This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, the White House rounded up its troops this weekend and they went into battle. No, not against our foreign enemies, against the Fox News Channel. And that is our headline this Monday night, "Press Control".

Now you think with everything facing the country right now. What, two wars, a flagging economy, an Iranian regime seeking nuclear weapons that the White House would have better things to do than bully this news organization, but you'd be wrong. Take a look.


RAHM EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective.


HANNITY: All right, meanwhile, David Axelrod was at ABC defending White House communications director Anita Dunn, who spent her week at tacking the Fox News Channel.


DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CHIEF ADVISER: The only argument Anita was making is that they're not really a news station if you watch. Even it's not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming. It's really not news. It's pushing a point of view and the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way and we're not going to treat them that way.


HANNITY: All right. This administration is trying to fool you into believing that the news the White House doesn't really like well isn't news. Well, now that is cynical, that is manipulative, and that is an abuse of power. It is evidence that this White House is scared.

Now from early on, we, right here in this program, we were way ahead of the curve on issues like Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, among other things. This network brought you the ACORN story. This network brought you the controversy surrounding the "czars" in the administration.

Now those are stories the mainstream media, you know, the alleged "real news organizations," well, they ignored those stories completely. And those stories caused big problems for the White House.

And for that they're now targeting this network that you like to watch. But there's a wider story to all of this, and that is that the Obama team, they're accustomed to having full control over journalists and news organizations.

Now White House communications director Anita Dunn said just that when she explained why the Obama campaign distributed propaganda videos to reporters instead of, well, talking to them. Take a look at this one.


ANITA DUNN, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: It was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters. Just put that out there and make them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter.


HANNITY: All right. That explains a few things, doesn't it? Obama and his team, they don't like coming face to face with the press. They don't believe in a free press whose job it is to challenge those in power. But you know what, they want a media they can control, a media they can manipulate. Here's more Dunn.


DUNN: So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it and it did not always make us popular with the press. But we, increasingly by the general election, very rarely did we communicate to the press anything that we didn't absolutely control.


HANNITY: All right, now, this is simple. The White House's war against Fox stems from the fact it doesn't control this network but why should the Democrats need such tight control? Why do they want to control the media? What are they afraid of?

Joining me now with the answers to all of these questions is the author of the number one New York Times best-seller "Catastrophe" Dick Morris. Also, by the way, the pollster for Bill Clinton.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

Why? I mean…

DICK MORRIS, "CATASTROPHE" AUTHOR: Well, obviously because your — they don't control you but the point is they are coming after Fox News, not because it's a Republican organization, but because it reaches Democrats and independents, too.

If your entire audience was Republican they wouldn't bother with you because those are votes they've lost anyway. But I did a survey last week and coincidentally.

HANNITY: This is what you used to do. You did Bill Clinton's polls.

MORRIS: I did all his polling for 20 years.

HANNITY: By the way, which I will never forgive you for. But go ahead.

MORRIS: But my polls were pretty darn accurate. And I did a poll this last week and I asked about Fox News and I found that half of the Fox News audience are Democrats and independents and that's why the White House is coming after you because you're reaching their political base.

HANNITY: All right. Helen Thomas, of all people, hardly a conservative. David Gergen. A lot of people are saying are you guys nuts? Politically why would they do this?

Now I have a theory. I think it may in part be they want to distract from the health care debate at this critical time but I also think it's utter stupidity on the other hand. Your thoughts?

MORRIS: Well, they have gotten killed in the health care debate. They've been clobbered. Health care reform is now 42 positive, 55 negative, according to Rasmussen. It's lost two points in the last week.

And their hope is that they can stop the bleeding and to do that they want to sell people on the idea that the elderly are being manipulated, that that $400 million cut in Medicare isn't really going to amount to much, that young people are being manipulated. Those high premiums they're going to pay is just scare tactic.

• Great American Blog: White House vs. Fox News: You respond!

