Fox host Sean Hannity has spent the better part of a decade being, well, a massive jerk. And with a president like Donald Trump in power, his vitriolic tendencies have only been given more license to thrive.
On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted an unequivocally sexist comment about MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski that mentioned her “bleeding badly from a face-lift” and called her co-host and fiance Joe Scarborough a “psycho.” Considering the president’s history, which includes making fun of disabled reporters and boasting about grabbing women, this sort of derision is unsurprising.
In response to the tweets, CNN anchor Jake Tapper quipped about Trump’s commentary not aligning with Melania Trump’s stance against cyberbullying. So Hannity quote-tweeted his network nemesis with this:
Hannity consistently comes to Trump’s defense, regardless of how morally repugnant the president’s behavior and tweets. This is happening, in large part, because Trump’s behavior only continues to justify Hannity’s behavior.
Now, it bears mentioning that Hannity’s hatred toward Scarborough isn’t new ― as recently as on his show on Wednesday, he remarked that the former Republican Florida congressman has been “vicious, nasty, one-sided, petulant and arrogant” in his coverage of Trump. It was a head-scratching slew of insults to throw down considering Hannity’s own critical comments of past presidents.
In November, he reported on a patently false story indicating former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and other notable left-wingers had unfollowed Hillary Clinton on social media. The story also said they had deleted tweets referring to Clinton. None of this was true, but Hannity delivered these “facts” and said they meant “Obama’s implicated” in Clinton’s purported misdeeds and that he deserved jail time. But his grandiose, incendiary statement turned out to be based on unfounded accusations, and he later apologized, citing his distraction with Clinton’s “crimes and lies” and “CHEATING Bernie Sanders.”
Then, in March, on his radio show, Hannity went so far as to remark that Obama had been “doing a little bit of weed and maybe even a little blow” with a federal judge in Hawaii who issued a ruling against Trump’s travel ban, and who happened to be Obama’s law school classmate.
Hannity also openly disparaged former first lady Michelle Obama for years, repeatedly remarking on her appearance and calling her “unpatriotic” and a “bitter and angry” racial extremist. He later turned around and said on his radio show that it’s the “lowest of low” to pick on women, a statement made in reference to those who have criticized Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
So, he has the audacity to admonish those who talk negatively of Conway, but defends Trump’s insults of Brzezinski and can repeatedly denigrate the former first lady? Hannity may have implored liberals to “lead by example,” but his behavior shows he doesn’t actually care that the back-and-forth name-calling is reminiscent of schoolyard bickering.
Much like a teenager desperate to fit in with the popular crowd, Hannity has proven time and time again that he’s willing to change his opinions simply because he refuses to let himself fall out of Trump’s good graces.
Even Ann Coulter, who has made her career on being politically contentious, has found issue with Hannity’s unending loyalty to Trump. Coulter appeared on Hannity’s show and ranted about former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, who happens to be Trump’s chief economic adviser ― though that rant never aired. Coulter took to her blog to share her grievances, and Hannity responded by reminding her that she had previously said she would blindly “worship” Trump.
Television personalities, network hosts and journalists have a responsibility to the public ― which is to be truthful and trustworthy. Sean Hannity, with his uncritical coverage of the current administration and infinite deluge of insults to the left, can only be trusted to convey one thing: He loves Donald Trump and the attention he gets from Trump.
Hannity once said that “the news media are at war with the president because their little egos are bruised,” neglecting to mention that he himself is part of the “news media” and is repeatedly waging war on his counterparts. Hannity has the right to deride the media for its criticism of the president all he wants, but he should acknowledge that when it comes to “bruised egos” and media “wars,” he’s part of the problem.