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Video & Transcript: Jennifer Pozner on Hannity & Colmes, on school shootings, violence against women, gun control, AND…

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

April 19th, 2007

and… why Rosie O’Donnell isn’t the most important issue in America right now.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was a guest on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes last night, on a segment that was originally supposed to be mostly about whether or not Rosie O’Donnell was right or wrong to talk about gun control issues in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Here’s the video (scan to bottom of this post for the Nexis transcript):

segment 1 (before the commercial break):

and segment 2 (after the commercial break):

Amusingly annoying sidebar: On the H&C website, the only clip they seem to have of our debate was of Sean Hannity’s opening attack on Rosie O’Donnell, and the response from gun-rights advocate Crystal McClary — they cut the clip immediately after Sean and Crystal’s opening comments, making sure that all of my statements, and even the input of ostensible cohost Alan Colmes, did not appear on Fox’s site.

Now, the back story, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing:

I initially declined the request to appear on the show, after having read through numerous Nexis transcripts of previous H&C episodes dedicated to ripping on Rosie in problematic ways — I told the show that I wasn’t interested in being used as a surrogate punching bag for a talk show hostess about whom Sean Hannity seems to have a vendetta. I also said that as a media critic and a journalist I am certainly happy to talk about free speech issues, but I think I’ve been somehow miscategorized in their rolodex as the woman to call when Rosie says something that Hannity finds offensive, rather than the person to call when serious journalistic analysis is needed.

But, after an extensive discussion (in which I explained that I wasn’t interested in appearing on an irrelevant “let’s bash Rosie” segment, but I would come on the show to discuss real issues being missed by the media, in particular, the deep-rooted misogyny present as motivating factors in this and most of the school shootings we’ve seen in this c0untry over the past decade), the H&C producer gave me her word that the hosts would ask me a question about violence against women, and about free gun give-aways in the state of Virginia. (Read more on the gendered nature of this and other school shootings.)

While it’s a calculated risk to take a producer’s promise at face value, I decided to take the chance, because I believed that the public debate surrounding the senseless Virginia Tech massacre could be deepened by those two points. Though the format of such shows doesn’t allow for nuance or reflection, I’m glad I agreed to do H&C. With a little bit of verbal muscle, and a bit of space via a question from Alan Colmes, I was able to make the main point I wanted to make - at the end of the day, that’s basically as good as I expected it to get.

With even 30 more seconds in the segment, I would have said that I believe these shootings could have been prevented had law enforcement or school officials taken seriously women’s previous concerns about the shooter’s violent behavior and attitudes — and the majority of the deaths at VA Tech could have been prevented if campus police had acted more quickly after the first two shootings, which they dismissed as “just” a “domestic” problem, yet another illustration of how grave the ramifications can be when domestic violence is ignored or trivialized. But, at the end of the day, I feel good about the direction in which I was able to steer the conversation, especially considering that the original segment was going to be mostly an anti-Rosie rant.

TRANSCRIPT, from Nexis.com:
Fox News Network
April 18, 2007 Wednesday
9:51 PM EST

Rosie Using Tragedy to Push Anti-Gun Agenda?
BYLINE: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
GUESTS: Crystal McCrary, Jennifer Pozner

LENGTH: 1262 words


ROSIE O’DONNELL, CO-HOST, ABC’S “THE VIEW”: I’m almost numb to it. I think, well, here we go again.

Are we ever going to ever get gun control in America? That is what I feel. As somebody who really, really tried to dedicate a large part of her life to getting it, you’re not going to get it.


HANNITY: That was Rosie O’Donnell on “The View” yesterday, using the tragedy of Virginia Tech as an opportunity to rant and go on the offensive over gun control. And, of course, she bashed George W. Bush.

Joining us now for more reaction is Crystal McCrary. She’s the author of “Gotham Diaries”; and Jennifer Pozner is the executive director of Women in Media and News.

Guys, welcome to the program.


HANNITY: She made those comments and then attacked George W. Bush. It wasn’t even 24 hours since the incident occurred.

I support her right to free speech here.


HANNITY: But the fact, you know, the immediate rush to politicize something for an agenda is so offensive to me.

CRYSTAL MCCRARY, AUTHOR, “GOTHAM DIARIES”: I don’t know that she was rushing to politicize it. I mean emotions are running high. This is a tragedy that we’re all trying to make sense of. So I don’t know if it’s fair to say that’s exactly what she was doing.

HANNITY: Sure, it was.

MCCRARY: Everyone — well…

HANNITY: Bush didn’t go down to Katrina and a week it took him.

MCCRARY: Listen, I will say what Dennis Miller happened to say on O’Reilly about Rosie. Give her a two-day pass. Everyone. She’s a parent. This is a tragic situation. And everyone’s trying…

HANNITY: You know something? It’s not just a two-day pass. You know, radical Christianity is like radical Islam in America today. All the other comments that she’s made. You, as a matter of fact, you were on the show when she originally attacked Donald Trump.

MCCRARY: I was on that show when she attacked Donald Trump. You saw it.