And to do that, they have to discredit Fox News and what they're trying to do is to cut your viewership and your credibility among Democrats and independents. But I found that 17 percent of all Democrats watch this station several times a week or more. 46 percent of all independents do and 55 percent of all Republicans do.

HANNITY: I would probably.

MORRIS: By the way.


MORRIS: One out of every five Americans watches Fox News every single night.

HANNITY: You know, I would argue those numbers are probably, especially on the Democratic side a little bit low. Because they watch, you know, but they don't want to admit to a pollster that in fact they watch it.

All right. I want to go back. I want to show our audience this tape of Anita Dunn and you know, we have talked about starting with Bill Ayers, and Wright, and Pfleger, and then we've got Van Jones, and Kevin Jennings, and Sunstein.

MORRIS: And more than that.

HANNITY: ... and Holdren.

MORRIS: You tell the truth about health care. You tell the truth about the stimulus package, the economy. I mean those are all issues you mentioned that are important but they're not going to be live or die issues. The important stuff here is that it's only here that you get the truth about what health care is going to cost you.

HANNITY: As far as I know there is not a single anchor at this network that gets a tingly feeling up their leg when the president speaks. I don't know of one. Not that I know.

All right. But here's one. I want to — we're going to roll this tape. And this is Anita Dunn. Now with all the extremists that I just mentioned to Dick, you know, and I have come to the conclusion that I have been wrong. I want to admit this to you, Dick.

I have been asking people the question, who is vetting these people? But when you look at all the extremists, all the radicals that have been appointed to this administration it's probably the people they want there, which is more frightening.

Here's Anita Dunn talking about one of the greatest mass murders in the 20th century, Mao.


DUNN, JUNE 5: And then the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers. Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa. Not often coupled with each other. But the two people that I turn to most.


HANNITY: A mass murderer of 50 to 70 million people. They knew she said that.

MORRIS: I think Mao is ahead on that score. I think Mother Teresa probably saved a million lives and Mao killed 50 million.

HANNITY: 50 to 70.


HANNITY: Yes. Well — all right. So I've been wrong. I have been saying.

MORRIS: Yes. No, no. They.

HANNITY: Yes, I have been.

MORRIS: They want these folks. And their whole strategy is hunker down in the Democratic Party, get the extreme liberals to support you and the heck with everybody else.

HANNITY: All right. We've spent a lot of time talking about what they want us to talk about. Now the question is, this health care debate, the lowest October rating yet at 42 percent. There's a 12 point spread with Rasmussen and the Fox News polled a 19-point spread.

MORRIS: Well, I just.

HANNITY: Against.

MORRIS: I just did some polling which was the main purpose of this survey on health care and I found something fascinating. I found that the elderly are strongly opposed to the program, almost 2-1. Middle aged people between 30 and 64, including all different groups in there, are about break even on it.

People under 30 support the program by 2-1. But when they learn that they're going to have to pay 8 to 12 percent of their income for health insurance or be fined and learn that their health insurance premiums are going to be taxed at 40 percent they break 2-1 against it.

So the whole game here now is the senior citizens have weighed in. Now we need to get the message out to young people about what this program and this bill is all about and that's why they won't print it and put it on the Internet because they don't want the young people who are Internet savvy to see it.

HANNITY: All right, last question. What — and they're not going to put it on the Internet. They're not going to have a full, complete accurate scoring. They're going against the polls which are strongly against in double digits. What are the political consequences ?

MORRIS: Well, if they manage to hide what this bill is about, they're serious. I mean they're serious for us. But as you know at DickMorris.com we've raised $2.5 million to run ads and we're now going to turn them around and aim them at young people to acquaint them with what this program is going to mean to their budgets.

And we need you to write letters. We need you to talk to young people. I used to urge young people talk to old people about their health care. Now let old people talk to young people about their pocketbook.

HANNITY: Well that's a — young people never listen to old people. I was probably the most stubborn young person around.

All right, Dick, good to see you. Thanks for being here.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

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