Fox News Channel’s Alan Colmes died last Thursday at age 66, following a brief illness. Sean Hannity, his co-host on the long-running Hannity & Colmes, called him “one of life’s most decent, kind, and wonderful people you’d ever want to meet.” Alan Colmes was articulate and steadfast in his beliefs. And I will never forget the times I spoke with Alan Colmes personally.
By “personally,” I mean I called his radio program to debate with him, as did thousands of others. I’ve been a fan of talk radio my whole life. And of all the political talk show hosts I’ve ever listened to, I can’t think of any with whom I disagreed more adamantly than Alan Colmes. Still, I called his show.
There was something special about this guy. You could disagree with him, but you couldn’t really dislike him. I listened to his podcasts regularly. I rejected his big government liberalism and constant Trump bashing. But I kept coming back.
When I called his show, he treated me with respect and dignity. To him, I was just “Mark from Houston.” To me, he was the man I wanted to convert.
I failed, as had many before me. But I still loved Alan Colmes and I loved his show.
It says a lot for Fox News – a conservative network – that they featured Colmes on TV and radio for decades. And it says a lot for Alan Colmes that he was willing to stand his ground. I’m sure he could have fled for more liberal pastures. MSNBC would have been thrilled to get him.
But for Alan Colmes, debate mattered. He was all about mixing it up in the public arena of radio and television. And while he never changed his views, he never lost his humanity, either.
Alan Colmes was a man of warmth, humor, and passion. For that he will be missed. Whether you are liberal or conservative, this is a day to remember and reflect. In the banter of political debate, there are winners and losers. But in the passing of Alan Colmes, we all lose.