For anyone who tuned into Fox News in the early days, Alan Colmes was the voice of the left on a channel that did not try to hide its conservative biases. Paired with Sean Hannity for the first decade of the network’s rise to cable-news dominance, Colmes played an integral role in solidifying the Fox News brand – even as he disagreed with nearly everything his co-host said. And while we doubt that he won many conservative viewers over with his arguments, he certainly brought the best out of Hannity, forcing him to defend his principles and sharpening him into the political icon he soon became.
With his death on Friday, Colmes was remembered fondly by Hannity and other conservatives who agreed that beneath the liberal views was a man they respected deeply.
“Despite major political differences, we forged a deep friendship,” Hannity said in a statement. “Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I’ve ever seen. And through it all, he showed his incredible wit and humor that was Alan’s signature throughout his entire life. I’m truly heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend.”
Hannity said their divided views never bloomed into personal animosity.
“We had a deep, abiding friendship. It was never personal when we disagreed,” he said. “The world is a little darker place today because a really great human being left us.”
Other conservatives paid their respects on social media.
“So sad to hear of the death of Fox News colleague Alan Colmes,” wrote Brit Hume. “He and I agreed on little, but I liked him immensely. Good guy. RIP.”
Meghan McCain called Colmes a “very nice, genuine man I had the pleasure to work with.”
Greta Van Susteren said, “Alan Colmes was always a gentleman…always kind…a wonderful colleague.”
Even Ann Coulter, a woman not exactly known for lapses into sentimentality, was shocked by the news.
“WHAT? @AlanColmes passed away?????” she wrote on Twitter. “Noooooooooooo! Very sad. He was a good guy. Always surprised people that way.”
Colmes was not shy about defending his liberal views, but he was not the type of liberal that has grown so common in recent years. He was not a raving moonbat. He was not so arrogant in his beliefs that he treated conservatives like sub-human beasts. He wasn’t afraid to step out of his bubble and recognize that intelligent Americans could disagree about politics without descending into hysteria.
While today’s Democrats fight to see who can take the anti-Trump movement to the furthest extremes, perhaps a few of them will instead learn from Colmes’ example, treat their political opponents with respect, and argue their viewpoints from a foundation of fact. They’ll be doing their party – and their country – a tremendous service.