Greg Sargent raises the possibility that Sean Hannity's jealousy may be getting the better of him. Overshadowed in recent months by FOX colleague Glenn Beck, Hannity is waging a vicious smear campaign against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings.
Just last night, Hannity claimed (citing a Washington Times report) that Jennings covered up a "statutory rape." But evidence indicates the episode in question was not statutory rape -- the individual involved was at the legal age of consent.
Falsely accusing someone of covering up the rape of a minor is a pretty sleazy move, even for Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity doesn't have much credibility outside the right-wing fever swamps -- but he probably has more than Beck. For now. Sargent thinks Hannity's jealousy may be getting him in trouble:
So what's driving Hannity's jihad? One wonders whether it's driven by the fact that Beck is experiencing a ratings surge that has to have Hannity spooked big time. The just-released Fox News third quarter ratings show that Beck's surge dwarfs Hannity's by a wide margin.
Beck's overall viewership has climbed an astonishing 89%, and in the key 25-54 demo it has exploded by 136%. By contrast, Hannity's overall viewership has climbed a measly nine percent, and in the key demo it's jumped only 17%.
Pretty paltry performance, given all the passions unleashed by the Age of Obama. What's more, Beck inhabits the lowly 5 PM slot while Hannity enjoys the plum 9 PM perch.
Would Hannity be pursuing Jennings scalp if Beck hadn't seen his popularity surge in the wake of Jones' firing? Maybe. At the very least, though, maybe this explains the zeal driving Hannity. He wants his own scalp! Call it a quest for Beckian glory...