Sean Hannity

Tags ››› Sean Hannity
  • Architect Of CIA's Waterboarding Program And Fox & Friends Host Mislead About Torture

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox host Brian Kilmeade praised waterboarding, claiming it “yield[ed] tremendous results,” during an error-filled interview with psychologist James Mitchell, the man who created the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” program. Mitchell and Kilmeade promoted numerous misleading arguments about the supposed effectiveness of torture as a form of interrogation while promoting Mitchell's upcoming memoir. Fox figures have previously spoken out in support of reinstating waterboarding as an interrogation technique, even though experts have condemned the practice, saying that it constitutes torture, is illegal under American and international law, and “yielded no intelligence.” 

  • Conservative Media Wrongly Pin Democrats' Election Losses On Climate Change Focus

    ››› ››› KEVIN KALHOEFER

    In the aftermath of the election, conservative media figures have alleged that Democratic candidates’ emphasis on climate change was a reason they lost, claiming this focus alienated or drove away voters. But numerous polls conducted in the run-up to the election indicated that a majority of Americans consider climate change an important issue and favor government action to address it, and an exit poll similarly revealed that most voters in Florida view climate change as a serious problem. While these polls indicate that a focus on climate change didn’t harm environmentally friendly Democratic candidates, a plausible explanation for why the issue may not have helped them is the lack of attention it received from the media, including during debates.

  • A $25 Million Settlement Just Tanked Right-Wing Media’s Fraudulent Defense Of Trump University

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    President-elect Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits alleging his for-profit business Trump University used aggressive sales tactics and unqualified instructors to scam students. Throughout the lawsuit’s litigation, right-wing news outlets helped shield Trump University from criticism by enabling Trump to lie about the institution and aiding his racist attacks on the judge overseeing the case.

  • Trump Receives Celebrity Treatment In Fox News' "OBJECTified" Special With TMZ's Harvey Levin

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Fox News will air "OBJECTified: Donald Trump" on November 18, featuring TMZ's Harvey Levin interviewing the president-elect about his most prized possessions and the stories behind them. The special is poised to be another softball interview, contributing to the media's tendency to normalize Trump.

    The one-hour special will feature host Levin -- a longtime friend of Trump’s -- getting a tour of Trump’s home, with Trump recounting the stories behind his "cherished keepsakes," according to Politico. He also tells Levin stories during the interview, which was shot in September, including sharing the "decades-old advice from a former president that planted the seeds for his presidential campaign":

    The one-hour special, called “OBJECTified: Donald Trump”, will air Friday evening at 10 p.m. The special will feature an interview with President-elect Trump filmed in September, when he gave Levin a tour of his home and offered “stories behind each memento” there.

    “The special will feature a side of President-elect Donald Trump that has rarely been seen before,” Fox said in its announcement. “Trump recounts the stories behind photos, letters, trophies and other cherished keepsakes he’s acquired throughout his life.”

    Some of the stories will include how Trump had an “unfulfilled dream of becoming a Hollywood movie mogul, and the decades old advice from a former President that planted the seeds for his presidential campaign.”

    In an interview on Fox News' Hannity previewing the special, host Sean Hannity praised Levin, saying that he wasn’t "playing gotcha [with Trump], you were asking real questions in a[n] intimate environment. He brought you in his inner sanctum, in a way, and it ended up giving us a side of Trump that I don't think most Americans know."

    Fox’s special follows the lead set by CBS in its attempt to normalize Trump, despite the racist and bigoted comments and policies the president-elect continues to advocate. On November 13, Lesley Stahl of CBS' 60 Minutes interviewed Trump after his election win to reintroduce him to the American people. During the interview, Stahl allowed Trump to whitewash his extreme positions, which she claimed were "not meant to be taken literally, but as opening bids for negotiation.”

    But given Trump’s first steps as president-elect -- his appointment of former Breitbart News CEO Steven Bannon, who bragged about his site serving as a platform for the “alt-right”; his renewed vow to build a wall on the southern border of the country; and his pledge to create some sort of registry for Muslim immigrants -- it is clear Trump will push for the extreme policies he proposed during the campaign.

    Donald Trump has praised the interview on Twitter, saying it "features a side of me 'that has rarely been seen before.'"

  • Trump's Anti-Muslim National Security Adviser Michael Flynn -- A Fox Favorite -- Is Rife With Conflicts Of Interest 

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly named retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn, a Fox News favorite with conflicts of interest in Russia and Turkey, has frequently appeared on the network to push his anti-Islam views, has lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has made repeated appearances on Russian state television. 

  • Sean Hannity Encourages Trump To Continue His Media Blackout As Fox Announces Trump Protest

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Fox Host Sean Hannity encouraged president-elect Donald Trump to “transcend the media” because “he doesn’t need them anymore” hours after Hannity’s Fox colleague Shepard Smith said Fox News would not be using promotional material from Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “in protest of the media lockout” Trump has effectively instituted.

