Dave Silverman Talks to Sean Hannity About the Atheist Billboard in Times Square

Earlier tonight, Dave Silverman appeared on Sean Hannity‘s show on FOX News Channel (in a taped interview):

I’m shocked — shocked! — that the people they interviewed at the beginning were offended by the billboard:

Overall, it’s not much of a conversation. Just two guys talking past each other and Hannity trying to rattle off as many Christian talking points as possible (“You’re arrogant,” “You believe something came from nothing,” “You hate Christians,” etc).

The best part, hands down, was the last five seconds. Enjoy it!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • roberthughmclean

    Mr. Silverman! You’re worth your weight in gold.

  • http://www.bricewgilbert.blogspot.com Brice Gilbert

    Hannity does this a lot where he starts off by saying something like “I don’t care about your views. You can hold them it’s perfectly fine.” Seemingly starting off by letting the audience know that this isn’t going to be a debate where they change each others minds about religion itself. This will be about public policy etc.They will proceed to talk about the issue at hand, but before leaving he MUST get into a theological/scientific debate asking questions that he seems to think the atheist hasn’t heard before.

  • Ryan Bauer

    Bravo, Dave!

  • TiltedHorizon

    Silverman nailed it. Even though Hannity tried repeatedly to talk over him and cut him off, Silverman did not let his explanations and answers get derailed. Bravo.

    BTW. The last 5 seconds was hilarious. I could ‘hear’ the FUs being exchanged in their inflections.

  • Octoberfurst

    I sometimes wonder why Silverman bothers to go on the Hannity show. All Hannity does is insult him & all atheists by saying we’re “mean”, “narcissistic”, “rude” etc. But then I think that maybe, just maybe, one of of Hannity’s viewers will say to himself, “Hey that Silverman guy makes sense” and start along the path to reason and atheism. (Mind you I realize that most of Hannity’s audience is composed of brain-dead troglodytes but there is always hope that some can be reached.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597189284 Christopher Boyd

      That’s why Dave Silverman does it. He got made into a meme the last time he went on O’Reilly, and this time he got called a fascist. Most people in the guest chairs at Faux News being attacked, misrepresented, and lied to by the host would either succumb to rage and become physical with the host or at least come off like an asshole and get into a pissing contest with them, or else they would fold like a cheap lawn chair because they didn’t have enough spine or enough mental acuity to keep up.

      Dave Silverman is a different breed of cat, though. The man is cool in the face of lies, back-handed compliments, strawmen, fallacious arguments, misrepresentations, hypocrisy, and hate. He gives rational, thoughtful interviews, and he comes off looking like the bigger man each time. His opinions, and those of everyone who believes in the separation of church and state, are valid, and he presents them in a matter-of-fact way that makes people sit up and realize who the real bullies are. I can think of no better representative for an organization fighting for equality.

      Keep it up, Dave!

    • baal

      Hannity had a liberal punching bag named Colmes (he still exists somewhere). Colmes failed miserably to appear as anything other that a pathetic person. Silverman has been managing to appear like a decent likeable guy without coming off as a doormat. That’s great! It makes Sean Hannity and friends look like the terrible people they are.Should Silverman start to look like Colmes, then it’d be time to stop appearing. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      • Octoberfurst

        I watched Hannity & Colmes a couple times and hated it! Colmes was such a milquetoast and he let Hannity walk all over him. Even his counter-arguments were lame.
        Hannity: “Liberals just hate America!”
        Colmes: “Now Sean not ALL liberals hate America!” UGH!
        If Silverman was like Colmes and Hannity said that atheists were arrogant Silverman would have said something like: “Gee whiz you’re right Sean and I’m really sorry that we can be so nasty. But we want just want to get our message across. Albeit we just do it in a really crappy way. I want to personally apologize to all the Christians out there who were offended.”
        I am SO grateful that Silverman is a pit bull and not a poodle!

    • Seeker

      Ummm, no. No, Christians aren’t braindead troglodytes. This is a fact. Sorry to break it to you.

