The Sean Hannity Show

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  • Sean Hannity Endorses Trump, Lashes Out At Paul Ryan For "Sabotage"

    Hannity: Paul Ryan Is Leading A "Circular Firing Squad" In The Republican Party

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    In a series of tweets on May 5, Sean Hannity endorsed Donald Trump and attacked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), after Ryan told CNN's Jake Tapper he is "just not ready" to endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over the eventual Democratic nominee in the general election.

    [Twitter, 5/5/16]

    [Twitter, 5/5/16]

    Responding to Ryan's refusal to endorse Trump, Hannity tweeted "You have to be kidding me” and called Ryan's statement "pathetic."

    [Twitter, 5/5/16]

    Hannity continued to attack Ryan, writing "The Hell with what the voters think. Circular firing squad now led by @SpeakerRyan," and additionally characterized National Review Online's criticism of Trump as "Elitist BS."

    [Twitter, 5/5/16]

    [Twitter, 5/5/16]

    Hannity's criticism of House Speaker Paul Ryan highlights his reputation of attacking critics of Donald Trump while also being called out for his softball interviews of the Republican presidential nominee. Hannity has previously attacked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as a "pawn of the establishment" trying to take down Trump, and rebuked commentators who critiqued his contentious interview with Ted Cruz.

  • CNN’s Dylan Byers Highlights Sean Hannity’s “Unapologetic Advocacy” For Donald Trump

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In an article for CNN.com detailing Fox News host Sean Hannity’s role as a “Republican shill” and pro-Trump advocate, CNN’s Dylan Byers highlighted Hannity’s softball interviews with Trump and his admission that he is offering a safe space for Republican candidates on his television and radio shows.

    The May 2 article highlights how Hannity’s softball interviews with Trump start with Hannity citing “areas where he agrees with Trump, or where he thinks Trump was right about something, then asks him to expand on it.” Byers explained that Hannity “often ignores or defends Trump from criticism,” never asking Trump about not disavowing the Klu Klux Klan and arguing that criticism of Trump is “extraordinarily unfair.”

    Byers also pointed out the support Trump has received from numerous Fox personalities including host Bill O’Reilly and the hosts of Fox & Friends, but argued that Hannity is the only host to admit his a pro-Trump characterization – making him “the most honest opinion host”:

    In his interviews, Hannity frequently cites areas where he agrees with Trump, or where he thinks Trump was right about something, then asks him to expand on it. Many questions function as a set-up for Trump to discuss anything he wants: "If you win Florida and Ohio, you are well on your way to the nomination to be the Republican nominee for president," Hannity said during a March interview. "How would that make you feel?"

    Hannity often ignores or defends Trump from criticism. When he interviewed Trump in the heat of the controversy over of his failure to disavow the Klu Klux Klan, he never asked Trump about it. After the CNBC debate, Hannity said to Trump: "I felt [moderator] John Harwood was extraordinarily unfair to you and attacking you... I've got to imagine that that's pretty aggravating for you. What's your reaction to it?"

    Hannity thinks his critics cherry pick these examples, but there are many cherries to pick. On terrorism: "I'm sure you wish you were wrong, Mr. Trump, but you were right. What did you see that maybe others didn't see about what was happening in Brussels and Belgium?" Hannity once told Trump: "You can tell me whatever you want. You're Donald Trump. You can say anything you want."

    Hannity's unapologetic advocacy has won him the support of Trump's base, a vocal coalition that loathes most members of the media. While he is hardly the only pro-Trump pundit, no other has the immense platform that is Fox News. In the first three months of 2016, Hannity averaged 1.88 million viewers a night, and his radio show is the second most-listened-to talk show in the country after Rush Limbaugh's.

    […]

    Jonah Goldberg, of the conservative National Review, recently argued that Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, Eric Bolling, Bill O'Reilly and the majority of hosts on "Fox & Friends," "The Five" and "Outnumbered" are "all more pro-Trump than anti."

    Several of the aforementioned hosts would likely disagree with that characterization. Hannity no longer troubles himself with such protests. In a way, that might just make him the most honest opinion host in all of cable news.

