Tag Archives: Sean Hannity

Media have become part of ‘the story’

I long have hated the notion of the media becoming part of the story they are covering. Yet that’s what is happening in the current tumult involving Donald J. Trump, the “enemy of the people” and those in the media who love taking pot shots at each other.

CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent target of the president’s barbs, fired off this tweet aimed at competitor Sean Hannity, a commentator at Fox News:

Hannity is a propagandist for profit, peddling lies every night. He says he’s just a talk show host, not a journalist. But he’s injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream warping public attitudes about the press. I’m confident in the long run the truth will prevail.

Never mind that I happen to agree with Acosta. Hannity is every bit the “propagandist” that Acosta calls him. He is riddled with conflicts of interest, given his professional relationship with Trump’s former confidant, Michael Cohen, and his continuing personal friendship with the president himself.

But, I digress. No need to rehash what you know to be the obvious, which is that I detest Hannity.

Still, I do not like the notion of the media becoming the story in and of themselves. I am a rather old-fashioned sort of guy. I prefer the media simply cover the story to which they are assigned. Report the news. If the subject of their coverage objects to the tone, the tenor or the timing of the story, let ’em rant. Don’t respond. Don’t fire back.

Of course, Trump has ratcheted up the criticism to an unacceptable level. This idiotic mantra about the media being the “enemy of the people” is unhealthy, unAmerican, unpatriotic and totally unacceptable. And for this president, the purveyor in chief of lies and prevarication, to blame others for reporting “fake news” gives hypocrisy a bad name.

That all said, the nature of the media’s role as watchdogs for the public has evolved to a form that makes me quite uncomfortable.

Hannity needs a new gig: How about WH adviser?

Sean Hannity is crossing a serious line that is supposed to separate the media from those on whom they report and provide commentary.

The Fox News host reportedly talks regularly with Donald John Trump, as in nightly after his TV talk show. The president is a big fan of Hannity, who’s been a stalwart defender of the president throughout his entry into public life as a candidate for high office and then an occupier of it.

I have argued that Hannity isn’t a journalist in the sense of the word we normally associate with it. He isn’t trained in the craft. He dropped out of two colleges. He has been a staple of conservative media for many years, owing to his gift of gab.

I have an idea for Hannity to ponder. Give up the Fox gig and ask your pal the POTUS if he has something for you to do at the White House. He doesn’t have a communications director. The last one, Hope Hicks, quit. I figure that Hannity is at least as qualified as the previous two communications chiefs, Hicks and The Mooch — aka Anthony Scaramucci.

Hannity already has been outed as a secret “client” of one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen. Yeah, yeah, I know: Hannity says he wasn’t an actual “client” of Cohen, that they discussed real estate issues or some other nonsense. But he does have a relationship with him and he failed to disclose that relationship while he took up the cudgel in Cohen’s defense while also defending Cohen’s other client, Donald Trump.

But if the reports are true of Hannity’s cozy relationship with the president — that he might be discussing policy issues with him and perhaps even briefing the Big Man on what he ought to say about this and/or that — then quit the pretense.

Ask Trump for a job. I’d bet real American money he would find one for you. Fox won’t have any trouble finding someone to replace you on the air.

Hannity fluffs a basic tenet

Sean Hannity’s backside is in a bit of a sling for a reason that could have been dodged with a simple declaration. It would have been a painless admission.

The Fox News commentator was revealed this week to be a “secret client” of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, the guy who’s been involved up to his armpits in a sleazy tryst that the president allegedly had with Stormy Daniels, a porn star.

The conflict? Well, Hannity has spent a lot of air time on TV and the radio defending Cohen and Donald Trump.

And … he never disclosed that he had a professional relationship with Cohen. He never told his viewers of his clear conflict of interest. Hannity never thought it was necessary to put his defense of Cohen and the president in anything resembling a proper context.

I get that Hannity isn’t a trained journalist. He does participate in a form of opinion broadcast journalism with his nightly TV commentary show and his syndicated radio show. Thus, Hannity should be forced to operate under the rules of conduct that journalists are obligated to follow when they report or comment on the news of the day.

A simple declaration at the front end of every broadcast that features a defense of Michael Cohen and Donald Trump would be a simple task to perform.

One more thing: To its great discredit, the Fox News Channel says it stands by Hannity. The network that actually does employ legitimate broadcast journalists doesn’t see where its right-wing superstar has gone wrong.

Shameful.

The cat’s out of the bag, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity isn’t a journalist. He’s a talking head with lots of opinions. He works for the Fox News Channel and has a radio show on which he gets to bloviate and bellow his right-wing screeds.

I don’t begrudge him that privilege. He’s even won some awards for his on-air work. He also has earned some condemnation for his promoting of false conspiracies, aka “fake news.”

