Sean Hannity

Tags ››› Sean Hannity
  • Rudy Giuliani’s Latest Attack On Clinton’s Health Comes From Breitbart News And Sean Hannity’s Conspiracy Theories

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    When challenged by CNN to answer why he questions Hillary Clinton’s health, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani cited baseless smears reported by anti-Clinton Breitbart News and Fox News’ Sean Hannity. These smears have been repeatedly debunked.

    In an August 24 CNN report on the Trump campaign’s attacks against Hillary Clinton, Murray confronted former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani over his baseless “questioning” of Clinton’s health. Giuliani cited two examples of Clinton’s purported illness from Breitbart News and Fox News’ Sean Hannity -- Clinton’s late return to a debate stage last December and her head shaking in a recent interview -- as “rather bizarre” instances needing explanation. 

    SARA MURRAY: You don't see any problem with questioning the possibility of the Democratic nominee’s health based on no fact?

    RUDY GIULIANI: What do you mean not based on facts? There were rather bizarre things that happened, like that time that her head started shaking in the middle of an interview and the time she got off the stage for some period of time during a debate. 

    [...]

    This isn't based on no facts. Do those do those facts mean she's seriously ill? I don't know. 

    The two examples cited by Giuliani were circulated by Breitbart News and Sean Hannity as evidence that Clinton is in poor health. 

    In January, Breitbart news posted an article claiming Clinton’s “disappearance from the debate stage” during a commercial break was due to one of her “long-lasting symptoms stemming from a concussion and blood clot,” despite it being widely reported that Clinton’s late return was due to a restroom break. 

    Fox News’ Sean Hannity devoted a segment on his August 10 television show scandalizing Clinton’s “violent, out-of-control” and “seizure-esque” movements as evidence that she suffers from seizures. However AP reporter Lisa Lerer, who stood directly behind Clinton at the moment in question, wrote on August 12 that Clinton was "taken aback” by shouting and a bevy of questions by reporters during a campaign event and responded “with an exaggerated motion, shaking her head vigorously.” The AP reporter criticized Hannity for the “unfounded speculation” and using her to support his “conspiracy theory.”

  • Sean Hannity Has Given Donald Trump $31 Million In Free Publicity

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS, CARLOS MAZA & BEN DIMIERO

    Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been informally advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while serving as its primary media cheerleader, has effectively turned his nightly prime-time show into Trump’s second campaign headquarters. According to a Media Matters analysis, Hannity’s program has given Trump what amounts to more than $31 million in free advertising in the form of dozens of fawning interviews with the candidate since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015.

    Hannity has devoted just over 22 hours of airtime to broadcasting interviews with Trump since the launch of Trump’s campaign. That airtime is worth more than $31 million according to advertising value calculated by media monitoring service iQ Media. That coverage includes 51 original interviews and over a dozen re-airings of previously aired interviews. This year alone, Hannity has aired thirteen and a half hours of Trump interviews, four and a half hours of which have come since Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican primary in early May, effectively ending the race.

    IQ Media uses Nielsen data to determine the viewership of a given program and price data for advertising from Sqad to come up with an equivalent advertising rate.

    These numbers only count the amount of time Hannity spent airing interviews featuring Donald Trump -- they do not include the countless time Hannity spends carrying the Trump campaign's water without the candidate present, including similarly fawning interviews with Trump family members, surrogates, and supporters.

    Hannity has repeatedly faced criticism for his obsequious Trump coverage, including from conservatives who have mocked Hannity for his “slavish” Trump cheerleading and accused him of hosting a “nightly infomercial” for Trump’s campaign.

    According to a previous Media Matters study, Hannity devoted far more airtime to interviews with Trump than with any of his 16 Republican presidential primary opponents. Just before dropping out of the race, Cruz complained that Rupert Murdoch and former network head Roger Ailes had “turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network.”

    New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg recently reported that, in addition to serving as “Trump’s biggest media booster,” Hannity has “for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.” Hannity defended himself by telling the Times that he’s “never claimed to be a journalist” and that he is “not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.”

    Hannity’s efforts to promote Trump's candidacy aren't ending anytime soon -- he’s slated to host the second half of a two-hour Trump town hall tonight.

