friendly person because of I'm countenance or whatever. But I — so don't do anything during this brief time with Sean to indicate to three or four million people who are watching this that I'm not a nice and friendly person. Thank you.
Go ahead, Sean.
HANNITY: Well, I — Charles, you seem upset.
MCCORD: How are you a nice person?
IMUS: Because I am. Why.
MCCORD: How are you likable?
IMUS: Well, you've been working with me for 35 years.
MCCORD: I've been working with you for 37 years, 10 months, 23 days, and about 10 hours. To be specific. You're not likable. I'm arguing, you're not.
HANNITY: Let me.
IMUS: Sean, go ahead.
HANNITY: Aren't there — but there are two sides to Imus.
HANNITY: This is — Imus on the air.
HANNITY: That says you're a weasel and a jerk and then idiot. All right? But you always say it with tongue and cheek, at least most of the time.
IMUS: No, I'm serious.
HANNITY: You're serious most of the time?
IMUS: Well, no.
MCCORD: There's n o way to make him likable. You can try to make him likable. You can try to — how you would — how you would put your audience in the position of being alienated after the way he's alienated his audience is beyond me. You're Sean Hannity. You don't have to do this.
IMUS: You really don't, by the way. He's right there.
MCCORD: Honest to god.
HANNITY: As everyone can see I've lost all control of this interview.
IMUS: No, go ahead.
IMUS: We're sorry.
HANNITY: First of all, nobody can dispute.
MCCORD: Go ahead.
HANNITY: You guys went through a really tough time. You had been together for 35 years and now you're back on top. I mean you've got one of the most beautiful studios in all of FOX. And here you are, your radio show is nationally syndicated on 100 plus stations. And it took a while to get back on top.
IMUS: Yes, it did .
HANNITY: How tough was that for you and for you?
IMUS: Well — it wasn't. You want us to answer.
IMUS: Yes. It wasn't — it wasn't tough at all. Because I — because we were just enormously lucky. I think. Without reliving the incident, it wasn't tough to get another radio job. And WABC who hired us is one of the great iconic radio stations in the history of radio, in my view, going back to days of rock 'n' roll, but television was tougher. And to get a forum — that we had at MSNBC, when we had to MSNBC they had five listeners and one hopes they will again. But.
HANNITY: You cannot help yourself. It's ingrained in your DNA.
IMUS: We went on but we made a deal with an outfit called RFD which is — we did.
MCCORD: It's a viable cable television outlet.
IMUS: Exactly. It's a long story. I'm not going to bore you with it. And then we got a call somewhere from Roger Ailes and it was a pretty lucky moment because there's no place — why would you want to work anyplace else? Not just saying that because we're at FOX but why would you want to work anyplace else but FOX?
I mean if given a choice. Forget what's your political bent might be or philosophy. But this would be — if you could pick a network, this would be the network. So we're delighted.
HANNITY: What is the relationship like with you guys off air?
IMUS: We have no relationship.
MCCORD: We have no relationship on air and we have no relationship off air.
HANNITY: Oh, come on.
MCCORD: Which is exactly as we want it to be.
HANNITY: Then you guys have been best friends for years. I've watched you, followed you, listened to you since I was a kid.
IMUS: I've been to his house. He has a big mansion out in New Jersey. I've been there once or twice in 30 years.
MCCORD: And I have been to his digs here in Manhattan, I think, once.
HANNITY: Is there a reason stay away from each other off air?
MCCORD: Excuse me, Sean? You've been listening?
MCCORD: There's no reason to socialize with Charles. First of all, he married his sister which is always uncomfortable.
HANNITY: Oh, good grief.
IMUS: For me to be around. You know? They're from Missouri. And they were high school sweethearts, and coincidentally brother and sister. And it's just.
MCCORD: And why do I want to go — and don't I get enough of this on the air? Do I have to go to his house to have him lay out his defective entrails on the table for it to go over some disease that he's got?
IMUS: I really don't want to expose Wyatt to that and I don't think he's.
MCCORD: Enough with his cheese ball prostate, for crying out loud.
HANNITY: I mean you don't like the fact he's talking about his cancer?
MCCORD: Enough. Enough.
HANNITY: He has cancer you know. You're going to pick on a guy with cancer?
MCCORD: I just want.
IMUS: What are you kidding me?
MCCORD: Shut up. That's all.
IMUS: Shut up about what? I'm waging a courageous battle against cancer and you want me to shut up about it?
MCCORD: The people you have waging a courageous battle against cancer now is Sean's audience for crying out loud. For having to endure this.