Oh, but now we know that his defense of Donald J. Trump and his relentless attack on the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer’s office has a qualifier that, um, should have been disclosed when Hannity began unloading on the FBI. Hannity and Michael Cohen, the lawyer in question, have a professional relationship.

Cohen also represents Trump. He paid out $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep the porn queen quiet about a tryst she had with Trump in 2006. The FBI is looking for more information relating to that payoff. So, it obtained a search warrant from a federal judge and seized some documents.

Hannity has gone ballistic over it.

But don’t you think viewers and listeners deserve to know about Hannity’s particular interest in this matter? The tenets of full disclosure require it. Journalists know it.

According to The Hill: Hannity downplayed his interactions with Cohen, asserting that he’d never formally represented him in legal proceedings.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective,” Hannity tweeted, adding that those conversations “dealt almost exclusively about real estate.”

Fine, young man. Any dealings with a lawyer in the news — let alone one who is involved in a sleazy, tawdry controversy involving the president of the United States — need to be disclosed to ensure that viewers and listeners can put what they’re hearing in a more complete context.

Not that it likely would matter to Sean Hannity’s fans in TV and Radio Land.

But, still …

Sean Hannity ‘bad for America’?

I feel the need to take issue with legendary newsman Ted Koppel, who believes a notable Fox News commentator is “bad for America.”

The target of Koppel’s epithet is Sean Hannity, the well-known conservative provocateur and gabby apologist for Donald John Trump.

Koppel scolds Hannity

Koppel told Hannity to his face — on a “CBS Sunday Morning” segment — that he is a bad influence on listeners to his radio show and viewers to his TV show. Hannity’s response was on target, in my view. It was that viewers/listeners know when they’re listening to opinion or straight news.

Given that Hannity is not a journalist by training, he spouts opinion on the air. I get that. As I’ve always said … and this is the clean-up version: Opinions are like certain body orifices; everyone has one.

Do I think he’s “bad” for the country, that he somehow poisons Americans with his right-wing dogma? Not really.

You see, we all have choices. I’ve made my own as it regards Hannity. I don’t listen to his radio show or watch him on TV. I know what he thinks. I disagree with him. I choose instead to listen to more thoughtful conservatives. A number of them come to mind.

If I want to hear an analysis from a smart conservative, I’ll look elsewhere.

Hannity? He’s simply a blowhard.

Media stars jousting over candidates of their choice

10456

My list of pet peeves has grown over the years as I have grown older.

I don’t call myself a curmudgeon, but I do at times come off as a fuddy-duddy. Some things about contemporary journalism, for instance, annoy me greatly.

Such as when reporters and commentators become newsmakers. My old-school thought is that they should be apart from the action. They can report on it and, yes, comment on it without making hay.

That all said, now we have two Fox News stars jousting with each other. News anchor Megyn Kelly has become a “supporter” of Hillary Rodham Clinton, says avid Donald J. Trump ally Sean Hannity.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/megyn-kelly-sean-hannity-trade-barbs-over-trump-treatment-229220

The feud is on.

Hannity is a commentator. He is a strong conservative voice on the “fair and balanced” cable network. He’s been in Trump’s camp since the beginning of this presidential campaign.

Now he’s decided to challenge Kelly, who serves another function at Fox; she is a news anchor. She’s also a pretty solid journalist. Kelly had the bad form, I guess in Hannity’s view, to ask Trump some tough questions way back during that first GOP primary debate. She wanted Trump to explain his highly offensive comments about women. The exchange that ensued sparked a feud that continues to this day.

That makes Kelly a Hillary Clinton supporter, according to Hannity.

I should note that of the two, Megyn Kelly is the one with a journalism education and professional background. Hannity lacks those educational credentials; he’s a talker.

I, frankly, don’t much care who she intends to vote for when the time comes. It shouldn’t even be a topic for public discussion. But then we have Hannity — who doesn’t hide his own bias — trying to make noise … which is all this is, in my humble view.

These media stars need to settle down. They ought to stop firing their barbs at each other and concentrate on the individuals and policies on which they report and offer opinion.

Who’s the major culprit in this goofy exchange?

Sean Hannity. Of course!

My advice to the young man? Knock it off, dude, and keep on shilling for Trump.

The doc softens his view of a Muslim president

deadstate-Ben-Carson

It turns out that Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t really and truly think no Muslim could serve as president of the United States.

The good doctor is right to change his mind … more or less.

Sharia law at issue

Carson  — one of 15 candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination — said on “Meet the Press” that Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. Thus, he said, he couldn’t ever condone the idea of a Muslim running for president.

Now he says something different — and much more reasonable.

He believes now that if a Muslim were to disavow Sharia law then, by golly, he’d be all right with a Muslim running for — and possibly becoming — president of the United States.

You see — and I am sure Dr. Carson knows this — the Constitution is a secular document to which all presidents swear to defend and protect.

