Just hours after liberal Fox News commentator Alan Colmes died Thursday, a Slate writer devoted an entire article to viciously attacking Colmes as a “buffoon” and a “patsy.”
Colmes, who hosted “The Alan Colmes Show” on Fox News Radio and was a former co-host of “Hannity & Colmes” with conservative counterpart Sean Hannity from 1996-2009, passed away Thursday at age 66 after a brief struggle with lymphoma.
“This has hurt [Colmes’] family and it’s beyond any human decency. @Slate is disgusting and repulsive.”
As the Fox News family and media personalities across the political spectrum mourned the loss of someone almost universally remembered as a “kind” and “decent” man, Slate writer Isaac Chotiner waited only a few hours before unleashing his tasteless article titled, “Alan Colmes, Buffoon and Patsy, Was Fox News’ Original Liberal Weakling.”
“And while one should usually view tributes to the recently departed with a forgiving cynicism … Colmes was the most absurd, useless, and mocked television personality in America for many years, precisely because he was nice,” Chotiner wrote. “In the context of Fox News, being a nice guy — and a ‘liberal’ nice guy at that — meant being a buffoon, and a patsy. Colmes not only played the part to perfection — he defined it.”
The picture Chotiner painted of Colmes was vastly different from the one Hannity and other media colleagues remembered.
“It’s like a part of me left today. It has been a really tough day,” Hannity told Fox News host Bill Hemmer Thursday. “I know a lot of people remember us from our political disagreements, but what they may not know is he was not only a guy with the greatest sense of humor but a guy that had a human level of decency and love and kindness and humor. One of the funniest guys I ever met.”
Many remembered and valued Colmes in the hours following his death as someone with whom they could engage with in a civil debate, regardless of political differences — something that seems to be becoming increasingly rare in the aftermath of the bitterly partisan 2016 presidential election.
Chotiner made blanket accusations in the piece about Colmes and his motivations.
“I wrote that Colmes was a nice guy, and we should all be able to separate the personal from the political, and the personal from the professional … But while Colmes may not have been a genius, he wasn’t a complete moron either; in short, he was smart enough to know he was being used, and to take the money that his services demanded. If this is something less than morally reprehensible, it is still pretty gross.”
Chotiner also attempted to blame Colmes for President Donald Trump’s Election Day victory.
“We can mourn that Alan Colmes won’t be around to watch the political era he, as an important cog in the Fox News machine, helped usher in; unfortunately, the rest of us have no choice,” Chotiner concluded.
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Chotiner’s heartless “obituary,” penned and published the same day that Colmes died, was hammered by colleagues of Colmes and decent media personalities across the poltical spectrum.
“Only mean soulless a**holes could ever write and print something this vicious, cruel, and heartless. You r [sic] so ignorant, wrong, and hateful!” Hannity tweeted.
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“Alan’s friends are just devastated. I’m beyond angry @Slate What pathetic heartless hacks. Ignorant arrogant a**holes,” Hannity continued.
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Hannity continued to flog the Slate writer mercilessly for his tasteless obituary, adding, “This has hurt [Colmes’] family and it’s beyond any human decency. @Slate is disgusting and repulsive.”
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Greta Van Susteren, a former colleague of Colmes’ and the current host of MSNBC News’ “For the Record with Greta,” was likewise furious with Chotiner’s obituary.
“@Slate owes an apology to the family of Alan Colmes — disgusting that they would publish that cruel piece,” Van Susteren tweeted. “Does @Slate have editors? Publishers? How many ok’d that hateful article about Alan Colmes … Can anyone tell me who owns @Slate? Looks like WAPO did — but still?”
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When a Twitter user replied to Van Susteren that Slate was currently owned by Graham Holdings, formerly The Washington Post Company, Van Susteren called the company out for its glaring lack of human decency.
“Katherine Graham would be scandalized by it being published the day Alan Colmes died,” Van Susteren tweeted.
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LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham also censured Chotiner for his galling tastelessness, tweeting, “Praying for you, a sad twisted man.”
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Chotiner found himself the recipient of a deluge of criticism and outrage stemming from both his own initial tweet of the article as well as Hannity’s, Van Susteren’s, and Ingraham’s tweets.
“If you worked for me, you’d be cleaning out your desk right now. This is shameful,” tweeted Dr. Alex B. Berezow, the founding editor of RealClearScience.
“What happened to you to make you such an awful, hateful human being?” CNBC Finance Editor Jeff Cox tweeted.
One Twitter user commented on Chotiner’s tweet, writing, “The only positive thing from this vulgarian’s article is reading the amount of respectful comments from disparate ideology.”