IMUS: Here's — I'm battling my cancer holistically.
IMUS: It's howling at the moon, drinking chicken blood, all natural - - all natural way to either cure prostate cancer or at least keep it from getting worse.
HANNITY: But it's working s o far. Your numbers are better. And.
IMUS: As far as we know, yes.
IMUS: So far, it's still contained in my prostate. And I'll tell you what I did. I had ability, thank God, to fly all over the country to see all of these great doctors. And the thing I asked all of them is what kind of a wiener warranty can you give me?
And they all lied about it. They say, well, maybe 30 percent or something. The truth is it's about 50 percent. And of the 50 percent of the men who are walking around with a dead noodle, only Viagra, as I'm sure you know, Sean.
MCCORD: Yes, make him likable, Sean. Make him likeable.
IMUS: Viagra and Cialis and those other things can only treat about 70 percent of those.
HANNITY: So give me a wiener warranty or give me death? Is that your philosophy?
IMUS: That was my — yes, essentially it is.
MCCORD: The result is the holistic approach.
HANNITY: I think the holistic approach is a little bit nuts but if it's working for you, I mean, fine. I think it's — I don't think — that would not be my choice.
MCCORD: You're right. You know why his.
MCCORD: Because she wants to execute the will, that's why.
HANNITY: Have you read the will yet? Do know what's in it?
IMUS: Most prostate — most men who seek prostate treatment do it out of fear. They want the cancer out o f them and makes them crazy. So it's a mistake.
HANNITY: That makes sense. You even told me when I interviewed you last time, you heard that word, cancer, and you work with kids with cancer at the ranch. So you're dealing with people that have cancer all the time.
HANNITY: But it took your breath away.
IMUS: Knocked me on my can.
HANNITY: Knocked you right on your.
IMUS: My knees got wobbly. Yes. And then I got in the next day and I thought, well, I've seen a thousand of these kids come through the Imus Ranch. And they deal with it and they deal with it with far more courage than I have. But I'm fortunate, too. I have a cancer that's wholly contained in my prostate. And it's not in my lymph nodes. It's not on my blood and so on. So, you know, if it spreads, then I have a problem.
HANNITY: We've got to take a break. We're going to come back. More with.
IMUS: I notice you stopped paying attention.
HANNITY: I got to take a break.
IMUS: Whatever. But I mean, I'm talking about my cancer. And what do you want to sell something?
HANNITY: You're talking about your wiener warranty ad nauseam.
IMUS: You're saying you may want to get one of those, too.
HANNITY: We'll take a break. More with Don Imus, Charles McCord. Plus Dana Perino, Stewart Varney, they'll be here. And of course, our great, "Great American Panel" straight ahead.
HANNITY: And we're back now with Don Imus and Charles McCord in the "Imus in the Morning" studio. You say you like to comment on the freak parade.
HANNITY: And that's what your job is.
HANNITY: But I think it's a little bit different. You like to comment on the freak parade after you take, you know, a stick and poke everybody.
IMUS: What are you talking about?
HANNITY: For example, people come on your program. You poke them and you prod them and you push them and — so you want to elicit reaction from people.
IMUS: Well, we don't have an agenda.
IMUS: I mean it's not — this is not an opinion based program. So for the most part. Except for Bernard and Charles.
MCCORD: I was going to say. Come on.
IMUS: However, I mean, I don't have any personal agenda. I don't have any political agenda. I'm probably more — well, I'm — I'm more conservative than people think. But I don't believe in killing babies, for example. Let's just start there, obviously. But however — and I'm not sure I believe in the death penalty. So I'm not for killing almost — whatever.
Anyway, but it's an entertainment program. But it's information and entertainment. And I think — and there's a way to talk to people, whether it's somebody like John Kerry or — we had this woman from the FOX News Channel, Lis.
IMUS: Liz Wiehl.
IMUS: Who was great.
HANNITY: Yes, she's terrific.
IMUS: But I mean she had a lot of energy. And she was funny . And smart. So we like to try to bring that on in people so — and then of course try to get them to fight with other folks and say icky stuff that they'll have to apologize for later.
HANNITY: By example? Are you leading.
IMUS: Well, no, but, God bless him, and Tim Russert was a great friend of ours. What we used to like to do was to get people like — remember Al D'Amato.
MCCORD: He's a jerk.
IMUS: He used to get people on the program, say on a Tuesday, make them say something that they then had to go on "Meet the Press" to apologize for and explain what they meant.
HANNITY: And that was an art form that you developed.
IMUS: Yes. And that's still our goal.