Listen, she’s a passionate person. But the fact of the matter is, even the governor, OK, of Virginia who is a Democrat is saying it’s too quick to start hollering gun control, gun control. This is not the time to do that.

Facts are still emerging. And one fact we do know is that guns were banned from the campus.

HANNITY: Well, but that’s an interesting point. And we know that the mayor of Nagasaki in Japan, where they have some of the toughest gun laws on the planet, on the very same day was shot and, sadly, was — ultimately died here.

And if somebody has evil intentions in their heart, Jennifer, there’s no law, there is nothing that you do to stop this. And that’s a reality that people on the left don’t seem to get.

POZNER: Well, here’s the thing. Rosie O’Donnell has the same constitutional freedom of speech rights…

HANNITY: We got that. We understand that.

POZNER: … that you have, that I have. You know, I don’t think that we — I think that 30-some-odd people are dead, and there are more important things to be talking about than what Rosie O’Donnell said.

COLMES: By the way, it’s not a left or right issue either. This is not about left versus right or gun control versus not gun control. And I think Sean is right. No matter what you do, these kinds of incidents are going to happen.

POZNER: Yes. But in terms of the gun control issue, Harvard recently released a study that showed that American women are, like, 70 percent or so of all the world’s homicide — of all the industrial country.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: I was cut interrupted, but what I was trying to say was that a Harvard study of more than 20 industrialized countries showed that American women are the majority of female homicide victims, which Harvard says is connected to the high rates of U.S. household gun ownership.]

COLMES: There is a gender aspect to this. This guy was a stalker of women.


COLMES: His first victim was a woman.

POZNER: He had terrorized and stalked women on campus, on his campus, and had been identified as needing counseling for that kind of disturbing behavior.

I think that the big issue that we’re all missing while we’re talking about Rosie O’Donnell and talking about other issues is that, at the heart of so many of these school shootings, other than Columbine– ten years ago in 1998, I wrote a piece about Jonesboro where all the victims were girls, and the boys who killed the victims said that they were doing it because the girls had dumped them.

Over and over — last year we saw the Amish school shootings. We saw Platt Canyon. All these victims in so many of these cases are girls. And if we don’t name this as violence against women at the heart of it…

HANNITY: There were men and women killed. What are you talking about?

POZNER: Yes. Well, no — men and women were killed, but at the root of the motivation…

COLMES: And what drove him to do it?

POZNER: … is violence against women. And if we don’t start to name that kind of violence than it will continue to spill over onto all of us.

HANNITY: We’ve got to take a break. We’ll talk about the signs and symptoms and missed opportunities. We’ll even get — final thoughts straight ahead on today’s chilling developments. Straight ahead.

COLMES: We are back.

And Jessica, let me go to you and ask you about — I’m sorry, Jennifer.

POZNER: That’s OK.

COLMES: Let me go to you and ask you about this issue of they have in a report that he’s mentally ill.


COLMES: That he’s unstable.


COLMES: And he gets a gun.


COLMES: If we’re going to do background checks, you would think something like that should be in the report.

POZNER: You would think so. And you know, the — I think that the anti-gun control lobby is quite irrational in this country at this point. You have, in Virginia, gun shops giving away free gun raffles right after this shooting happened.

COLMES: Because Mayor Bloomberg came out against the trafficking of guns from state to state. So…

POZNER: Right. And not only trafficking. But he came out — he’s suing gun shops in states like Virginia that have loosened and flouted regulations and sell in illegal ways.

And so they’re saying instead of saying, OK, yes, we’re going to comply with gun control regulations that are on the books, we’re just going to give away free guns now.

COLMES: First — go ahead.

MCCRARY: In the case with Cho, there’s very little communication between the criminal justice system and the mental health system.

And furthermore, when he was diagnosed with whatever mental illness he had, it was done on the — you know, between the university. There was no reason for them to have reported that to the state at this point.

So he complied with — you know, I’m not — I’m certainly not defending this. But it’s easy to Monday morning quarterback in a situation like this.

HANNITY: Hey, Crystal…

MCCRARY: It’s easy to second guess.

HANNITY: I would actually concur with Alan that if people that have mental illnesses. You know what? I think they — that should show up on a report, and then it must be separately evaluated.

MCCRARY: In his case — but in his case, that — it was not. It had not gone through the court. I mean, I know that a Virginia court of law…


MCCRARY: … did, indeed, determine that…

HANNITY: The magistrate did.

MCCRARY: Right, right. However, if you read it carefully, it says that he was — not that he was an imminent danger to others. He, the ruling — no, no, no, no. The ruling in this case, it says imminent danger to others or to himself.

HANNITY: The box was checked.

MCCRARY: He was severely — he was severely depressed.


COLMES: We’ve got to run. We’re just about out of time. I thank — we’ve got to run. I thank you very much, Jennifer, Crystal, thank you very much.

That’s all the time we have left for this evening. Thank you for watching “Hannity & Colmes”. Greta Van Susteren to here to go “On the Record”.

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