Sign in to comment!

Hannity

Target: Talk Radio?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 22, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST CO-HOST: Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe stated Thursday that Democratic counterparts Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer plan to reign in conservative talk radio, and they've been at it for three years. The Republican senator says he overheard Clinton and Boxer plotting a legislative way to balance the talk radio airwaves.

Spokespeople for both Clinton and Boxer have denied the conversation ever took place.

Joining us now is radio talk show host Dennis Prager and Newsday columnist, the one, the only, Ellis Henican.

Thanks, guys, for being with us.

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, NEWSDAY: Thank you.

LOWRY: I have been paying attention to public policy base over the last five years. Every time a proposal is out there to increase government power, to fight terrorism, liberals oppose it.

But here you have liberals arguing for increased government power to crack down on conservative talk radio. Isn't that ridiculous?

HENICAN: You know, Rich, you've just begun, and you're already wrong. I mean, first of all this is not something that wide numbers of liberals are supporting. The two senators who are accused of having been "plotting" in the elevator.

LOWRY: Have the most important — most important liberal think tank in Washington.

HENICAN: Listen, as a guy who does talk radio every single day, I don't need the Fairness Doctrine, I need a microphone and a level field.

LOWRY: Good for you. So the liberals who are advocating this are wrong.

HENICAN: Hold on one second. You've got to face one reality, though, and you really do need to deal with it. This is a business that is completely skewed right. In a country where only 23 percent of Americans support this president, 91 percent of the people on talk radio thinks he walks on water. There's got to be some explanation for that other than talent.

LOWRY: OK, Dennis, give us the explanation for that, because it is that the liberal media is dominated. You know, liberals have — Fairness Doctrine . So this is about diversification of ownership. That's what they are suggestion was. Nobody said Fairness Doctrine. This is not what this is about.

Let me ask you this. First, Inhofe says — he had this conversation when he was on radio in Los Angeles. He overheard these two senators the other day. Now he says, oh, yeah, it was three years ago. So where's the credibility there?

And, by the way, what have Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer done in the last three years to advance this legislatively if they're so hot to do something about it?

PRAGER: Listen, Alan, if you are right, then there's no issue.

COLMES: There is no issue. I'm right.

PRAGER: I'm thrilled to hear it. If I hear over and over from the left that they want to control us in talk radio.

COLMES: Who's they? Nobody.

Ellis and I are both on the radio. We're both on the left. And we both disagree that the government should be involved in content.

And where — what did Barbara Boxer and/or Hillary Clinton done in the last three years, which was misrespected by Inhofe in the first place, to advance this agenda? Tell me what they've done to show that they mean. — If it ever happened?

PRAGER: Well, Dennis Kucinich has certainly advocated it.

COLMES: We're not talking about that. The accusation is that these senators...

PRAGER: You are right. I'm not Senator Inhofe. I can't speak for Senator Inhofe.

HENICAN: Nobody — nobody would want to on this issue.

But listen, guys. Here's the reality. You do have an industry that is completely skewed in one direction.

Dennis, you can't be happy about that. That's got to embarrass you to only have all those people agreeing with each other and saying, "Hey, Dennis, great point." That's not even interesting. Let's have a real debate there the same way we do here.

PRAGER: Well, first of all, we have real debates, because we have guests on.

HENICAN: Oh, yes.

PRAGER: I have had virtually every major leftist on America.

COLMES: I've been on Dennis — Dennis has been on my show. I've never been on Dennis' show.

PRAGER: Alan — Alan, you're on next week with great pleasure.

COLMES: By the way, Dennis, the person who most recently, most critically complained about talk radio is Senator Trent Lott, a conservative...

PRAGER: Liberal.

HENICAN: Liberal?

COLMES: ... who said talk radio is running America. Got to watch out for those Republicans like Trent Lott...

PRAGER: That's right. You're right.

COLMES: ... who want to control talk radio.

PRAGER: If he has a totalitarian temptation, it is not only to be found on the left.

HENICAN: Give him a talk show, how about that?

COLMES: Nothing has been done legislatively. This conversation was denied by both Boxer and Clinton. OK?

PRAGER: First of all, you're right about talk radio and such being skewed. But that is a market fact.

What about the fact that universities are skewed? Colorado University, 40-1 registration, Democrat to Republican, in political science and history.

COLMES: That's not what we're talking about. It has nothing to do with this issue.

PRAGER: I'm just saying people should worry about how their kids are indoctrinated more than free radio.

COLMES: They were talking about diversification of ownership. And this study showed that we have minority ownership. We have ownership by females, by women. You have a broader spectrum of talk show hosts. That's all the study showed. And I don't believe in government getting involved in content.

HENICAN: And the answer — the answer is great programming. Let's get put shows...

LOWRY: We've got to run. We've got to run.

Look at the report by Center for American Progress . There are problems in the U.S. regulatory — more and different regulations.

(CROSSTALK)

PRAGER: It's all about the Fairness Doctrine.

LOWRY: I'm glad you guys are in favor of the First Amendment. Thanks, Dennis and Ellis.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.