    Hannity, in an interview with Breitbart News' Joel Pollak, commented that “if [he] were on the transition team,” he would advise Trump to “transcend the media” because mainstream outlets are allegedly biased against him. Hannity said Trump should “go in Instagram” and other social media accounts to reach the American people because Trump “doesn’t need [the mainstream media] anymore.” From the November 17 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Remember when Dan Quayle was appointed as Vice President, they went on their infamous Quayle hunt, and their goal was to smear and slander this guy? By the way, very decent man, hard-working, successful, but they didn’t want to hear it. So, you know, it’s very funny, because this little pipsqueak over at CNN, Brian Stelter, you know, he tweets out and sends a message: "media accessibility was a winning strategy for Trump in the primaries, how about trying it again now as president-elect?" And I tweeted back, I said, “Hey pipsqueak, why should @realDonaldTrump ever go on CNN again? CNN gave @HillaryClinton debate questions and they colluded with the DNC about what questions to ask Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina.”

    Now if I’m Donald Trump’s campaign, or now president-elect Trump’s transition team, I’m looking at the revelations of The New York Times, I’m looking at the revelations about CNN, and CNBC, and NBC, and MSNBC, and The Boston Globe and basically every other major media outlet, and my attitude is why should he? He should transcend the media; do what he did during the election. Go on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter; go on shows that will actually allow him to give a full answer. And, you know, he doesn’t need these people anymore. The world has been transformed. There is a media revolution going on before their eyes and they’re just not in tune to it, apparently.

    However, hours before on Fox News, Hannity’s colleague Shepard Smith said that “the Trump team is not allowing photo journalists” to attend his meeting with Abe, continuing “a freezeout of media coverage of the president-elect’s events” of Trump’s transition. Smith added that though the Trump team was providing “a staff photo” of the event, “Fox News will not be using it in protest of the president-elect’s media lockout.” From the November 17 edition of Fox News’ Shepard Smith Reporting:

    SHEPARD SMITH (HOST): Extending a trend, the Trump team is not allowing photojournalists to attend the meeting with Prime Minister Abe. This continues the freezeout of media coverage of the president-elect’s events. The Trump team reports it will release a staff photo; Fox News will not be using it in protest of the president-elect’s media lockout.

  • Report: Fake News Outperformed Real News On Facebook During Home Stretch Of 2016 Campaign

    One Fake News Writer Spoke Out About His Work In Wash. Post Interview

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    An analysis by BuzzFeed News found that during the 2016 election, fake news stories generated more engagement on Facebook than did the top election articles from major news outlets.

    BuzzFeed’s analysis comes amid growing criticism of Facebook’s lack of effective action against fake news. It was recently revealed that Facebook shelved plans to combat the epidemic of fake news stories due to fear of backlash from conservatives because the move would have “disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds.”

    That fear of conservative backlash resulted in further fake news stories, which then generated “more engagement” on Facebook than did “the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others,” a Buzzfeed analysis has found:

    In the final three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others, a BuzzFeed News analysis has found.

    During these critical months of the campaign, 20 top-performing false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

    Within the same time period, the 20 best-performing election stories from 19 major news websites generated a total of 7,367,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

    [...]

    This new data illustrates the power of fake election news on Facebook, and comes as the social network deals with criticism that it allowed false content to run rampant during the 2016 presidential campaign. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently it was “a pretty crazy idea” to suggest that fake news on Facebook helped sway the election. He later published a post saying, “We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here.”

    Amid this criticism, The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey interviewed Paul Horner, a “38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire.” Horner described the rise of fake news in 2016 and said the Trump campaign even helped push it:

    You’ve been writing fake news for a while now — you’re kind of like the OG Facebook news hoaxer. Well, I’d call it hoaxing or fake news. You’d call it parody or satire. How is that scene different now than it was three or five years ago? Why did something like your story about Obama invalidating the election results (almost 250,000 Facebook shares, as of this writing) go so viral?

    Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    You mentioned Trump, and you’ve probably heard the argument, or the concern, that fake news somehow helped him get elected. What do you make of that?

    My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

    (Twitter via Mediaite)

    Why? I mean — why would you even write that?

    Just ’cause his supporters were under the belief that people were getting paid to protest at their rallies, and that’s just insane. I’ve gone to Trump protests — trust me, no one needs to get paid to protest Trump. I just wanted to make fun of that insane belief, but it took off. They actually believed it.

    I thought they’d fact-check it, and it’d make them look worse. I mean that’s how this always works: Someone posts something I write, then they find out it’s false, then they look like idiots. But Trump supporters — they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he’s in the White House. Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it. And that feels [bad].

    The entire interview is worth reading.

    It’s clear now that Facebook must take concrete steps to combat fake news -- regardless of the conservative or liberal criticism the company might face. Join Media Matters in asking Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to fix their fake news problem by signing our petition.