  • Fox Figures Cheer Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech As “Presidential” 

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Fox News figures praised Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s foreign policy address as “presidential” and “a significant step forward.”

    Donald Trump Delivers Major Foreign Policy Address

    Trump Claims His Foreign Policy Will Put "America First." According to an April 27 New York Times article, Trump gave a speech on his vision for foreign policy, criticizing President Obama and Hillary Clinton for what he described as “missteps that have disillusioned the nation’s allies and emboldened its rivals": 

    Donald J. Trump, exuding confidence after his resounding primary victories in the East, promised a foreign policy on Wednesday that he said would put “America first.” He castigated President Obama and Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and a possible opponent in the general election, for what he described as a string of missteps that have disillusioned the nation’s allies and emboldened its rivals.
     
    Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals that he said tied the nation’s hands. But he also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, reminding his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.
     
    “America is going to be strong again; America is going to be great again; it’s going to be a friend again,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy, based on American interests and the shared interests of our allies.” [The New York Times4/27/16]

    Right Wing Media Figures Hail Trump’s Speech 

    Sean Hannity: “This Was A Pretty Amazing Speech Today, Obviously Presidential In Nature.” On the April 27 edition of Fox’s Sean Hannity’s radio show The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity praised Trump’s speech as “amazing” and “obviously presidential in nature” and said:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): This was a pretty amazing speech today, obviously presidential in nature, obviously depth and -- just the opposite of the way Trump has run his campaign up to this point, where he gave a scripted foreign policy speech that went into much detail at the Center for National Interests. He used lines like, "It’s time to shake off the rust of America's foreign policy, invite new voices, new visions into the fold is something that we have to do.”  The direction he outlines he said will also return us to a timeless principle and that “foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else.” It has to be first, it has to be. And then he went on to say that America first will be the major overriding theme of his administration. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show4/27/16]

     

    John Bolton: Trump’s Speech Was “A Significant Step Forward.” On the April 28 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Fox contributor John Bolton lauded Trump’s foreign policy speech as “a significant step forward.” Bolton claimed the address “brought Trump more into the mainstream” of GOP thinking and added that the purpose of the speech was to put Trump’s campaign “in a more presidential mode”:

    GREGG JARRETT (HOST): John Bolton is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor. Ambassador, good to see you.  He advocated aggressiveness while advocating disengagement. Confusing?

    JOHN BOLTON: Well, I don’t think that’s exactly what he was saying. I think the points that he was trying to make, as I heard the speech, center on making American national interests the touchstone of what our foreign policy’s based on. And I think in far too many cases we have strayed from that into a kind of abstract philosophy about what's good for the whole world. The job of the president is to protect America. Others can look after themselves. So in that sense, I think by focusing on what’s important to us, he was able to go into a critique of Obama over the last seven years, and he basically repeated there what virtually every Republican member of the House and the Senate has said, namely, that under Obama our friends don’t respect us and our enemies don’t fear us. So I actually think the speech brought Trump more into the mainstream of Republican foreign policy, we can have a debate on it obviously on specifics, but I thought it was a significant step forward. [Fox News, Happening Now4/28/16]

    Laura Ingraham: Trump’s Foreign Policy Is “The Only Thing We Should Be Doing.” On the April 28 edition of Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham’s The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham compared Trump’s “sane” foreign policy speech with President Obama’s “muddled” international efforts and described the priorities Trump outlined as “the only thing we should be doing ”:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): What's more in tune with the way your family talks about foreign policy? You hear your friends down the road, you know, conversation at work. What's more sane? Thinking you’re going to turn Middle Eastern countries into Western democracies or the idea of conserving our resources, rebuilding the homefront, and only getting involved in conflicts when it makes sense for the United States of America? To me, to me the latter is the only thing we should be doing. I love how people act like it's still 2004, or, frankly, 1996 and our economy, we have a budget, budget balanced, we have no heavy debt to really speak of. And people just act like it doesn't matter how much debt we have, it doesn't matter how much we owe the world, it doesn’t matter much in the way of bonds we have outstanding. None of that matters; we can keep just spending money like there’s no tomorrow. Hey, if the next generation has to have its social security cut, or draconian cuts in things that they paid into, then so be it. That’s just what we have to do. Then you have Obama that just has no coherent foreign policy at all except just to weaken us. So on the one hand you have the neoconservative foreign policy, which is basically you’ve never met a war you don't like. On the other hand you have Obama, which is completely muddled, and I guess it's foreign policy by drone. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show4/28/16]

