Last Friday night, Sean Hannity hosted yet another one of his goofy Frank Luntz-style audience shows. The most recent installment of this town hall series focused on spring break and the mechanics of shotgunning a beer. This time, however, Hannity zeroed in the other scourge of American society: Marijuana.
In short: It was a shitstorm of anecdotal evidence passed as fact, myths that never seem to die, and causal fallacies that would make your grade school teacher cringe — all tossed about by a roster of third-rate cable news pundits and professional attention-seekers. There were also a handful of sensible panelists (including our own Noah Rothman), and they clearly won the evening. But boy was it difficult to watch this.
And because we watch cable news so you don’t have to, below are the best moments from Hannity‘s “STONED AMERICA.” Let’s start with the obvious.
Todd Starnes Warns of a ‘Chucklehead’ Body Count
One of the panelists was Fox’s resident one-trick pony, a certain Todd Starnes. You may have heard of him. If you’re at all familiar with his brilliant performance art, then you might predict his contribution to this show combined his faux-hokey rhetoric with scaremongering without regard for facts. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what we got from him. The best part though? Praiseworthy co-panelists Sherrod Small, Gavin McInnes, and Matt Welch all laugh in his face as he says this:
Later on, he attempted to make a point that there’s “government hypocrisy” in legalizing marijuana while “removing Ho Hos and Cheetos from college campuses.” So… that should give you some sense of just how clownish this man can be.
Kooky Doctor Pushes Hilariously Quacky Theories
Did we mention the panel also featured its very own doctor peddling quacky theories? Meet Dr. Eric Braverman. His contribution to the panel: An epically incoherent soliloquy about how a) Smoking weed with animals will make you fat(?); b) Voting for legal marijuana is like voting for slavery; c) We were confused about stopping Hitler in the same way pro-marijuana activists are confused; d) Weed will mutate your genes and you’ll pass along defects to your children. Enjoy. He starts at ~1:00 into the below video:
By the way, Dr. Braverman might go to jail for seven years.
Ex-Cop Says Everyone Who Smokes Pot Gets ‘Defunkitated’
Former NYPD detective turned cable pundit Bo Dietl channeled his inner Nancy Grace and asserted that everyone who smokes weed gets their brain “defunkitated.”
Transcribed for posterity: “I grew up in the ’60s. Let me tell you something, Sean. Fact: Every one of the potheads that I knew at that time [mimics a confused stoner], every one of them are brain-dead. It’s fact. Everyone that I know in my long history of life, every one that was a pot smoker, their brains have defunkitated. Defunkitated!”
Guy Benson Points Out That Anecdote Is Not Fact
Fox contributor Guy Benson had a great moment for the rational crowd here. Hannity’s new vice correspondent Ainsley Earhardt presented damning evidence against marijuana in the form of “we all know that one person from high school” who “let their dreams die” when they became potheads. Several other panelists pushed back (including Welch’s assertion that prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, so why would you think it applies here?), but Benson scored with a helpful reminder that you can’t and shouldn’t attempt to pass anecdotes off as factual evidence:
Matt Welch and Gavin McInnes Tag Team the Stupidity
Unlike the majority of videos here, which fall under “so bad it’s good” categorization, this clip is actually good. Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes started off by talking about his own recreational drug use and how he doesn’t want the government telling anyone what they can and cannot put in their body.
The panel’s designated “Hollywood reporter,” however, claimed it’s government’s job to foster a “role model”-based society that shuns drug use (she also had a bizarre aside about Obama’s affiliation with former coke dealer Jay Z); and a former Miss America concurred on that point.
Enter a visibly frustrated Reason editor-in-chief Matt Welch who derailed the segment (in a good way) by triumphantly scolding the panel: “But by locking them up in human cages for what they choose to put in their bodies, what kind of culture is that? Did you listen to the cop about what he did on the streets when he tried to enforce this? That is not moral, that is not conservative.”
Stay tuned for Mediaite’s coverage of Hannity’s next likely panel show on the scourge that is PREMARITAL SEX IN AMERICA. Or RAP MUSIC.
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