HANNITY: All right. So — but you aren't that political. But you are political. Because most of your guests, many of your guests, you're talking about the economy. You're talking about politics.
HANNITY: You supported John Kerry. He's a friend of yours. And then you supported John McCain who's also a friend of yours. All right, you were.
IMUS: No, I'm not hanging out with them. But I know them, yes.
HANNITY: All right. You were more supportive of Obama and you know - - you said to me the last time we were together.
IMUS: What now?
HANNITY: . I was trying to scare the living daylights out of the entire world about Barack Obama.
IMUS: No, I didn't. You had me believe him that he was going to appoint Jeremiah Wright — who by the way, I like Jeremiah Wright.
HANNITY: What do you like about him?
IMUS: Because I think — because any African-American of his age should have been — should be saying the things that he was saying.
HANNITY: G.D. America?
HANNITY: America's chickens came home to roost?
IMUS: That's a little strong maybe. But some of the other.
HANNITY: A little strong, maybe?
IMUS: But my point is, Barack Obama shouldn't have sat there for 20 years and listen to it and claimed he didn't know what was going on. That was my point. Not be a phony about it.
HANNITY: Well, he was a phony about it.
IMUS: But you had me convinced — yes, he was. But you had me convinced that Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and some of these people are all going to be in the Cabinet. We'd be better off if they were.
HANNITY: But wait a minute. Look who you got. You got Van Jones and Sunstein, and you got Holdren.
IMUS: We got Geithner and that crook Bob Rubin and you're telling people they're ruing this country.
HANNITY: Well, thank you.
IMUS: Well, you're welcome.
HANNITY: So I was right.
MCCORD: He's coming up.
IMUS: You were right. But I mean — yes, you were right. You were right.
HANNITY: But I took a lot of heat for bringing this stuff up. Who would sit on a board with a guy who's unrepentant about blowing up the Pentagon and the Capitol? And to me the fact that that wasn't the main issue in the campaign is shocking.
IMUS: No, I don't think that — no, no. I think the big story is that he promised all of these things that he's going to do and you should read (INAUDIBLE) current issue — in the current issue of "Rolling Stone" talking about how — about what a bait and switch scam this was.
HANNITY: It is a bait and switch scam.
IMUS: Particularly regarding Wall Street and the economy, where you have all of these people on his campaign who were — they were going to call Wall Street to task. They were going to take these people to task. They were going to change the way we conducted our economy.
And the second he was elected, he sent those people to Siberia and he got on a phone to Bob Rubin and Geithner and the rest of — and Larry Summers and these other crooks, and it's business as usual. He's Jimmy Carter, stupid. In the words of (INAUDIBLE).
HANNITY: I think that's probably the best description I've heard.
IMUS: And you've just witnessed the Hannity-ization of Don Imus.
MCCORD: Of Don Imus.
IMUS: No, but I mean, if you're right, you're right. I mean I think seizing on the fact that he hung out with Bill Ayers is — come on. Who cares?
HANNITY: But look, he has an energy secretary, Don, that wants every roof in America painted white. Every pavement, right down there in, you know.
IMUS: Yes, well.
HANNITY: They want to paint every pavement in the country white. He's got another guy that supports forced sterilizations.
IMUS: That's troubling.
HANNITY: He's got another guy that wants to ban hunting and give animals lawyers. That he's appointed.
IMUS: I voted for McCain. Don't blame me for this.
HANNITY: I'm not blaming you for it. Where do we go with this, though? You see the energy in the country moving against the president. I think a lot of people are waking up to this bait and switch as you call it. Is he in trouble ?
IMUS: Oh, I think he is. I think — I mean, I don't know — I think he's so — I think he's a decent guy. And.
HANNITY: What does this mean, he's a decent guy?
IMUS: OK, let me finish. And I think he's fine. But I think he's so happy to be president, and just the way he acts. And that little snapping his fingers and bopping around behind the podium when he reads the teleprompter about whatever he wants to do. I mean he's really thrilled to death to be president. And that's fine.
HANNITY: Is that why he's traveling all over the globe?
IMUS: But I don't think he has a clue. And I think all along — I think he was — I don't think he was — I don't think he was hanging with Bill Ayers. I think he was hanging with Bob Rubin. And Larry Summers. And all those people. And Geithner.
HANNITY: And Geithner.
IMUS: I think he's more enamored of those people than he would ever in a million years be of Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers. And I think that's kind of where.
HANNITY: I think he — I don't think he's up to the job. I think he's up to reading the teleprompter. I think he read a really good speech.
