Tancredo vs. Rivera tonight

(Note: Comments on the show are below.)

Tonight, on “Hannity and Colmes” on Fox News, one of the best Americans, Tom Tancredo, will be debating one of the worst, Geraldo Rivera, on the subject of immigration. The debate will last for about 20 minutes, at some point in the 9 to 10 p.m. time slot.

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Ben W. writes:

Saw Tom Tancredo and Geraldo Rivera on Hannity & Colmes. Rivera is exasperating because he tries to fill his own time plus the other person’s time with his own loud verbiage. It’s as if he feels he is called upon to fill all time and space with his “righteousness indignation” Hannity, so-called conservative, should have pulled the plug on Rivera and given Tancredo the appropriate time to speak. It’s called shutting off the mike when somebody won’t respect the give and take of discussion.

It appears that “conservatives” such as Malkin and Hannity just don’t know how to confidently assert authority to cut off somebody who is running off at the mouth. They probably don’t even understand the concept of authority.

LA replies:

That’s an interesting description of Geraldo. It reminds me of Voegelin’s description in The Ecumenic Age of the imperial conquerer, like Alexander, who has a concupiscential (libidinous) urge to extend himself and his power over the entire world, the ultimate aim being to fill up the entire cosmos with himself.

Alex K. writes:

A little summary, plus I gather that’s the actual video at the bottom. (I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet, and I must say Ben W.’s description doesn’t fill me with anticipation; it sounds like exactly the usual kind of stupidity that is cable shout shows.)

Terry M. writes:

I concur with Ben W.’s assessment. Geraldo was overbearing to say the very least, and there was too much deference given him and his exasperated showmanship. Sean Hannity fits Ben W.’s bill of Geraldo very well too, albeit from a different point of view. If Sean wished it to be primarily an argument between himself and Geraldo, then what was the point of inviting Tancredo? Tancredo, not having the benefit of being on the set, is left pretty much at the mercy of the hosts. So it seems the title of this post would be more accurate if it were “Hannity vs. Rivera—Tancredo on the sidelines.”

There’s nothing of value to be had from the exchange except that Rivera is such a passionate advocate for mass Latino migration that his judgment on the subject cannot be reconciled with anything even remotely resembling reason. But most of us already knew that.

Emerson writes:

I watched the obnoxious treatment given to Tancredo by Rivera and Colmes. No offense, but both of these men are Jews. So where do we get the “Jewish stereotypes?”

Colmes’ behavior reminded me of your radio interview with him when he turned down your feed and talked over you like you were some kind of dog. He gave Tancredo the same treatment last night.

Thanks for being the only Jew in America (that I know of) who defends the West.

LA replies:

There are plenty of Jews (or people of Jewish ancestry) who defend the West (meaning a real defense of the actual West, not a neocon defense of an abstract West): Diana West, Don Feder, Michael Savage (though I’ve barely listened to him, I don’t like the angry radio-host style), Dan Stein of FAIR. I’m just louder about it….

However, on the immigration issue, as I wrote about a lot in early 2006, the prospect of truly open borders brought out an intensity of moral zealotry from many Jews on the immigration issue that had never been seen before, with statements along the lines of, “Being Jewish requires us to believe in wide open immigration,” and with invocations to their immigrant parents and grandparents that were somehow supposed to be considered dispositive arguments in a national debate. This passionate emotional commitment of many Jews to open borders is a legitimate issue and Emerson has every right to bring it up.

RG writes:

I too saw the “debate” last night on Hannity & Colmes. For the second time I was disappointed by the results, just like I was when Rivera debated Michelle Malkin on O’Reilly’s program a few weeks ago. Tancredo knows are the correct points to make and I’d say Malkin knows most of them as well but neither one performed well against Rivera. I’m not saying Rivera turned in a great performance (and many of his points are just silly, if not factually incorrect) but “our side” did not knock the ball out of the park when they had a perfectly, served up pitch.
Ben W. writes:

I’d like to ask VFR readers, with the Rivera vs Tancredo debate as context, the following question. RG writes, “Our side did not knock the ball out of the park when they had a perfectly, served up pitch.”

I agree. The issue was served up just like a slow pitch ready to be hit out of the ball park. But what happened is that Rivera quickly moved in to shout down Tom Tancredo and monopolize the time slot.

So the question is, why do we allow him to do this? It happens all the time. Rivera seizes the opportunity to “occupy all the time and space” available so that nobody else can get a word in edgewise. His strategy is to flood the air time with a constant stream of words, including encroaching on the other person’s alloted time. This way he assures himself that his viewpoint comes across “righteously” and loudly.

To me this appears to be a lack of confidence by conservatives in their own authority to tell him to shut up and speak when it is his time. The operative terms are “confidence” and “authority”—as if conservatives lacked these traits. Why? Don’t they have enough confidence in their beliefs and concepts to counter Rivera’s “liberal” spewing torrent of words? Have conservatives become intimidated in their own speech? This is more than just a question of civility and politeness.

What is the problem in telling him on the air, in front of everybody, “Gerald shut your trap while I’m speaking.”

LA replies:

Well, the initiative would have to come from Tancredo. His people need to know the nature of the format their candidate is about to get into. When they were invited, they needed to say to the producers, “Mr. Tancredo doesn’t want to appear on this show unless he has a fair chance to speak. We know that Geraldo will tryo to monopolize everything. If you cannot assure us that this won’t happen, we won’t appear on the show.”

But if such a thing happened anyway, then Tancredo (or whoever) needs to protest it. He needs to say, “You’ve invited me on this show, and you’re allowing my opponent to shout me down.” And then if it continues, Tancredo would need to say to the hosts, “It’s obvious that you don’t intend to have a debate, but just to allow Geraldo to monopolize the program, so there is no point in my being here. When you decide to have a debate worthy of adult people and not a Geraldo Rivera shout a thon, let me know and maybe I’ll come back.” And Tancredo removes his mike, stands up, and walks out of the studio. That would make an impression.

Mark Jaws writes:

To shut Geraldo up, I would take a no prisoners attitude. I would go for his jugular right away. I would lay down the government statistics on Hispanic crime, welfare, and illegitimacy rates and I would add the Pew Hispanic Research Center data indicating that almost 1/2 of third generation Mexican Americans feel that they are Meixicans first—not Americans. I would tell Geraldo that a 40-year moratorium on legal immigration worked splendidly from 1924 to1965 and converted millions of Jews, Slavs, Greeks, and Italians into bonafide Americans. I would stay that more than ever such an approach is needed right now. If it got nasty—and it would—I would tell Geraldo that I strongly suspected he was more loyal to La Raza than to his pais.

I know this works because I do it not too infrequently when arguing with liberals—and yes, even with Hispanics.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 22, 2007 07:22 PM | Send

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