    Harris Faulkner: “Clearly [Trump’s] Got Something Behind Him Now That’s Working.” On the April 28 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered, co-host Harris Faulkner praised Donald Trump for his “real, intimate understanding” of “where the Obama doctrine...has failed” and said Trump “was connected with the material” and “clearly he’s got something behind him now that’s working”:

    HARRIS FAULKNER (CO-HOST): Even as you were watching that speech yesterday, what Donald Trump did at first was lay out where the Obama doctrine, if you will, has failed. He had a real, intimate understanding of that, and I realize there was a prompter involved, but I never, you know, just from watching, because we covered it live here on Outnumbered, it happened during our hour. We have dissected enough of these types of speeches and news conferences by a lot of people to know when somebody is kind of faking the funk. I mean, he was connected with the material. Now, he's got a lot of advisers, we don't know who the lists are, but clearly he's got something behind him now that's working. [Fox News, Outnumbered4/28/16]

    Fox’s Gillian Turner: “This Was The Best Tone And Tenor We’ve Heard From Him.” On the April 28 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, Fox's Gillian Turner said Trump’s speech “was the best tone and tenor we’ve heard from him on the national defense, probably for the duration of the campaign so far” and said she “would have liked to have seen it six to eight months ago”:

    JON SCOTT (HOST): Gillian, I know that all of Washington, the foreign policy establishment, you might say, has been waiting for this speech. What do you think they heard? How is it being received?

    GILLIAN TURNER: A lot of anticipation surrounding it. The question was is this going to be Mr. Trump’s sort of come to Jesus moment with the establishment, and I believe that it was. This was the best tone and tenor we’ve heard from him on the national defense, probably for the duration of the campaign so far. I agree with the ambassador, I would have liked to have seen it six to eight months ago, would have made me feel a lot better about his prospects as commander in chief, but what I think he did today was he brought the substance to the heart of the Washington establishment. And I think that’s going to go a long way towards engendering some good will going forward as he tries to build his foreign policy team. [Fox News, Happening Now4/27/16]

    Fox’s Newt Gingrich: “He Said The Most Important Word Correctly: America. He Gets It.”

    [Twitter, 4/27/16]

    Fox’s Richard Grenell: “This Speech Shows Trump Is Growing As A Candidate. It Will Help Him A Lot.”

    [Twitter, 4/27/16]

  • Donald Trump Returning To Hannity For Another Softball Interview

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Fox News’ Sean Hannity is slated to interview Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on the April 25 edition of his show, for Trump’s reaction “to Kasich and Cruz teaming up against him” in upcoming primary elections. Hannity has received widespread criticism for his relationship with Donald Trump and has repeatedly admitted he gives “soft” interviews to Republican candidates.

    Hannity has received widespread and bipartisan criticism for giving Trump a “friendly outlet” and treating him “in a way that’s gentle in order to get him to come back.” On April 11,ThinkProgress pointed out that Trump has appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show “an astonishing 41 times since he announced his campaign,” giving him a nearly yearlong platform to target GOP voters. Conservative website RedState claimed ThinkProgress' report showed that Hannity “has become, for all intents and purposes, part of Trump’s campaign apparatus.” On April 23, the Associated Press reported that Hannity had a “nasty spat” with Cruz “following criticism from both the left and right about his interviews with Donald Trump" (Hannity will also interview Cruz tonight).

    After being criticized for being a “very soft interviewer,” Hannity defended himself by asserting, “I’m not a journalist, I’m a talk show host.” Hannity doubled down on his radio show, saying he’s not critical of Trump or Cruz because he wants the Republican nominee to win. He has also said he “absolutely plead[s] guilty” to “going soft in interviews on Republicans.”