    Methodology

    Media Matters used iQ Media to ascertain the monetary value of Donald Trump's appearances on Hannity from May 1, 2015-August 23, 2016. The study includes all original appearances in Hannity’s usual 10 p.m. EST time slot -- repeat and reaired appearances were counted if they aired on a new day between 6 a.m. and midnight (overnight reairings of Hannity were not included). Trump interviews during early morning post-debate Hannity specials were counted. Interviews with Hannity guest hosts and guest interviewers were included if they aired on the program.

    Graphic by Sarah Wasko.

  • Another Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theorist Becomes A Trump Adviser

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is now advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding to the list of Trump influencers who have peddled the right-wing media conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood” operative. Bachmann, who formally requested a federal investigation into Abedin and others in the federal government, joins conspiracy theory-spouting Trump associates Stephen Bannon, Sean Hannity, and Roger Stone.

  • NY Times’ Jim Rutenberg: Fox’s Hannity Acts Like A Trump “Adviser,” Ignores All Of “Journalism’s General Requirements”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times’ media columnist Jim Rutenberg wrote that while Sean Hannity uses his radio and television shows to “blare Mr. Trump’s message relentlessly” as he “veers into the role of adviser,” the last two weeks have shown signs of “the start of a possible reckoning within the conservative media” as others criticize Hannity for his Trump shilling.

    Hannity has repeatedly used his platforms on Fox News and talk radio to boost Trump by pushing the widely debunked claim that Donald Trump opposed the Iraq invasion before the war, repeating false conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, and other assorted false claims. According to Rutenberg, Hannity is “work[ing] in the full service of his candidate without having to abide by journalism’s general requirements for substantiation and prohibitions against, say, regularly sharing advice with political campaigns.” Rutenberg reported that “Hannity had for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging,” and that some in the Trump camp “believed Mr. Hannity was behaving as if he wanted a role in a possible Trump administration,” which Hannity denied.

    Rutenberg also explained that some other conservative media figures have turned to criticizing Hannity over his repeated falsehoods in support of Trump, with Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens lamenting that Hannity is contributing to a national debate that’s “divorced from reality.” Rutenberg also cited complaints from Wisconson talk radio host Charlie Sykes, who told Politico, “I feel dumber every time I listen to Sean Hannity. I don’t want to be that guy.”

    From Rutenberg’s August 21 column in The New York Times

    Mr. Hannity uses his show on the nation’s most-watched cable news network to blare Mr. Trump’s message relentlessly — giving Mr. Trump the kind of promotional television exposure even a billionaire can’t afford for long.

    But Mr. Hannity is not only Mr. Trump’s biggest media booster; he also veers into the role of adviser. Several people I’ve spoken with over the last couple of weeks said Mr. Hannity had for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.

    So involved is Mr. Hannity that three separate denizens of the hall of mirrors that is Trump World told me they believed Mr. Hannity was behaving as if he wanted a role in a possible Trump administration — something he denied to me as laughable and contractually prohibitive in an interview on Friday.

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity is unapologetic about his aim. “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.” After all, he says, “I never claimed to be a journalist.”

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity’s show has all the trappings of traditional television news — the anchor desk, the graphics and the patina of authority that comes with being part of a news organization that also employs serious-minded journalists like Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly.

    But because Mr. Hannity is “not a journalist,” he apparently feels free to work in the full service of his candidate without having to abide by journalism’s general requirements for substantiation and prohibitions against, say, regularly sharing advice with political campaigns.

    [...]

    That’s the ultimate result of the hyperpoliticized approach Mr. Hannity and so many others use in today’s more stridently ideological media: A fact is dismissed as false when it doesn’t fit the preferred political narrative.

    But while this informational nihilism appears to have hit a new high, the last two weeks have signaled the start of a possible reckoning within the conservative media.

    First there was The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens, who, after trading insults with Mr. Hannity over Mr. Trump, said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” that “too much of the Republican Party became an echo chamber of itself.”

    Those who spend an inordinate amount of time “listening to certain cable shows” and inhaling the conspiracy theories promoted on “certain fringes of the internet,’’ he said, wind up in a debate that’s “divorced from reality.”

