ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Coming up tonight, do our own nuclear facilities pose a threat to Americans because of a lax security? The man who led the investigation of Chinese espionage at Los Alamos will join us, and television legend Art Linkletter has heard some strange things in his life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ART LINKLETTER: What does your dad do for fun, Tim?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he drinks beers and smokes cigars.
LINKLETTER: And what does your mother do for fun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She doesn't have any fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLMES: Mr. Linkletter will be here to tell us about his new crusade to protect America's elderly.
First, we're joined by the author of The New Thought Police, Tammy Bruce. Tammy, welcome.
TAMMY BRUCE, AUTHOR, "NEW THOUGHT POLICE": Thank you.
COLMES: You and I have some of the same views here, which I think there's intolerance on both the right and the left, and they don't like it either way, and liberals are often not critical enough of themselves.
BRUCE: Well, that's never going to happen.
COLMES: Yes. But you're a liberal. And you are critical...
BRUCE: I'm a classical liberal.
COLMES: Classical liberal.
BRUCE: And the difference is that the left has gone so far to the left now, they're fascists, and I'm considered a conservative, and I'm pro-choice and I'm a lesbian and I'm a feminist, and it's gone so far to the left, I'm considered a conservative.
COLMES: But you say -- you claim -- you have accused Democrats of wanting George Bush to fail more than caring about the good of the country, you think in some cases that is true.
BRUCE: Yes, it's clearly partisan politics. It doesn't -- that's why they're all lawyers, because they can argue either side. It depends on, you know, what (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
COLMES: I don't think that's true. I think Democrats honestly -- I think many of us have honest differences of opinion with the president, and we have -- I have a principled belief that we should not go to war with Iraq. And I don't like the fact that there are people -- and you address this -- that call liberals unpatriotic, and you say liberals...
BRUCE: A lot of liberals support attacking Iraq. The difference is that you have got the far left, who -- in some of which there's a thread of a lack of patriotism, in their arguments against the war. It's not that I'm against labels; it's about the use of the term as a silver bullet to silence people. And now they're squealing like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pigs that they are being called the names...
COLMES: Now, you're pro-choice...
BRUCE: And they set up the strategy. And it's turning...
COLMES: You're pro-choice, and yet haven't you been called baby killer?
BRUCE: Baby killer, absolutely.
COLMES: Haven't you had the right use phrases like that and do all kinds of things to those who they view as not in their camp politically? Aren't they intolerant?
BRUCE: Here's the difference. The extremists on the right -- and this is my argument coming from inside the left -- we're training the entire political spectrum to use name calling to silence people, to stop debate. What I found in this argument, and you find it here, I think, being on this program and this network as well, that, in fact, the right, the general right, don't use that tactic, want to hear new ideas and don't name call.
COLMES: Some of the nicest e-mail I get are from conservatives who say we are really happy to see a liberal we can, you know, kind of like and not agree with but at least relate to, and some of the people on the left will say...
HANNITY: Yes, but they don't know you.
COLMES: Thank you, my good friend Sean Hannity.
HANNITY: I'm kidding.
COLMES: Let me tell you what the right is doing right now. You've got Daniel Pipes, he's got a Web site, CampusWatch.org...
BRUCE: I like Daniel.
COLMES: But they're watching professors who might say the wrong thing in the classroom. To me, this is right wing -- this is McCarthyism toward those in the teaching (ph) profession. Totally wrong.
BRUCE: Here is what Pipes is doing. Listen, I don't want people to make a mistake that because I'm saying that labels are bad, that name calling to shut people up is bad, I think descriptors are good and important. If someone is unpatriotic or a racist, let's say like David Duke, you can call him racist, sexist all day long and be right. Daniel Pipes is providing information. He is not saying, go get these guys, he's not saying...
HANNITY: He is exposing ideology. These kids are a captive audience, and they're ramming their opinions down their throat.
BRUCE: What is -- and you do that every night here, you discuss, you expose, you show people what other people have said. That's what he is doing. What's the difference?
HANNITY: I want to credit you. What you're exposing about the left wanting this president to fail, that's the only way they get back in power, and the evidence of their hypocrisy is they were utterly silent when Bill Clinton laid out the exact same arguments about Iraq in 1998, not one of these people stood up and said a word.
I want to talk to you about something -- and I like this book. But I still have to Hannitize you; I still got to bring you over to my side of some issues.
HANNITY: I love this, inside the left's assault on free speech and free minds.
BRUCE: Well, you know why it bothers me primarily is because they wrap themselves in the banner. And I was part of this as the president of L.A. NOW for years, now resigned, of course, and as an activist even within some gay rights issues, and certainly within the abortion rights issues, is that they wrap themselves in this banner and they do the opposite.
HANNITY: They -- this is a tactic that is used by the left, smear, besmirch, attack, call names in the hopes that if we call these people enough names, they are going to shut up and go away.
BRUCE: Yes, because in a debate -- let's say you're against gay marriage because of your religion. You're immediately labeled a homophobe. What that does is it stops the ability to discuss the issue with any detail, and the problem here is that -- and I'm worried for the issues I care about, like abortion rights -- is that our ability to debate these issues atrophies. Because we're so used to thinking we have sole possession of the truth, that we don't need to debate with anyone because there's nothing to say, and we're going to lose the ability to actually engage our opposition with good answers.
HANNITY: I brought this up during the whole Trent Lott issue. I said, we're on dangerous ground when we don't apply standards equally. And the left was so utterly hypocritical. Here, the Democrats in Washington, they elect a former Klansman as the head leader in the Senate from '77 to '89. Nobody -- Trent Lott didn't say the right thing, it was wrong, he apologized, rightly so, and that wasn't accepted, but yet none of these people criticized Robert Byrd. That blows my mind.
COLMES: I accepted his apology and wanted him to stay.
HANNITY: By the way, to his credit. He did. He really did.
BRUCE: Here's what Alan Colmes represents, and I know you've taken the same heat I have, because we aren't fascists and we actually are able and want to discuss things with our opposition, and we do so with some decency. And yet the left has been the most attacking, because we aren't attack dogs ourselves, but when it comes to what we can glean, especially in the war environment, is recognizing the hypocrisy (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
HANNITY: But isn't it wrong? Isn't that hypocrisy, Tammy?
BRUCE: Oh, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), absolutely. And that's what we have to be able to...
HANNITY: I want to make sure you get this in. I know you're friends with Dr. Laura. And what bothers me about the whole Dr. Laura thing, and we've had her on the program and I like Dr. Laura, you know, I don't mind that people don't like what she says. You don't have to listen to her. You can turn the dial. But people wanted to work to shut her down.
BRUCE: Not just any people. You have got the elite in this country who need to send a message to everyone else, and this is my point, is that if they can destroy or if they want to destroy people who dissent against the left wing status quo, the message goes out to your audience and everyone else. It wasn't about Dr. Laura. It was about everyone else.
COLMES: We have got to go.