Throughout this mind-boggling, scream-inducing and hair-pulling election, much of the blame for Trump’s success in securing the Republican nomination has been attributed to the mainstream media. The lack of coverage of substantive issues by the likes of CNN, NBC, Fox News, CBS and ABC has certainly illuminated the corporate shadow over these networks. However, this is not to say the blame lies on all of them as a whole, or even one in particular. There is plenty of blame to go around for the rise of an egotistic narcissist running on the ticket of a party whose first president had a humble upbringing. Even so, I would like to focus on one individual: Sean Hannity.
Though Hannity holds a primetime hour on the United States’ most watched cable news network, Fox News, it would be wrong to define his position as anything more than a television personality.
“I never claimed to be a journalist,” Hannity said by his own admission.
Any nonpartisan individual would be able to infer this based on just a few of Hannity’s one-hour programs. Once, Hannity aired a video of Clinton having what some believed could be a possible seizure. In actuality, it was a comical gesture Clinton was making to reporters, which was corroborated by one of the reporters present, Lisa Lerer of the Associated Press. A real journalist would not have claimed this as fact without first corroborating it.
This is why Hannity uses his prime-time hour unlike any other cable news host (which includes the likes of liberals such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews). Hannity’s prime-time show is essentially a daily, one-hour commercial for Donald Trump.
“Do I talk to my friend who I’ve known for years and speak my mind? I can’t not speak my mind,” Hannity said in a New York Times article. “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.”
There is also the fact that Trump has appeared on Hannity’s show no less than 41 times since announcing his campaign last June.
Conservative Jonah Goldberg wrote in a column that Hannity was like a “puppy barking to protect its master from a parked car or a small child vowing to vanquish all of his enemies with his plastic sword.” Even though this was a tad overzealous, Goldberg was correct.
Hannity says and does anything to advance a so-called “Republican agenda.” As illustrated by an appearance by Jon Stewart on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Hannity is a notorious flip-flopper. In the segment, Stewart revisits Hannity’s criticism of Obama when he called him, “anything but mainstream. Sitting in his million-dollar home claiming to be for the people, we have to wonder how in touch he is with the average American.”
But has Hannity said anything negative about “The guy [Trump] who sits in a literal golden throne at the top of a golden tower with his name in gold letters at the top of it eating pizza with a knife and fork,” as Jon Stewart remarked?
It is clear that Hannity is not a journalist and it is clear that he uses his hour of prime-time television to promote all things Trump. So, I’ll borrow a line from John Oliver; Sean Hannity — how is this still a thing?