IMUS: Like the last guy, he was up to the job, right, your boy, Bush.
HANNITY: Well, at least he kept the country safe after 9/11 and at least he had some principles he stood on.
IMUS: He did?
IMUS: The last great president.
HANNITY: Bombed the living daylights out of every enemy in the world. That was a good principle.
IMUS: Well, oh, yes, that. We.
HANNITY: That little one. You know?
IMUS: Who knows? How do we survive this? We survived Jimmy Carter. We'll survive this.
HANNITY: I agree with that. How bad is it going to get before? I mean unemployment, you can argue, is 17.5 percent if you include the under- employed.
IMUS: That's right.
HANNITY: I mean it's pretty tough economically.
MCCORD: Black America unemployment now at depression levels.
HANNITY: Yes. It's frightening.
MCCORD: Thirty-five, 38 percent.
IMUS: I wonder if somewhere we can get back to talking about me?
MCCORD: Well, of course, yes.
IMUS: I never get straight off to Obama.
MCCORD: Here we go.
IMUS: . and unemployment?
HANNITY: By the way, do you ever see him and Deirdre together?
MCCORD: Yes, I have.
HANNITY: Deirdre tells him he needs to iron his face and he says he's going to put her in a wood chipper.
MCCORD: They are.
IMUS: Hey, listen.
MCCORD: They're a collision — they're the large Hadron Collider of hate.
HANNITY: But it's actually love, I mean, on a pretty deep level.
MCCORD: No, you know, it honestly is. Astonishing.
HANNITY: I don't think I've ever met — all right, we got to take a break. We'll come back. Still lots more to come with Don Imus, Charles McCord and we'll check in with Dana Perino, Stuart Varney, and of course, our great.
IMUS: What? How much more? Still a lot more. I'm going to.
HANNITY: One more segment.
HANNITY: Can you handle that?
IMUS: I guess, yes. No, we're happy to be on. But I mean you're.
HANNITY: By the way, you're on cablevision now in New York, which is great for your audience.
IMUS: You're kidding? It's true.
HANNITY: More with Don and our great, "Great American Panel" straight ahead.
HANNITY: And we continue now with the one and only Don Imus. "Imus in the Morning" and his, what, 35-year partner and newsman Charles McCord.
MCCORD: His sycophant. His servile toady.
HANNITY: I still can't get over the fact that you guys don't see each other on weekends and e-mail.
IMUS: Checking my e-mail. Yes.
IMUS: Oh, hi, Sean.
HANNITY: By the way, he does write the best e-mail in the history of mankind.
MCCORD: It better be off the record.
HANNITY: By the way, every one of them is off the record, but one day somebody is going to publish them.
IMUS: You know, everybody saves my e-mails. And my concern is — if I'm dead, I'm dead. So what do I care?
HANNITY: Great. All right. The mood of the country, we had this big election. You were following the New Jersey election in particular. The gubernatorial race in Virginia. You see tea parties. You see government — an 18-point difference in terms of the percentage of the polls that Americans don't want health care.
But they're going to do it anyway. They're going to give Mary Landrieu $300 million to buy her vote. And so.
IMUS: The woman from Louisiana?
HANNITY: Yes. The senator from Louisiana.
MCCORD: The Louisiana purchase as they're calling it.
HANNITY: The Louisiana purchase as they're calling it. But first it was only $15 million so it's not quite as good a deal. You see more anger. People protesting everywhere across the country. You've been following politics all your career.
Ever see a mood like this?
HANNITY: How do you describe it?
IMUS: Well, you know, in an odd way, it reminds me of the protests during the Vietnam war, when you had, you know, the hippies and I was one of them. You know out there ready to bomb the government buildings, that sort of thing, and protesting against the war. It's the same sort of thing. Except this time it's the right.
HANNITY: That people are right. By the way, did you know him in his crazier days?
MCCORD: I've known him since 1971.
HANNITY: How bad was it in his.
IMUS: Why do we have to go down that road?
HANNITY: Because the audience wants to know.
MCCORD: We're making you more likable.
IMUS: My alcohol and drug abuse?
HANNITY: Yes, but you're talking about how you redeemed your life so that's — there's a story of salvation there.
IMUS: I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. It's a day to day — you're never cured.
IMUS: It's a day to day situation.
HANNITY: I think you're pretty much cured.
IMUS: No, you're not. I mean you get up every morning — I get up every morning and say I'm not going to drink today and I'm not.
HANNITY: You say that every day?
IMUS: Yes. And I'm not going to do any drugs. And that's — it's been 22 years.
