Sean Hannity may be taking a break for the holidays (leaving last night’s show in the capable hands of Mark Steyn), but the Left is still looking for reasons to put him on their naughty list. Writing for the LA Times’ Brand X blog earlier today, Richard Metzger recalled that, in April, Hannity told actor-turned-commentator Charles Grodin that he’d be willing to undergo waterboarding for charity:
Well, this morning we checked in at the Waterboard Hannity for Charity website to see that generous members of the public are willing to donate up to $10 million if Hannity is able to withstand 300 seconds of waterboarding enhanced interrogation. If he can last even a single minute, he’ll be able to give over $2 million to the families of U.S. troops.
Unlike many of you reading this, we’re not cynical about this, we just want to see Hannity man up, do what he said he would do and raise more money in 60 seconds for a good cause than has probably ever been raised before in a single minute in history!
Whenever someone insists he has no cynical motives, it’s usually a good sign he’s got cynical motives. Liberals love suggesting that you can’t support war unless you’ve served in combat, and you can’t support waterboarding unless you’ve endured it (curiously, however, conservatives who have done precisely that tend not to make an impression on their thinking). This is why it was so important to smear George W. Bush as a draft-dodger, as opposed to the heroic John Kerry.
It’s idiotic, of course—civilians are perfectly capable of judging the pros and cons of waterboarding jihadists who hold information that might save American lives, and you don’t need to be a construction worker to assess whether or not a new highway would be a good idea, or burn down your house to see that it’s a bad idea.
No conservative should feel any obligation to indulge this sort of nonsense, but in this case Hannity unfortunately gave the Left an additional talking point when he said he’d do it in the first place. It’s not a huge deal—we can all get swept up in the midst of spirited debate over serious issues—but we should take it as a lesson to think about our words carefully, or that lump of coal might pop back up when we least expect it.