      • Octoberfurst

        You’re right. Not ALL Christians are brain-dead troglodytes. Just the majority of them. Sorry. My bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

    You know, I’d love to watch it. I really would. But if I have to hear any more stupidity from FOX News, I’m afraid I’m going to have a heart attack.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I’ve always liked David SIlverman, and every time I see him going head-to-head with the obnoxious jerks on Fox News I end up liking him even more.

    He makes me proud and grateful to be a dues-paying member of American Atheists.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    What I saw was Hannity repeatedly trying to bait David, and having to change subjects because none of them worked. That became most clear when he said he didn’t care what David believed, then tried to suck him into a cosmological debate with less than 30 sec left in the show.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Dave Silverman smoked Sean Hannity in that interview. Well done Mr. Silverman!

    Hannity is such an asshole casserole, and unfortunately an exemplar of much of the Christian Right.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Fuck! It’s so frustrating to watch a show like this. The segment is less than five minutes long. What to discuss? Atheist billboards campaigns, Christmas, religious social pressure, cosmology, evolution, the afterlife, several unfounded accusations and mischaracterizations of atheists…

  • DougI

    Ever since Glenn Beck left Inhannity had to bear the mantle of being the dumbest person on Fox, and there’s stiff competition.

  • KeithCollyer

    boy, that host is dumb, glad he isn’t on here in the UK

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597189284 Christopher Boyd

      The entire network, which has the word “News” in its title, employs nothing but morons as its hosts, each one more offensive, more self-aggrandizing, and more ignorant of reality than the next.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Fair and balanced my ass. Only one street interviewee had a dissenting opinion about the billboard and they cut her off before she could elaborate but it fits their demographic of “one out of ten.”

  • DKeane123

    I thought that was one of Silverman’s better interviews (hostile, that is).

  • Steve

    Fox news wasn’t doing itself any favors by having Silverman go on O’riely a few times before doing this. That’s like going from the majors to the minors in baseball. Just an easier battle for Silverman.

  • Weldo

    Dave gets better the more he does this.

  • Chad

    This is one if the best interviews Silverman has given. He was calm aand collected the whole time. Can you say taking the high road?

    Hanity’s reaction to the billboard illustrated Silverman’s point for him.

    The snarky, “merry christmas,” from Hannity seemed more like a f $@* you that a genuine wish of holiday cheer.

  • José Reyes

    This Sean Hannity guy managed to annoy me more than Bill O’Reilly.

  • Tainda

    I love the people on the street thinking the sign was trying to get people to believe in Santa but not Jesus rofl “They want us to believe in Santa? HA! They are so stupid! He’s not real! Crazy egotistical atheists”

    • Amy

      Too much, I was thinking the same thing. How stupid do they think we are? Like I pray to Santa or something. Of course they totally miss the point of the billboard. I live in Texas, I just ask people how they are planning to spend their Winter Solstice. I’m not a pagan but I think it’s fun to see their expressions.

  • cathouseumbrella

    I though it was funny how many southerners they managed to interview on the streets of NYC.

  • Amy

    What Silverman says it totally true for me and my family. For years we attended church even though I never really believed because, I did believe, for a long time, the myth that says that good people are religious. The idea that you can’t be a moral person without religion. After talking to my husband and our three children, they admitted that they were feeling the same way also. We got tired of spinning plates of religion.The funny part is, we live in Texas and many of our neighbors think we are Christians just because of the way we treat people, when they find out we aren’t they behave as if we just sold our souls to the devil. Funny, we were the same people yesterday

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

    I think I would like this billboard more if they’d shown a picture of the nativity. Crucified Jesus just looks unpleasant.

  • Hudson Colvin

    Kudos to Silverman, good job! This billboard is the equivalent of “Remember the reason for the Season” or “Keep Christ in Christmas”. We have the same right as Christians to reach out and influence. Hannity should be asked if Christian outreach is inappropriate.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Why have I never seen Dave Silverman interviewed on CNN, or MSNBC, or CBS, or NBC, or anywhere other than Focks Noose? Did I miss it? Was I in the bathroom? Why again, and again, and again do these right wing mouthpieces want to talk to atheists, but legitimate newscasters show no interest at all?


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