For a long while at Fox News there was a competition for dung-slinging on the national airwaves between the two fire-breathing Irish potato heads, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Both were masters of propaganda thinly disguised as “fair and balanced” news. They peddled unfounded conspiracy theories and dubious facts, shouted down guests with opposing viewpoints, were guilty of gross hypocrisy and stoked the partisan divide to a fever pitch— all for Fox ratings and to keep the conservative base both ignorant and fired up to vote against “libtard traitors.”
Thankfully, O’Reilly did himself in with sexist assholery, and we have been spared his bellowing shenanigans for over two years. But sidekick Hannity has more than taken up the slack, spewing more dung for Trump than a herd of elephants with dysentery. His slavish dog act began in the 2016 primaries, when he gave more airtime to his master Donald than any other Republican candidate, while actually working behind the scenes with Trump’s campaign staff, offering suggestions on strategy and “messaging,” which he duly regurgitated. He even appeared at a Trump rally. Sure, real journalists may be liberal or conservative and favor certain candidates, but this was a first in the modern era of broadcast journalism—blatant campaigning, instead of news reporting, at a major network. When word of his secret campaigning got out, Hannity dismissed it with this confession: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States…I never claimed to be a journalist.”
There you have it straight from the horse’s big mouth: Hannity is no journalist. If he were honest, he’d wear a MAGA hat every night, since he speaks with the President so often that a Trump adviser said Hannity “basically has a desk in the place,” meaning the White House. Along with his false identity as a journalist, Hannity has flushed all traditional journalistic ethics down the toilet as well: When Trump’s squealing consiglieri Michael Cohen was being prosecuted, Hannity defended him on his nightly squawk box without revealing that Cohen was also his own lawyer!
He also flapped his big mouth in defense of Roger Ailes, Bill Shine and Bill O’Reilly when those three musketeers were outed for running Fox like a medieval sheikh’s harem. It’s obligatory to give lip service to the #MeToo movement these days, but that’s all it is for Hannity: As far as we know, Sean didn’t grope the women at Fox himself, but it’s inconceivable that he didn’t know what was going on all around him for years. His silence and tolerance allowed it to continue, and his defense of the three randy stooges added insult to injury for all of their victims.