Sean Hannity Is Not a Journalist

Sean Hannity’s involvement in the January 6 insurrection was much discussed on MSNBC last night. We already knew that Hannity had been in contact with Mark Meadows during the riot. Hannity wanted Trump to put a stop to the rioting, which suggests that Hannity realized this was Trump’s party all along.

But yesterday the special House committee investigating the riot made public more of Hannity’s emails to White House Chief of Staff Meadows, including several communications while the insurrection was being planned. Two major points:

One, it’s beyond obvious from the released emails that Hannity saw himself as an operative of the Trump White House, part of Trump’s team, not an independent journalist. Hannity clearly was trying to protect Trump and influence what was being planned. In doing so, he sat on the scoop of a lifetime. He also can’t very well claim any sort of journalistic privilege or protection, although that’s what his lawyer did today. I’ll come back to that.

The committee has requested Hannity appear and answer some questions. According to Axios,

In a letter to Hannity, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) wrote that they seek “voluntary cooperation on a specific and narrow range of factual questions” and are not seeking “information regarding any of your broadcasts, or your political views or commentary.”

Two, Axios says that Hannity is being represented by Jay Sekulow, a lawyer on Trump’s legal team. The excellent Heather Cox Richardson points out in her email newsletter,

Hannity is apparently being represented in this matter by Jay Sekulow, a lawyer on Trump’s legal team, rather than lawyers from the Fox News Channel. While Sekulow has indicated he will object to the committee’s invitation on First Amendment grounds, the fact that the Fox News Channel seems to be standing back suggests that the corporation does not see the committee’s invitation as a First Amendment case involving freedom of the press and in fact might well be concerned that one of its lead personalities is connected to an event that should have been reported to the FBI.

Sekulow has complained to the committee that the request raises “serious constitutional issues including First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of the press.” Seriously? Again, these were not the communications of a journalist or investigator seeking information, but of someone trying to counsel and guide White House plans while studiously keeping these plans secret from the public.

Update: See Erik Wemple, Sean Hannity’s bottomless corruption.

Sean Hannity in happier (for him) times.

9 thoughts on “Sean Hannity Is Not a Journalist

  1. I love Hannity's barber shop quartet hair styling.

     "Daisey,Daisey, give your answer true. I'm half crazy all of the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage, but you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two."

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  2. During the W(worst President Ever) Regime, Sean Hannity did take time to set up the Freedom Alliance which was a huge scam as 95% of the money collected went right into his pocket. 

    According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10, 822, 785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers. Freedom Alliance’s 2007 tax returns aren’t much better. Out of $12,459,317 it raised that year, only $895,347–or just 7%–went to seriously wounded troops and scholarships for fallen troops.

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  3. Uh, don't the same rules apply to Hannity's action on behalf of Trump that applied to Chris Cuomo's  on behalf of his brother? You know, job termination?

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  4. FOX "news" can't justify defending Unibrow as a reporter, because not too long ago they escaped responsibility for MotherTucker TV-Dinner boy's lies and obfuscations by presenting the evening portion of their weekday schedule as "entertainment," and not as information.

    The bosses at FOX said that their network covers news in the daytime (I call BS on that, too!).

    Basically, FOX said people would have to be crazy or stupid to depend on Tucker, Sean, and Laura for their news.

    So, Sean is about as much a "reporter" as I am a member of The Flying Wallenda's. 

    And trust me, I'm not.

    I'm terrified of heights.  I slouch when I walk or stand because being over 6-feet tall, I get airsick when I stand fully up (I was going to say "erect," but I didn't want any erect/erection jokes).

    FOX can't claim 1st Amendment journalism protections because Sean isn't a reporter.

    What Sean is, is a propagandist.

    And a damn good one.  To the detriment of the country.

  5. Thx for the TPM link; the 1st word of the 1st text quoted ("We") proves your point – that Hannity was involved as a conspirator, not a journalist: 

       "We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office."

    To me, the more interesting question is who Hannity is really working & rooting for: Trump, or the GOP?

    FOX has obviously made a sound business decision to support the GOP in it's frantic project to save itself from Trump, but some of their most famous – and therefore profitable – bobbleheads (ie Carlson) are still Gish-galloping downhill with Trump.  It's not clear to me which side Hannity will take.

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  6. Oh, the stings to and from Rupert Murdoch do flow through Sean.  Ergo more a string than a journalist be he.  We know who Sean was texting to, but we don't know all the other communication that Sean was receiving.  My guess is at least a couple of pipelines full.  

    I like a string theory on the right-wing misinformation and propaganda machine.  Long ago I noted all the "breaking news" and latest spin was all coordinated to all their talking heads.  I figure the only way that can happen is if some core group gives them all the same memo at the same time.  Not a memo with a traceable sender's name for sure.  You know somewhere it gets a stamp of approval before it goes out. Just who the main puppet masters are…well…let us just say these things just don't happen by magic.  

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