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John Hollenhorst ReportingSean Hannity's upcoming appearance has stirred up some sparks. And it's helping sell lots of tickets, for the annual Stadium of Fire extravaganza.
Sean Hannity is one of those media lightning rods who channels a lot of today’s hot political passions. The sparks tend to fly. People tend to love him or hate him.
So is he too divisive for an event that's supposed to bring people together? Is conservative host Hannity a prefect fit with the Stadium of Fire where everyone is supposed to come together to celebrate America's virtues?
A series of letters-to-the-editor have chastised Hannity for his alleged divisiveness and right-wing extremism.
John Costa, Letter Writer: "What he represents is a viewpoint that's very intolerant. It's very narrow-minded and very one sided. And I don't believe Sean Hannity's viewpoints represent Utah, with the diversity that we have."
Hannity's show publicized the controversy coast-to-coast. So Provo's Mayor checked in with him by phone.
Lewis Billings, Provo mayor "Greetings from Provo, Sean."
Sean Hannity: "Hey thank you. I assume I'm still welcome out there. I hope I am."
Lewis Billings, Provo mayor: "There is a lot of support, a lot of interest, and a lot of enthusiasm for this celebration, and for your coming. So you're absolutely welcome and it wouldn't be the American way if we didn't have somebody disappointed or angry about something."
Most Utahns seem to agree with the mayor.
KSL's exclusive poll by Survey USA shows 37% are familiar with Sean Hannity. Sixty-seven percent of those say Hannity is an appropriate emcee for Stadium of Fire.
Should the Stadium of Fire be non-partisan? Fifty-three percent of Utahns say that's very important.
Are most liberals patriotic? Twenty-eight percent say they are unpatriotic while 53 percent say most liberals are patriotic.
John Costa/letter writer: "Absolutely. I mean, liberals, you know, people on the left love this country just as much as people on the right do."
As it turns out, Hannity will have a worldwide audience on the 4th of July. The Stadium of Fire celebration will be broadcast to U.S. troops overseas.