His purported fear of Sharia law was nonsense on its face when he said it over the weekend.

Anyone who takes the oath swears to set his or her religious faith aside when performing the duties of the public office. Sen. John F. Kennedy faced accusations during the 1960 presidential campaign that he would take orders — as a Roman Catholic — from the Vatican. He torched that concern with one speech in September 1960 in which he would promise fealty only to the Constitution were he to win the election.

According to The Hill newspaper: “If someone has a Muslim background, and they’re willing to reject those tenets [of Sharia law] and to accept the way of life we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion,” the 2016 hopeful said in a Monday night interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel, “then I would then be quite willing to support them.”

There you have it. Reason and sanity have taken their rightful place in this discussion.

'Mistakes were made' in Iraq … do you think?

There goes Jeb Bush, using that maddening passive-voice cliché that declares “mistakes were made.”

The mistakes occurred in Iraq after his brother, former President George W. Bush, invaded that country on a bogus premise that the Iraqis possessed weapons of mass destruction.

He told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly that he’d invade Iraq also, even he knew there were no WMD.

Now he’s backing away from the statement, telling conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity that predicting what he’d do is a “hypothetical” situation.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/jeb-bush-backs-off-support-of-iraq-invasion/ar-BBjH0wT

The former Florida governor is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination next year. He’s almost certain to join a growing GOP field.

He’d better get his Iraq War spiel lined out.

He told Hannity that President Bush learned from the “faulty intelligence” on which he relied to launch the March 2003 invasion. I guess that’s his view. As for the former president, he hasn’t yet revealed what precisely he “learned” from the mistaken intelligence-gathering.

I’m actually hoping Bush gets his act together. His party needs someone with a reputation for moderation running for president. The TEA party wing of the GOP has a lot of champions in the hunt already for the White House — and I expect fully that Gov. Bush will try to sound like one of them as he launches his own presidential bid.

His record, though, tells a different story.

Jeb Bush’s first major obstacle, though, is to persuade the country he is no carbon copy of his brother.

 

Rudy wraps himself in 9/11 tragedy

Rudy Guiliani is becoming more shameless by the hour.

After saying that President Barack Obama doesn’t love America, the former New York City mayor has essentially doubled down on that criticism by telling right-wing talk show host Sean Hannity that Obama “didn’t live through 9/11; I did.”

http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/02/19/rudy-giuliani-invokes-911-to-reinforce-his-clai/202583

So, what is the former mayor suggesting? It might be that he’s glorifying his involvement in a crisis that was thrust upon him by those terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Center.

No one with any memory of that terrible day would begrudge the mayor for the role he played in rallying his city and, thus, the country in the wake of horrifying tragedy. I certainly get it. His Honor stood tall, along with President Bush.

But why bring that up now as he criticizes President Obama — wrongly, in my view?

He’s suggesting the president doesn’t take international terrorism seriously enough. He posited the ridiculous notion that Obama doesn’t love the country.

Now he says he’s justified in criticizing the president because he was mayor of New York on the morning that the terrorists stunned the world with their brazen attack on the United States of America.

No, Mr. Mayor. You were in the wrong place at the right time. That’s all. Yes, you responded heroically — but your actions — by themselves — don’t give you the right to question the president’s love of country.

 

Garner case is not about taxation

Conservative talking heads keep trying to change the subject while discussing the case involving Eric Garner, the black man choked to death in New York by a white police officer.

It’s reprehensible for them to try to turn the argument to something as ridiculous as taxation.

http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/12/08/hannity-to-tavis-smiley-about-the-role-of-race/201804

The video link attached here is difficult to watch. It features Fox News commentator Sean Hannity arguing with PBS commentator Tavis Smiley over the grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York police officer who choked Garner to death. It’s difficult because the two of them keep arguing over each other, each trying to outshout the other. Perhaps the funniest part is when Hannity (a white guy) tells Smiley (a black guy) that he needs “to be educated” about how African-Americans should react to the Garner case and the one involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

But in the midst of the verbal melee, Hannity — quite predictably — tries to suggest the real villain here is a government that insists on taxing cigarettes in an effort to get as much money as it can.

What the … ?

Garner had been approached by the police for selling “loose cigarettes.” He was selling them individually, I guess to make a few bucks on the side. I presume that’s an illegal act, which is why the cops were hassling Garner in the first place.

Well, he argued back, telling the police he wasn’t doing anything wrong. One of them grabbed Garner in a chokehold, wrestled him to the ground, ignoring Garner’s “I can’t breathe” pleas.

Garner passed out and then died.

And Hannity — along with other right-wingers — wants to say the real villain is a tax policy that prohibits people from selling cigarettes in the manner that Eric Garner sought to sell them?

I cannot believe the crassness of such an argument.