Awkward Silence: Sean Hannity refrains from discussing Keith Olbermann's suspension

Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

Last Friday, Fox News' Sean Hannity refrained from discussing MSNBC's decision earlier that day to suspend host Keith Olbermann for having contributed to political candidates. Hannity's silence on Olbermann's suspension speaks volumes about his own actions.

After all, Hannity has personally contributed to GOP candidates and regularly promotes and allows GOP candidates to use his show as a fundraising platform. Thus, it isn't surprising that the Fox superstar would remain silent.

Hannity's support for the GOP has been captured well by the remarks of former Tea Party favorite Sharon Angle who wrote that she would appear on Fox News' Hannity as "part of our push" to raise $1 million online. Christine O'Donnell, former GOP Senate candidate in Delaware, reportedly bragged that she had Hannity in her "back pocket."

Come to think of it, it would have been rather awkward of Hannity to mention Olbermann's suspension.

Below is a full list of Hannity's GOP boosterism as previously reported by Media Matters:

Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Meg Whitman for Governor (CA)

  • On his October 5 radio program, Hannity told Whitman that he hoped she wins; Whitman responded that "we're going to deliver for you."

Christine O'Donnell for Senate (DE)

  • O'Donnell reportedly said in a strategy meeting with establishment Republicans, "I've got Sean Hannity in my back pocket, and I can go on his show and raise money by attacking you guys." Reporter Howard Fineman has noted that Hannity has "expressed sympathy with O'Donnell's fiscal plight and gave a glowing review of her performance in last night's televised debate with Coons. Hannity criticized party insiders for not backing her with cash or endorsements."
  • Joe Strupp reported that a Fox News source previously said O'Donnell appeared on Hannity in September after canceling on Fox News Sunday to "get a certain kind of treatment."
  • O'Donnell thanked Hannity on his Fox News program on September 15.

Todd Tiahrt for Senate (KS)

Michele Bachmann (MN)

  • $5,000 donation to Bachmann's political action committee, MICHELEPAC.
  • Bachmann is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity's radio and television shows.

Michel Faulkner for Congress (NY)

John Gomez for Congress (NY)

  • Newsday reported that Gomez is "among the GOP front-runners to take on five-term Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) because he has an 800-pound gorilla in his corner: megastar radio and Fox TV conservative pundit Sean Hannity."
  • Newsday reported that Hannity assured local New York party leaders that he would "do all he could" to promote Gomez, help him fundraise, and bring in headliners for events.
  • According to FEC records, Hannity and his wife donated a total of $9,600 to Gomez's campaign for the primary and general. Hannity mentioned the donations on his radio program, and helped solicit donations for Gomez.
  • Newsday reported (via Nexis) that "Gomez arranged Gingrich's [fundraising] visit through childhood friend and TV host Sean Hannity."
  • Hannity hosted Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on his Fox News program to promote her campaign event with Gomez in New York.

John Kasich for Governor (OH)

  • October 2009 fundraiser.
  • Hannity was scheduled to do an April fundraiser but it was reportedly canceled.
  • A September 4, 2008, Plain Dealer article (retrieved from Nexis) reported that Hannity "has been encouraging Kasich to run for governor." A Dayton Daily News article (from Nexis) that day similarly reported that Hannity "pledged to give $10,000 to Kasich's campaign should he run, as well as have his wife give another $10,000."
  • Hannity has repeatedly touted Kasich on his Fox News program.
  • Hannity told Kasich on his radio program in October: "I stand proudly in Kasich's corner with an endorsement as long as it doesn't hurt you."

Ilario Pantano for Congress (NC)

  • On his September 13 Fox News program, Hannity told Pantano that "you belong in Congress, I'm very impressed."
  • In an email, Pantano highlighted the Fox News exchange to raise campaign funds. The campaign also issued a press release calling the Hannity praise a "significant achievement."

John Raese for Senate (WV)

  • On his October 13 radio program, Hannity told Raese that he's "urging" West Virginians to help him and then said, "If we can help, please let us know."

National Republican Congressional Committee

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
The Sean Hannity Show
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