This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 24, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we continue on “Hannity & Colmes,” Washington political magazine The New Republic is under fire after running three articles attributed to an anonymous American soldier in Baghdad.
The so-called Baghdad diarist has been critical of the war effort, describing alleged atrocities happening inside of Iraq. But now, rival Washington publication, the Weekly Standard, is challenging the veracity of the Baghdad diarist, questioning the anonymous soldier's very existence.
Joining us right now is the president of the Media Research Center. Brent Bozell is back with us.
There seem to be a lot of questions here, Brent. More particularly, whether or not this entire thing was made up.
BRENT BOZELL, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Well, the New Republic is in trouble again. Here, you've got a report that they say they know who he is with near certainty. Sean, that's like saying that you're almost pregnant. You either are or you're not certain who your reporter is.
If they aren't certain who he is or that he's even a soldier, how in the world can they confirm his stories? They're now saying they're going to check into the story, into his stories, to do some fact checking.
Ought they not to have done that before they put him on there? You know, how many times do I have to go through this, Sean? How many times do I have to do your show where one time after the other, after another, we find the media getting caught with their pants down in Iraq?
Whether it was the New York Times with doctored pictures, whether it was the National Guard story, whether it was Haditha, whether it was last year with the wars in Palestine and Israel? Whether it was doctored pictures on CNN? How many times are we going to catch them doing this?
HANNITY: It seems to me that for them the ends justify the means and that, you know, as long as the message gets out, as long as they continue the propaganda that the war is wrong, atrocities are happening, Americans are doing terrible things there, they seem to feel — I'm assuming here — justified in their own mind in just writing whatever they want, because the cause is greater.
BOZELL: Alan is going to jump all over me on this, because he's going to suggest I'm attributing this to him.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Thanks for doing my show.
BOZELL: There is an element — I couldn't agree with you more, Sean, on this. There is an element on the left that I think is dangerous. I think ends do justify the means.
There's no journalism going on here. This is propaganda. This is the kind of stuff the Soviet Union was proud of. You put it out there. Whether it's true or not, it's irrelevant.
BOZELL: They want to make one simple statement, which is America is wrong.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. Especially in light of the debate we've been having in this country about Democrats wanting to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Attack against talk radio.
Imagine if Rush Limbaugh did this. Imagine if Sean Hannity did this, if FOX News did this, or anybody else. Wouldn't the reaction be a lot different?
BOZELL: Well, you would be on "The Today Show." Your story would have been on "The Today Show." I mean, when they go after Rush, they doctor stories about Rush. That's how they go after him.
If Russia were to do this for real, his job would be in tatters. His career would be over. They were on Imus in a second. When it comes to the left, they do it with immunity.
COLMES: You're about to make this left-right thing. Bad journalism is bad journalism. You want to attribute to the New Republic the worst possible motives.
Look, if they did something wrong, they didn't vet the story properly, they can't have a source that's accurate, they're wrong. And the person who did this should not work there anymore. I agree.
But you want to attribute to them the worst possible motives and suggest it's some kind of left-wing — large or small — conspiracy to put forth a bad image of America. You don't know that that was the motive.
BOZELL: No, what I'm saying is they're absolutely blinded in their hatred of America. That is the New Republic. So they won't do the most simple thing, which is find out who the author of these pieces is.
COLMES: Well, again you're saying they've got the worst possible motives. Look, is it possible...
BOZELL: Look at it conversely, Alan. Conversely...
COLMES: You're calling them America haters because they may have a different editorial policy than you would like them to have about a war that's very unpopular among the American public. If you did wrong, you did wrong. But you're attributing to them things you can't prove.
BOZELL: No, I'm attributing it to a bias. Let's just reverse the process here. Let's say somebody came to the New Republic out of the blue, and they don't know who he is. And he says, "I've got these incredible stories to tell about American valor and American courage and bravery and goodness in Iraq."
Do you think the New Republic would be running them?
COLMES: I agree with you that they should not vet — they should have to properly vet a story and not run something they cannot prove to be true. But you only go after left-wing bias. You think it's left-wing bias. You think it's politically motivated. And you think it's based on the hatred of America. It could be just a bad journalism without what you view as — which is the worst possible motive on the part of this publication.
BOZELL: Give me an example, one example right now of a right-wing journalist doing that, doing this kind of thing. I just gave you four. Give me one.
COLMES: First of all, you're making it a left-right thing. I'm not. You're the one who wants to make this a left-right issue. You're — it only happens on the left. Nobody on the right — I've heard right-wing publications continue to blame Al Qaeda and — and Iraq, Saddam Hussein and 9/11. You see it all over the place.
HANNITY: Hillary did that.
COLMES: And it — you know it's not true.
HANNITY: All right.
COLMES: And the president himself continues to say the people killing us in Iraq are the people who went after us on 9/11. And this was reported in the American media.
HANNITY: We've got to run.
BOZELL: The New Republic got caught once. They just got caught again.
HANNITY: They got caught again.
COLMES: We don't know the answer to that, yet.
HANNITY: It's interesting to see the coverage in the other left-wing media.
Brent, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
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