Is Fox's Hannity and Colmes REALLY 'Fair and Balanced'?

I have been a liberal all my life. So you have to forgive me is my opinion sometimes unavoidably skews that way. But I am also an avid watcher of Fox news. They claim to be “fair and balanced”. Okay, then. I accept their proposal that they really are that way. But I sometimes wonder if it is really true.

One thing that brings doubt to my mind is Fox News’s Hannity and Colmes. Hannity is the conservative, Colmes is the resident liberal. But Hannity always has more talk time than Colmes. I never actually timed it with a stop watch. But I am sure he does. One time in fact, Colmes had more to say. And Hannity told him he already had his time! Mostly Colmes is left to just mumbling remarks to what Hannity says. Furthermore, I have noticed, Hannity always seems to have the all-important last word. No fooling. And lastly, Hannity has his own show on the weekend called “Hannity’s America”. I never watch it, but I assume it contains mainly Hannity’s opinion, naturally. Why doesn’t Colmes have his own show?

Thank you in advance to all who reply:)

If I understand you correctly, you are positing some kind of structural bias inherent in the program.

Have you ever considered the theorem that perhaps Mr. Hannity simply has a stronger personality, and thus is pushed to have more exposure due to his greater star quality as compared to the milquetoast (IMO) Mr. Colmes?

As you know, the function of a news or news-and-opinion television program, like any other television program, is to deliver advertising dollars. One does this by generating high ratings on the Nielsen scale. If I were a television programmer, I would definitely favor a vocal and animated Sean Hannity over a … lukewarm… Alan Colmes. And I needn’t be a partisan to make such a decision.

The “Fair and Balanced” claim is for their news broadcasts, not commentary programs.

Hannity and Colmes isn’t a news show; nor is Bill O’Reilly, nor Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, Lou Dobbs, etc. on other networks. These are commentary programs, where the host may or may not entertain other views.

And yes, that show is a set-up for Hannity to make Colmes his bitch.

Conservatives yell over the guests, like Rush . Thet do not like an even discussion.

As opposed to, say, Bill Maher. Yeah.

In one of Al Franken books (Lies…, maybe?), he always writes that show name as:

Hannity & Colmes

emphasizing the differences in their influence on the show and commenting on Fox’s attempt at balance. So, I guess he agrees with you.

Colmes is such a boob my theory is that he is easy for Fox to keep around because he makes liberals look bad.

He himself may be personally sincere but I am underwhelmed by his TV persona.
He would have no chance whatsoever on his own show.


From this liberal’s perspective, Bill Maher is just as much of a tool as Rush and Hannity. He comes off as smug. He’s essentially stooping to their level to compete. It’s disgusting

Why would you do that to yourself?

Is this serious? You’re supposedly a liberal AND you watch Fox News, but you accept that they are fair and balanced?

Of course Colmes is a foil. He is there as a token counter-point to the dominant conservative tilt of the program. This is the standard modus operandi for Murdoch media - a whole bunch of strident reactionary conservatives with a single small-voiced, slightly nerdy-looking token liberal to give the appearance of balance. You see the same thing in their ratio of guests too.

You also see it with News’ stable of editorial columnists at their papers. At The Australia newspaper, we have Philip Adams, a wanky former communist who plays exactly the same role.

“Hannity & Colmes” AKA “Hannity & His Bitch”

Look, you guys know that Fox News just uses that “Fair and Balanced” tagline because they know it drives liberals into fits? It’s just trolling, that’s all.

You think all the conservatives who love Fox News don’t know that it’s conservative? Of course they do, that’s why they watch it.

And yet, every few weeks we have someone sputter incoherently that Fox News isn’t really “Fair and Balanced” like they claim to be! My gosh, turns out they’re conservative! Shocking!

I can just see the ad:“Passive, wimpy-looking pencil necked liberal wonk wanted as punching bag.”

But I’ve seen several times when Colmes has stepped up to some of Hannity’s bullshit and proven right to his face that he’s totally full of shit. And you know what happens? Hannity just keeps right on saying it.

But I may watch tonilght, got some gloating to do…

Bill Maher is a comedian. So is Jon Stewart. That you’d actually Hannity & co. to Maher shows how far we’ve descended.

If you’re saying that Hannity is the star of a subtle humor show, that’s something else.

Well of course we don’t take Fox News seriously. The OP, if he isn’t concern trolling, might do though.

I’ve seen the stats and apparently there are self-identified liberals who are actually self-masochistic enough and have sufficiently low standards to watch it. Hard to say why they might do that - other than comedy or watching the “enemy” so-to-speak.

Fox is putting your brain in a microwave, with the perks of flashy production values, coverage drawing upon the resources of the News empire, dittohead pundits who do your thinking for you, and an moral-certainty bolstering advocacy point-of-view.

Yeah, Colmes has his occasional, somewhat incidental moments of rhetorical triumph.