For many years, liberal pundit Alan Colmes often provided the “balanced” part of the Fox News Channel motto of being “Fair and Balanced.” That came to abrupt end when the 66-year-old former stand-up comedian, radio host and former co-host of the Hannity & Colmes passed away after a brief illness on Thursday.
While the fondest comments came from former co-host Sean Hannity, many other people at FNC expressed their feeling of loss, including such well-known individuals as retired news anchor Brit Hume, former Fox host Megyn Kelly, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, and America's Newsroom co-anchor Bill Hemmer, as well as other conservative leaders.
On Thursday morning, Hannity narrated a film tribute to his friend and former co-host:
Alan Samuel Colmes: He was born on September 24, 1950, in New York City. The bright lights of the Big Apple would one day lure him into a life of entertainment, giving in to the life of a hard-hitting newsman.
A 1971 graduate of Hoffstra University, Alan got his start in the spotlight as a stand-up comedian, a career that eventually launched him into a thriving radio career. His big break in radio was in 1984 with a drive-time slot on New York-based WABC.
Alan then "moved to WNBC in New York” in 1987, Hannity noted, “a short-lived move because WNBC announced its radio division was closing its doors; Alan gave the final sendoff to the station.”
“However, in 1996, he parlayed his successful radio career into a television career. Yes, teaming up with me to launch Hannity & Colmes. When the show ended, it was by far the number one show in its time slot on cable news and consistently one of the top-rated shows on cable.”
“His quick wit and straight-talking style brought him into the hearts and homes of Americans all across the country,” the Fox News host continued.
“As the banter sometimes grew a bit contentious,” Hannity noted, “Alan would always use that great sense of humor to combat some of his tough critics.”
“But off the air, Alan found love,” the co-host stated. “In June 2003, he married Dr. Jocelyn Elise Crowley, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, and another major milestone just four months later: his debut nonfiction book, Red, White and Liberal: How Left Is Right and the Right Is Wrong.”
“Today the Fox News Channel lost a very dear member of our family, one of the nicest, kindest, friendliest people and a dear personal friend,” Hannity concluded.
It wasn't long before tweets regarding Colmes' passing began filling up the Twitter website, many from his current and former colleagues at Fox News.
Eric Bolling, one of the hosts on The Five weekday program, posted: “Very sad to report our friend and colleague Alan Colmes has passed away. Alan was one nice, happy bright light. RIP AC.”
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy also expressed his sorrow: “Remembering Alan Colmes, who passed away at 66; a funny, smart, passionate broadcaster who was beloved by all. Rest In Peace, Alan.”
Senior Reporter Rick Leventhal noted that the Fox News and Fox Business “two respected colleagues lost this week. Rest in peace, Brenda Buttner & Alan Colmes; love, prayer and strength to your families.”
Thursday was an “extremely sad day,” reporter Ed Henry stated, while meteorologist Janice Dean posted that Colmes was “kind, generous, funny and sweet. This is so sad. Prayers to your wife and family.”
Retired Special Report host Brit Hume posted: “So sad to hear of the death of Fox News colleague Alan Colmes. He and I agreed on little, but I liked him immensely. Good guy. R.I.P.”
“Heartbroken my friend Alan Colmes has died,” Megyn Kelly, former host of The Kelly File, tweeted. “He lit up the FNC halls w/his kindness & humor. Incredibly positive force. Prayers 4 his family.”
Greta Van Susteren, who now hosts For the Record on MSNBC, came right to the point on the matter: “Alan Colmes was always a gentleman … always kind … a wonderful colleague.”
Other conservative leaders expressed their sorrow at Colmes' passing.
“Alan Colmes was a kind and often hilarious man,” Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Center (of which NewsBusters is a part), stated. “I enjoyed debating, but personally liked him even more. I will miss him. RIP.”
Conservative activist Glenn Beck shared his sorrow at Colmes' death: “Shock. While I disagreed with him on many things, he was a good and decent man. Indeed, all that matters in the end.”
Colmes' family released a statement on Thursday morning: “He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical and moral. He was fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work was his life with Jocelyn. He will be missed. The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time.”