OREM — Pick your poison.

You can have Michael Moore spewing his liberal views alone.

Or you can have Sean Hannity making conservative counterattacks at him.

The latter is not only Hannity's preference, but his own suggestion, which he shared Thursday morning with Doug Wright on KSL Newsradio 1160.

"I'd be glad to take him on," Hannity told Wright. "I don't think he'd have the courage to stand up and debate me, but if he does, I'd be glad to do it."

Hannity said he would debate for free, as long as the college covers his transportation costs, which he estimated to be well under $40,000 — the price UVSC's student government is paying Moore to speak on Oct. 20 to its student body and the general public, who can purchase $10 tickets starting today at SmithsTix or through the McKay Events Center.

But the likelihood of Hannity debating Moore is slim, said student government vice president Joe Vogel.

"A debate is probably not possible," Vogel said. "But we're hoping to get (Hannity) the next day or that week so that we can have them both share their points of view separately because I think it would be very difficult to get that (a debate) accomplished at that same time."

Vogel said the council is finalizing a deal with Hannity's producers to bring him to UVSC after Moore's appearance, in an attempt to provide an informative and balanced political dialogue for the public.

In a Survey USA poll commissioned by KSL-TV, a majority of Utahns — 73 percent of 500 surveyed — said it is very or somewhat important for colleges to invite speakers "who offer differing views on current events." (The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percent.)

When asked specifically whether Moore is an "appropriate" speaker to invite to a college campus, 45 percent of the 337 responding to that question said he is, and 51 percent said he's not. When asked if UVSC is "obligated to invite another speaker to present an opposing point of view," 61 percent of the 337 responding said it is, 34 percent said it is not. On both of the latter two questions, the margin of error was plus or minus 5.4 percent.

"I don't know about a debate, but Mr. Hannity is certainly welcome on our campus, and we will certainly facilitate him coming here," UVSC President William Sederburg said. "I'm delighted that he wants to come because I do think there needs to be balance, and Mr. Hannity is sort of a Utah favorite."

It remains unclear if Hannity would still speak at a reduced price if he can't debate with Moore.

On his own radio show Thursday afternoon, however, Hannity suggested that he and Moore put $50,000 each on the table during their debate and let students decide who wins the cash, which would then be donated to the winner's charity of choice.

The student council is annually allotted $50,000 in student fees to bring in speakers to campus, though Vogel noted the school is expecting to make back a large chunk of what it is paying Moore through donations and ticket sales.

When word leaked Tuesday that $40,000 would be spent on Moore, a wildfire of controversy spread among conservative UVSC students and others opposed to the filmmaker's negative depiction of Bush and the war on terrorism in his latest film, "Fahrenheit 9/11" — the highest-grossing documentary ever made.

UVSC student Sean Vreeland is organizing a student petition to recall the council's decision to have Moore speak, as well as remove some council members from office.

But he's happy to hear that Hannity may come.

"This way students are going to get a better view to help them to vote," Vreeland said. "Just hearing one point of view isn't going to prepare anybody to vote better, and that's one of our goals here at UVSC."

Whether or not Hannity comes, Vogel said the efforts to arrange the visit has helped students understand that the council is open to political discourse on all sides.

And that means less threatening e-mails for him and a more peaceful campus for everyone, he said.

"Our plan the whole time was to get a high-profile speaker on both sides," Vogel said. "Michael Moore just happened to fall into place first."


Contributing: KSL Newsradio 1160, KSL-TV

E-mail: lwarner@desnews.com