Rest in Peace, Alan Colmes

Slate publishes a no-class obituary for their fellow liberal Alan Colmes, a Fox News presenter and Sean Hannity’s long-time debate partner who died on February 23rd. The writer criticizes Colmes for having made a career of playing patsy to conservatives’ attacks on the Democratic Party. I guess you can see the writer resenting Colmes for being their side’s equivalent of a political cuck.

Where is the line between a just vs. a crass eulogy to someone you have strong differences with? I celebrated Ted Kennedy’s croaking with a raised glass, and I will do the same with everyone in my Death Pool when they die. Are professional writers held to a different standards than bloggers, or is it a matter of distinguishing between enemies and merely men with whom we disagree? Or is it something else?

I’ve watched Alan Colmes on Fox every evening from 1999 to 2001 and never saw him arrogant, dishonest, or hateful. He was simply a liberal who treated those he differs with like fellow-citizens. For example, he once interviewed a White Nationalist on his radio show. Even as he pressed her on their philosophical differences, he treated her kindly — maybe because he knew that his professional on-air skills outmatch hers.

We all could live well in a country in which liberals had taken a few lessons from someone who consistently rose above the media’s program of dehumanizing anyone who dissents from their latest ideological memorandum. Imagine a liberal wing of American politics that seeks to persuade in good faith, rather than make war on core Americans. Such an approach would look like that of Alan Colmes.

Rest in peace.


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