Stossel on Hannity

To publicize his 20/20 special, “Bailouts and Bull,” ABC’s John Stossel went on Sean Hannity’s show that same evening (last night). There were two high (so to speak) points, one involving Stossel and one not.

In a discussion of the mess in Mexico, the following conversation occurred:

Stossel: That’s why we should legalize drugs. That’s our old argument. They’re killing each other because the stuff is illegal.
Hannity: Do you want to walk the same streets as people on crack and heroin?
Stossel: I assume I am. I’m living in New York city. They use it regardless of whether it’s legal or not.
Hannity: Every once in a while you just have to say “Checkmate. I lose.”

Note: I watch Hannity almost every night. This is the first time in a few years that I’ve ever seen him admit that he got bested.

Then Hannity went on to say that it’s people’s own responsibility. Stossel then pointed out that if that’s so, then people should be free to poison themselves. Hannity replied that they hurt other people by committing crime to buy the drugs. Stossel pointed out that the high price of drugs is due to the fact that they’re illegal.

Hannity then almost admitted that another of his pet views was wrong. He and liberal guest Julie Menin, of the Women’s Campaign Forum got into a discussion of waterboarding, which Hannity advocates.
Menin: Evidence has shown that those types of torture tactics [waterboarding] unfortunately do not work.
Hannity: Let me tell you something. If you dunk my head in the water, I’m going to tell you whatever I need to tell you to get–if it’s true–to get out of this.

You could almost see the “whoops” in Hannity’s eyes as he caught himself and added “if it’s true.” Hannity caught himself saying what I think he really thinks, which is what most of us think: we would say anything if doing so would stop someone from torturing us. But then he realized what he had said and so he added, “if it’s true.” If I were being tortured, I wouldn’t care whether what I said was true as long as it ended the torture.

BTW, I thought the Stossel show was one of his best. That’s saying a lot because many of his shows have been high-quality. My one objection was to the economist, whose face I didn’t recognize, who said that the United States will have hyperinflation like Germany’s in the 1920s. I hate it when people super-exaggerate to make a point.