HANNITY: You've proven.
MCCORD: You can have a drink. Go ahead.
IMUS: You two — no.
HANNITY: Did you hear what he said?
MCCORD: Of course I did. The days when he used to come to work in a bath robe?
HANNITY: Are you serious?
MCCORD: I'm deadly serious.
IMUS: Working on "30 Rock," I lived downtown in the East Village, and I've been since along, you know, sometimes.
HANNITY: Did you try and save him? Did you try and help him?
MCCORD: You know, I did stupid things like family members do. Like marking bottles and stuff. There was no hope. He had to find out.
IMUS: I used to hide these vodka bottles in my office. You know? But then Charles, we used to go down to Hurley's and get drunk together.
MCCORD: No, I didn't get drunk. And if I left a little bit of a drink in a glass.
IMUS: What do you mean you didn't get drunk?
IMUS: How can you leave that?
HANNITY: And he would finish it for you.
IMUS: You're lying to Sean Hannity. What do you mean you didn't get drunk? You sat down.
MCCORD: I've never been drunk in my life.
IMUS: I was.
MCCORD: Well, I mean, maybe.
IMUS: You sat down there and pound this — what did you drink, you drank those.
IMUS: Martinis. With no vermouth in them, right?
MCCORD: Why would you put vermouth in a Martini, ruin it?
IMUS: Just straight gin. And he drank 15 of them.
MCCORD: That' s ridiculous. That's an exaggeration, Don.
IMUS: Would you take a lie detector?
MCCORD: Yes, I will. On that subject, I absolutely will. Administer. Here you go. Here's my arm. Do it.
IMUS: Many times we got drunk together.
HANNITY: You did.
MCCORD: And had a few greenies now and again.
IMUS: But those days are gone.
IMUS: The wheels have kind of come off this interview.
HANNITY: No, not at all. I think actually the wheels went right on.
I don't think I could have scripted this any better. All right. So what happens politically? Does the country change? What's — last serious question for you?
IMUS: Oh, I don't know. I mean you're a better gauge of that than I would be. I do think.
HANNITY: I think so.
IMUS: I think these protests are significant. I think it's — I think it's easy for "The New York Times" and everybody else to write them off and to — but I don't think it's that simple. They aren't, you know, all orchestrated by FOX News in spite of what people might want to think.
But something that was kind of amusing, that's suggestive of how all this works. "The New York Times" did an article, front page, talking about Sarah Palin's book tour, in which she was going to all of these cities around the country. And people were camping out for like.
HANNITY: For hours the night before.
IMUS: And said well, she didn't visit large — the cities that authors traditionally visit. And I'm thinking no, she didn't. She went where her fans were.
HANNITY: Yes, she went to Grand Rapids, she went to Indianapolis.
IMUS: But most authors go to big cities because all the media is there. And if they're going to draw any people, they have a better chance in a big city. They're not — if they go where Sarah Palin goes, they're not going to draw anybody.
IMUS: So to make a snarky, sniffy observation about.
HANNITY: But you spend time with the Imus Ranch for Kids in New Mexico. It's a whole different lifestyle out there. I was out there, Charles, I'm sure you've been out there.
MCCORD: Yes, I have.
HANNITY: There is contempt, it seems, you know, between Los Angeles and New York for the people that really make this country great. Isn't that one of the problems I think liberals have? They have this liberal elitist mentality?
IMUS: Yes, they do.
HANNITY: They really do. Good. Yes, Mr. Hannity.
IMUS: No. No, Mr. Hannity, they do. But I — well, you should know what?
MCCORD: The elitist upper west side? Manhattan night?
IMUS: No, no, the rodent? What are you talking about? I was raised on a cattle ranch in Arizona. I hung off a boxcar for 16 hours a day. I was — while you were a nurse in the Army, I was storming the Vietnam in the Marine Corps.
MCCORD: What's wrong with being a nurse?
IMUS: Actually, I wasn't in Vietnam but I was in the Marine Corps.
HANNITY: You were a nurse?
MCCORD: Yes, yes.
IMUS: He was a nurse.
HANNITY: What's wrong with being a nurse?
IMUS: I guess it's fine. I was in the Marine Corps.
MCCORD: I was a male nurse.
IMUS: I was playing the bugle in the Marine Corps but whatever.
HANNITY: You're on Cablevision now in New York.
IMUS: One oh six.
HANNITY: And 100 radio stations plus over the country. Don Imus, Charles McCord, good to see you guys.
IMUS: Thanks for having us.
HANNITY: Appreciate it.
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