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Hannity

John Gibson Unveils Sure-to-Be-Controversial New Book

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: TV personalities and members of the media have been falling all over themselves to remain in the good graces of The Anointed One, but why was not the same treatment given to former president, George W. Bush?

Now during his eight years in office, he was relentlessly trashed in the press. Take for example, this statement from L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks, who wrote in 2007, quote, "George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment."

But it didn't stop there. No, some on the left actually accused George W. Bush of being a war criminal, and if you don't believe me, take a look at this exchange from my appearance on the show "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You guys, all you guys at the left, you demonize this president. You always call George Bush a war criminal.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, FORMER CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": He is. He should be tried at the Hague.

HANNITY: What do you want? You want to give him a death penalty? Life in prison?

O'DONNELL: I said he should be tried.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: What a fun day that was.

Joining me now with an exclusive first look at his brand-new book, "How the Left Swiftboated America: The Liberal Media Conspiracy to Make You Think George W. Bush Was the Worst President in History," Fox News' own John Gibson.

Good to see you, my friend.

JOHN GIBSON, AUTHOR, "HOW THE LEFT SWIFTBOATED AMERICA": Good to see you, Sean. You were on the front lines. That was pretty much constant since about 2004.

HANNITY: It was. See, I have a very different view. I'm not saying — George Bush wasn't perfect. I had my areas of disagreement, but on the issue of war and security, I think he was a great wartime president.

GIBSON: I do, too, and the case I make in the book is that from — after Kerry lost, they decided that saying, the left, instead of saying the war was wrong wasn't enough. Now they had to say, "We're losing it," and they beat the drum relentlessly that the war was being lost right up until the point where it really was being won. Losing was a winning strategy for the left, and we see the result. Look who's in the White House.

HANNITY: It got so bad: the surge has failed. The war is lost. They're killing innocent civilians in cold blood, Murtha said. John Kerry accused our troops of terrorizing women and children. I mean, it got as bad as it can get, especially when these guys are out there fighting every day. And you sort of chronicle all of this.

GIBSON: Well, I went through — I thought an accounting was due. Let's go over what they said and check it out and see whether they were right or wrong, while there were condemning Bush, condemning the war, claiming the war was lost, claiming everything — everything — was lost. It turned out to be desperately wrong. And of course...

HANNITY: But you don't read that.

GIBSON: No, no. It was a drive-by shooting. They moved on.

HANNITY: Now it's not important.

GIBSON: It accomplished the goal they wanted to accomplish. They want — the left wanted someone in who wasn't Bush, and the guy that tapped into it the best was Barack Obama.

HANNITY: Well, I agree. It was a constant effort at demonizing the president. And look at, for example, MoveOn.org. Look at how ugly this got. This is a guy that has dedicated his life, General Petraeus, to saving his country. "General Petraeus or General Betray Us."

GIBSON: This was — the dirty little ugly fact about this was no one in the Congress, in the Senate or the House, would dare say these kinds of things about Petraeus, but what they said was, which — which I've got in the book there, is we're expecting outside groups to do that for us. They were expecting MoveOn or somebody else to do that for us. They wouldn't say the words, because they knew it was darn near treason, but they got somebody else to do it for them, and they were happy it was said.

HANNITY: This recent letter to President Obama from Michael Moore, and he says the following. He says, "Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we [bleep] hate these generals."

These generals have literally, like General Petraeus, dedicated their lives to the safety of their country. Why do you think there wasn't more outrage and why wasn't there more media coverage in the mainstream media on this?

GIBSON: Because the mainstream media was basically on the side of the left here. They didn't want to cover the obvious.

General Petraeus should have been the left's general. This is a guy who thought the war wasn't being prosecuted correctly, came up with the counterinsurgency manual. He would have been the left's guy, but because he was taking orders from George Bush, or agreed to, it made him the devil. And they felt he was — it was open season on Petraeus going ahead. He's a target that isn't even moving very fast.

HANNITY: All right. You take on NBC pretty hard in the book. First, I'll run this — this SOT — sound on tape of Joe Scarborough, their so-called NBC conservative, and then your comments on Keith Olbermann, which were pretty hard hitting. Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR, AUG. 15, 2006: It's not just seniors and movie stars who are suggesting that George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad.

Ronstadt said this earlier. "The Dixie Chicks said they were embarrassed he was from Texas. Well, I'm embarrassed George Bush is from the United States. The president is an idiot. He's enormously incompetent on both side — on both the domestic and international scenes."

That is, no doubt, a sentiment that is shared in some of the capitals of our friends and foes alike. So is the president intelligent? Do we need a brilliant president or just somebody who surrounds himself with bright people?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You take on NBC hard.

GIBSON: Look, the weird thing about what went on between '04 and '08 is the three leading voices of the left were a comedian, Jon Stewart; a theater reviewer, Frank Rich; and the sportscaster, Keith Olbermann. And NBC let him run wild. I worked there for awhile. I cannot figure out how what he did conforms to the NBC standards.

HANNITY: A chapter title: "Who let him get off his meds?"

GIBSON: It's clear that — look, the guys around NBC and MSNBC were founders. They'd had 10 years of failure. This was the first thing that worked, and they said, "Hey, it's working a little bit. Let him go." And they happily ran to the left if he could get them a few numbers.

HANNITY: You have stories, personal stories about him.

GIBSON: Well, you know, I worked there during the Clinton-Lewinsky thing, and he had just started the show. And he — he didn't like that story. He didn't want to come in and do the story. And so I was constantly asked to fill in for him. And the story was that he was at home in his bathtub, refusing to get out of the tub and work.

So I began, on my radio show, which is here on the FOX Talk Network, calling him "Bathtub Boy." And he has made no attempt to try to refute that story.

HANNITY: Very interesting. It's a great book, but it's very informative. Well done. Well researched. John, always good to see you. Thank you, my friend.

GIBSON: Sean, thanks a lot.

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