    Indeed, the neologism "Hannitize" was coined to describe efforts by conservatives "to clean up a messy situation with a softball interview, typically one conducted by Sean Hannity." Trump has frequently appeared on Hannity's program to receive positive treatment for his efforts to rebound from gaffes or scandals.

  • Sean Hannity Goes On Twitter Tirade After Contentious Interview With Ted Cruz

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Radio host Sean Hannity responded to critics on Twitter after his contentious interview with GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) where Cruz called Hannity a Trump supporter for questioning the delegate process.

    On the April 19 edition of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity asked Cruz about his recent election victories and whether his delegate wins raise questions about the "integrity of the election," which received immediate condemnation from Cruz. During the argument, Hannity pushed back against Cruz claiming that "Every time I have you on the air, and I ask a legitimate question, you try to throw this in my face," prompting Cruz to respond that "as I travel the country, nobody is asking me this, other than the Trumpsters and the people repeating it."

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I think the number one question on the minds of Republicans right now is what is going on with the delegates. For example, if you can explain to people that your campaign, that you have every right within the rules, to talk to candidates that are pledged on a first ballot, to Candidate A or Candidate C, you being Candidate B, and that -- tell us what that process is. You are assuming this is going to the convention, you told me that in the last two interviews. So as part of that, you’re hoping to get to a second ballot. In other words, in a second ballot people that support Donald Trump or John Kasich or Marco Rubio, if those delegates are still relevant, can then switch their votes. So you are in the process of talking to delegates and it seems to be very extensive. Can you explain to people what's going on?

    TED CRUZ: Sean, with all respect, that's not what people are concerned about. I'm campaigning every day, people are concerned about bringing jobs back to America. People are concerned about raising wages. People are concerned about getting the federal government off the backs of small businesses, and people are concerned about beating Hillary. And the media loves to obsess about process, this process, and this whining from the Trump campaign, it's all silly. It's very, very simple --

    HANNITY: Senator, I'm -- hang on a second, I'm on social media with millions of people. I have 550 radio stations, and I have the top rated cable show in my hour, all across the board. And I am telling you that people are telling me that they find this whole process confusing. You know, I can read the articles, for example, about -- you know, people want to know about what actually happened in Georgia this weekend, where people that have, I guess, on the first ballot are going to Donald Trump, but representatives of yours talked to them, and are persuading them to vote for you on a second ballot. That is an important question, because I think most of people would like to know how this works, and I'm really am asking you more than a process question. It's an integrity of the election question, and everybody's asking me this question. So I'm giving you an opportunity to explain it.

    CRUZ: Sean, the only people asking this question are the hardcore Donald Trump supporters.

    HANNITY: Why do you -- but senator, why do you do this? Every single time I -- no, you gotta stop. Every time I have you on the air, and I ask a legitimate question, you try to throw this in my face. I'm getting sick of it. I've had you on more than any other candidate, on radio and TV. So if I ask you senator, a legitimate question that would explain to the audience, why wouldn't you just answer it?

    CRUZ: Sean, can I answer your question without being interrupted?

    HANNITY: Go ahead.

    CRUZ: In the last three weeks, there have been five elections in five states. Utah, North Dakota, WIsconsin, Colorado, Wyoming. We've won all five, over 1.3 million people voted in those five states, we won all five. All of this noise and complaining and whining has come from the Trump campaign, because they don't like the fact that they've lost five elections in a row, that Republicans are uniting behind our campaign, so they are screaming on Drudge, and it's getting echoed, this notion of voterless election. It is nonsense that they are making it up. Over 1.3 million people voted, we won landslides in all five. Now, there is a second component beyond the elections, which is the individual delegates are elected by the people. Donald Trump's campaign does not know how to organize on the grassroots.

    [...]

    We are winning election after election after election, and nobody, as I travel the country, nobody is asking me this, other than the Trumpsters and the people repeating it.

