In an especially contentious exchange on this evening's Hannity and Colmes (Friday February 3, 2006), cantankerous cartoonist Ted Rall, a guest on the program, unbelievably declared, "We do not owe our liberties to the military." The topic was the recent Washington Post cartoon by Tom Toles that has outraged many. The cartoon prompted a letter to the editor (linked at Michelle Malkin) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who tagged the the work as "beyond tasteless." Needless to say, Rall (who himself has created bigoted trash in the past) defended Toles' cruel piece. Here's the relevant exchange (audiotape on file, emphasis mine):
SEAN HANNITY: Here's what you're missing. The reason that you have the right to be mean, and you were mean to this guy [killed in Afghanistan, former NFL star Pat] Tillman, who gave up a football contract to save his country. The reason you have the right to be mean in your cartoons, and Toles has a right to mean and insensitive in his cartoons, is because of people like this (Sean holds up the WaPo cartoon) that literally put their lives on the line so you have the right for free expression. And you insult them and use them as props so you can make your left-wing political points.
RALL: Sean, you could not possibly be more wrong about the nature of this country. We do not owe our liberties to the military. We owe them to the Constitution. We have civilian rule in the United States --
HANNITY: The military preserves the Constitution. They put their lives on the line so that you have free speech. You do owe them.
RALL: The military doesn't give us free speech.
HANNITY: Yes, they do.
RALL: Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers gave us free speech.
HANNITY: No. Because if they don't defend that Constitution, you don't have the right to be so wrong in your cartoons!
"We do not owe our liberties to our military"?? I'm sure George Washington would have had a few things to say about that, not to mention the generations of heroic young men who fought and died to protect and defend our precious liberties.
It was simply another pathetic display by Ted Rall. How ungrateful this man is. What a disgrace.
By the way, if Rall's comments weren't sad enough, co-host Alan Colmes claimed that the Joint Chiefs' letter to the Washington Post was "intimidating" and that there was a "chill of intimidation that goes right down the spine of the First Amendment." Puh-leeze, Alan.