Sean Hannity (born December 30, 1961) is a talk show host and television host of Fox News's show Hannity, as well as host of the former Hannity's America. He generally takes strong conservative stances, with a notable exception being the controversy regarding Todd Akin (see below). Liberals strongly oppose Hannity because he contradicts their favored narratives.
Media bullying of Todd Akin and Roy Moore
Congressman Todd Akin was the Republican Party nominee for one of the most-watched races for the U.S. Senate in 2012. He had represented a portion of the greater St. Louis, Missouri area in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 (Missouri's 2nd congressional district).
On August 19, 2012, in a local television interview with KTVI, Akin rejected a suggestion that there should be a broad rape exception to limits on abortion. He distinguished between an actual rape and a false allegation of rape by referring to the former as a "legitimate rape," terminology that the liberal media then unfairly took out of context to engage in demagoguery against him.
Hannity claimed that Akin should consider withdrawing from the Senate race: "I think there is one political reality that I think has to be faced by you and your campaign ... Democrats now have a ton of ammunition and they are now going to try to use these remarks to hurt everybody they can. And if I was put in that position, I would at least be thinking about what is in the best interest of the party."
Hannity showed himself to be a RINO backer through his actions.
In 2017, Hannity similarly damaged the Roy Moore U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama when he scolded the former state chief justice for failure to defend himself adequately in regard to allegations of sexual abuse that surfaced in the campaign. Moore then lost the race to the liberal Democrat Doug Jones, and the GOP Senate majority slipped from 52 to 51.
The youngest of four children, Hannity was born in New York City to Irish immigrants. He dropped out of college to embark on a radio career, and in 1988 was at a small-town station of WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama. He later broke into a Top 10 market in Atlanta, Georgia, at 640 AM WGST. His national recognition came as an occasional substitute host on the top rated The Rush Limbaugh Show. Allegedly on his first guest show, he dropped the golden EIB microphone because of a case of high nerves. The attention gained from substitute-hosting the show paved his way to national syndication.
Sean Hannity was asked to join the newly formed Fox News Channel (FNC) in September 1996. He accepted the offer and became co-host with liberal Alan Colmes of Hannity and Colmes, a prime time one-hour debate-driven talk show focusing on the controversial issues and newsmakers of the day. January 9, 2009 was the final show of Hannity & Colmes, replaced the following week with Hannity's solo, self-titled show Hannity. Hannity and Colmes ranked among the leading cable TV news shows (just behind CNN's Larry King Live and FOX's O'Reilly Factor). Hannity also has a weekend show on Fox News, Hannity's America.
In September 2017, Hannity's show was moved to the 9 pm EDT time slot, putting him in direct competition with left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. In his first week in competition with her, Hannity received much higher ratings than her, despite her rise in ratings prior to that in 2017.
Hannity angered some traditional Catholics with his antagonistic treatment of Father Thomas Euteneuer on August 2006, during which Hannity criticized Fr. Euteneuer for prominent sex scandals in the Catholic Church. After heated remarks by Hannity during the interview, he finally asked the priest, "Wait, would you deny me Communion?" To which Fr. Euteneuer responded, "I would."
Hannity has also received criticism for his involvement with the Freedom Alliance charity and the associated Freedom Concerts that he has hosted for the charity since 2003. The concerts are held to raise money to give to severely injured U.S. soldiers or as scholarships for the children of slain or injured soldiers. Through 2008, less than 20% of revenues raised by the Freedom Alliance have actually gone to these causes (and as low as 3.7% in 2006), according to IRS Form 990 tax data. This was widely reported by Debbie Schlussel, a conservative commentator and blogger, and Schlussel has also made corroborated accusations that hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent by the Freedom Alliance for each concert to accommodate Hannity and his friends and family. Hannity has been accused of taking advantage of the charitable nature of conservative, patriotic Americans.
In May 2017, Fox News published and then retracted a story about the murder of Seth Rich. Hannity did not retract anything he stated, noting the fact that liberals and Democrats themselves widely accepted and circulated conspiracy theories, most notably those regarding alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Because of Hannity's decision, liberal advertisers chose to pressure and bully him by pulling out their ads from his show. Many of these attacks were attempts on the part of left-wingers to destroy a non-left-wing voice in the media.
Hannity's books use patriotic rhetoric as a main theme. His first book, in 2002, was entitled Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism. The book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 17 weeks. In 2004 he published Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism in which he "reveals how the disgraceful history of appeasement has reached forward from the days of Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter to corrupt the unrepentant leftists of the modern Democratic Party from Howard Dean and John Kerry to Bill and Hillary Clinton."
Hannity reaches approximately 12.5 million radio listeners each day, second only to Rush Limbaugh.
- Ernst, Douglas (May 24, 2017). Sean Hannity warns fans of organized, left-wing effort to ‘silence’ him. The Washington Times. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- Kew, Ben (May 25, 2017). Brent Bozell: Attack on Hannity Part of ‘Liberal Strategy to Monopolize the Media’. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Rand Paul reticent to weigh in on Akin's future but says Akin's comment was incorrect by Ryan Alessi, mycn2.com, August 22, 2012, retrieved August 24, 2012
- Schwartz, Jason (September 29, 2017). Hannity beats Maddow in first week of 9 p.m. showdown. Politico. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Enloe, Chris (September 30, 2017). Sean Hannity is now in head-to-head competition with Rachel Maddow — and the ratings just came in. The Blaze. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Beck, Conor (September 29, 2017). Hannity Beats Maddow in First Week at 9 P.M. Hour. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Economic Research Institute. Nonprofit Organization Information - Freedom Alliance. http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=NPO.Form990&EIN=541411430&Year=2009
- Schlussel, Debbie. "Sean Hannity’s Freedom CONcert Scam: Almost None of Charity’s $ Went to Injured Troops, Kids of Fallen Troops; G5s for Vannity?" March 18, 2010. http://www.debbieschlussel.com/6938/sean-hannitys-freedom-concert-scam-only-7-of-charitys-money-went-to-injured-troops-kids-of-fallen-troops-g5s-g6s-for-vannity/
- Concha, Joe (May 23, 2017). Hannity on Seth Rich coverage: ‘I retracted nothing’. The Hill. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Kew, Ben (May 24, 2017). Advertisers Bow to Activist Left, Begin Pulling Ads from Hannity. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- Newsweek, April 27, 2007, p. 29