    Then there was the conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, who lamented in an interview with the Business Insider politics editor Oliver Darcy, “We have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media.”

    That criticism was often warranted, Mr. Sykes said. (Just take a look at the decision by the former Clinton White House aide and current ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos to give some $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, for which he apologized last year.) But, as Mr. Sykes said, “At a certain point, you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.” Therefore any attempt to debunk a falsehood by Mr. Trump, he said, becomes hopeless.

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity told me his support for Mr. Trump makes him “more honest” than mainstream reporters who hide their biases. It turns out even “honesty” is a relative concept these days. For some people more than others.

  • Politico: Conservative Radio Host Laments Right-Wing Media’s Role In The Rise Of Trump

    Charlie Sykes: “I Feel Dumber Every Time I Listen To Sean Hannity"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Politico’s profile of conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes captured the civil war that is raging within right-wing media over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, with Sykes excoriating the “alternative reality bubble” pushed by pundits like Sean Hannity and fringe news sites like Breitbart.com.

    Sykes, a conservative radio host who has been anti-Trump from the beginning, blames right-wing media for the rise of the reality TV star, saying conservative media figures such as himself have “fed this faux outrage machine." He explained that “talk radio’s attack on mainstream-media bias has backfired, because its listeners now dismiss legitimate media fact-checking as untrustworthy.” The August 21 Politico article noted that Sykes regrets his own role in sowing a “racist, anti-Constitutional, maybe even fascistic” “vein of thinking” that is parroted by his audience:

    Since last year, the most influential political talk show host in Wisconsin has found out just how hard it is to be a #NeverTrump conservative on right-wing radio. Ever since Sykes began denouncing Donald Trump on the air—which he does just about every time he talks about the presidential election—he’s strained his relationships with the listeners of his daily radio show.

    Sykes’ many arguments with listeners over Donald Trump’s serial outrages have exposed in much of his audience a vein of thinking—racist, anti-Constitutional, maybe even fascistic—that has shaken Sykes. It has left him questioning whether he and his colleagues in the conservative media played a role in paving the way for Trump’s surprising and unprecedented rise.

    [...]

    [O]n this Friday in August, Sykes is juggling his many conservative roles—radio host, thinker, translator of Wisconsin political mores for the outside world. Young reporters from Vice and Milwaukee Public Radio interview him about his book’s argument that spiking student debt isn’t worth it. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NBC political reporters ask him about the Ryan-Nehlen race and whether Trump will endorse Ryan. Meanwhile, he’s wrestling with his listeners, from whom he is feeling increasingly estranged.

    “I am dealing with the daily flood of emails on how we’re never going to listen to you anymore,” Sykes says. Longtime listeners write him to say conservative talk radio should criticize Hillary Clinton and not Trump.

    “If I lose listeners, that’s a price I’ve just got to pay,” he says. He’d rather say what he really thinks than fall in line with other broadcasters’ embrace of Trump. “I feel dumber every time I listen to Sean Hannity. I don’t want to be that guy.”

    [...]

    “Talk radio made itself relevant by beating up on other Republicans, vilifying other Republicans,” he says. “It fed this faux outrage machine that raised expectations unrealistically”—for instance, asking why Congress didn’t repeal Obamacare, though Obama’s veto pen made it mathematically impossible. Later, he would tell Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy that talk radio’s attack on mainstream-media bias has backfired, because its listeners now dismiss legitimate media fact-checking as untrustworthy.

    Sykes warns his listeners to step outside the “alternative reality bubble” of Breitbart.com and other right-wing websites. Part of his audience thinks he’s sold out, he complains, because he won’t parrot dubious claims they’ve read on such sites. “A lot of the conservative talk shows around the country embrace almost whatever comes over the transom,” he says.

  • Right-Wing Media Sideline Security Concerns To Compare Obama’s Louisiana Flooding Response To Hurricane Katrina

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Right-wing media figures have compared President Obama’s response to the historic flooding in Louisiana to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina under President George W. Bush, while ignoring the governor of Louisiana’s concerns that a presidential visit in the midst of a massive disaster response could hinder authorities’ efforts to save lives.