    After the interview, Hannity went on a tirade on Twitter explaining his contentious interview to journalists and followers:

  • How NY Radio Host Mark Simone Shills For Donald Trump

    ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER, KATHRYN KARMAZYN & JULIE ALDERMAN

    New York radio host Mark Simone, a longtime friend of GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump, has used his show to shill for Trump and defend him from criticism on his radio show and during guest appearances on television. Independent of his support for Trump, Simone has also attacked immigrants, minorities, and Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

  • "I'm Not A Journalist": Sean Hannity Attacks Critics For Calling Out His Softball Interviews With Trump

    Hannity Claims He Gives Softball Interviews To All Republicans Because He Agrees With Them

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Fox's Sean Hannity responded to criticism of his coverage of GOP front-runner Donald Trump by publishing data showing that he has dedicated more than over four hours of interviews to Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and more than 30 interviews to each on his Fox News show. Hannity also explained that his softball interviews were based on his agreement with the Republican vision, not a bias in favor of any one candidate.

    In an April 11 piece, ThinkProgress pointed out that Trump has appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show “an astonishing 41 times since he announced his campaign, giving him a nearly yearlong platform to target GOP voters. Conservative website RedState claimed ThinkProgress' report showed that Hannity “has become, for all intents and purposes, part of Trump’s campaign apparatus.”

    Hannity’s executive producer, Lynda McLaughlin published an April 14 blog on his website responding to both pieces by highlighting the amount of total airtime he has given the all the Republican candidates:

    To put this plainly, there is no conspiracy here to give one candidate more time over another. The candidates have an open invitation to come on the show, and it is their choice to take that offer or ignore it. Here is the breakdown of candidate times on the radio show since they announced through March of this year (limited to the last top 4 candidates):

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz: 188:39
    Florida Senator Marco Rubio: 141:00
    Businessman and Entrepreneur Donald Trump: 112:28
    Governor of Ohio John Kasich: 87:52

    Time on 'Hannity' TV Show since each candidate announced:

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz: 34 appearances
    Businessman and Entrepreneur Donald Trump: 32 appearances
    Governor John Kasich of Ohio: 20 appearances

    In an accompanying video, Hannity defended his softball interviews with Donald Trump and other candidates, claiming that ThinkProgress and RedState cherry-picked his interviews. Later Hannity admitted that he would interview Hillary Clinton “a hundred times harder than any Republican, because I believe the Republicans represent, and have a far better vision, one that I agree with, I just have less disagreement with them,” concluding "I'm not a journalist, I'm a talk show host" (emphasis added):

    SEAN HANNITY: Here's a website, ThinkProgress, remember they did the structural imbalance of talk radio so many years ago? And then they did this hit piece, "Hannity Interviewed Donald Trump 41 Times, And Never Made News," or something to that effect, which is just not true. And they picked some of the easier questions that I asked Donald Trump, which they could have done with any other candidate that I have interviewed. I'll be honest, I'm not sitting here -- If I'm interviewing Hillary Clinton, it's gonna be a hundred times harder than any Republican, because I believe the Republicans represent, and have a far better vision, one that I agree with, I just have less disagreement with them. I'm not a journalist, I'm a talk show host. I can't think of any question that has come up, that I have wanted to ask these candidates, that was relevant to ask these candidates, that I haven't asked them. I've asked them everything.

    Media Matters study found that in 2015, Hannity hosted 35 percent of all total interviews of Trump on Fox News. Hannity also gave Trump the vast majority of interviews compared to other GOP candidates in 2015 at 35 percent with over 8 hours of total airtime:

     

  • Fox Spins Trump Into The Victim Of His Campaign Manager's Battery Charge

    ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH

    After police arrested Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's campaign manager, and charged him with simple battery of former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, Fox News attempted to paint Trump as the real victim in the incident. Fox hosts and guests dismissed the matter as a "tragedy for the Trump campaign," claimed the campaign had entered into the "theater ... of the absurd," and noted that Trump's "got to be ticked off" at having to discuss the battery charge instead of substantive issues.

  • Conservative Media Figures Dismiss and Downplay Corey Lewandowski's Battery Charge

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    On March 29, police charged Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager for GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, with simple battery after an incident in which police say he grabbed former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields, leaving bruises on her arm. Soon after the news broke, several conservative media figures hustled to downplay the charge and dismiss its significance.