This is almost stomach-churning.
Courtesy of The Daily Beast:
During the early Republican primary race, Cohen writes, Hannity was distraught about being “put in the penalty box” by the Trump campaign and anxious to get back into the candidate’s good graces after then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told Trump that Hannity was a secret supporter of Trump’s strongest opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
“In the summer of 2015,” Cohen writes, “I knew that Hannity was doing what he could for the Trump campaign, but that he had to be careful. His viewership wasn’t monolithically for Trump, yet, and there were more than a dozen candidates, some commanding large segments of the Republican Party. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and each of the other declared candidates had to be given time to make their case, meaning that Trump didn’t absolutely dominate Hannity’s highly rated show in the way that the Boss wanted—and that Lewandowski demanded.”
Cohen continues: “Hannity’s best efforts didn’t stop Lewandowski from attacking him; like every reporter covering Trump, he was submitted to a brutal and frequently idiotic set of rules and expectations that required strict conformity to the Boss’s campaign manager’s idea of what the press should cover. Corey’s way of punishing the allegedly wayward was to put them in the penalty box… Reporters didn’t take kindly to this treatment, of course, and neither did powerful opinion talk show hosts like Sean Hannity….
“‘Why am I in the penalty box?’ Hannity asked me one day. ‘We’ve got to stop this bullshit.’ I rolled my eyes at the idiocy of the situation. I quickly discovered that Lewandowski was telling Trump that Hannity was secretly a Cruz supporter and that he was insidiously undermining the Boss by pretending to be neutral but subliminally messaging his viewers to vote for the Texas senator. Trump was always prone to listen to the last person who spoke to him, frequently the advisor floating the worst and most destructive idea, and in those days, Lewandowski was often that person. Appealing to Trump’s paranoia and rage was a surefire way to get him to take rash action,” Cohen further recalls.
“I made my way to Trump’s office. ‘We’ve gotta end this bullshit with Hannity,’ I said to Trump. “Fuck him,” Trump said. ‘The guy’s a fucking traitor.’”
However, after Cohen assured Trump of Hannity’s undying loyalty, the candidate and the commentator got on the phone.
“‘I’m with the Boss,’ I said, my phone on speaker. “He’s listening to us now. Feel free to tell Mr. Trump what you told me.”
“Mr. Trump, Lewandowski’s a piece of shit and a liar,’ Hannity said, according to Cohen. “I can’t come out publicly to endorse you at this time. It would destroy my credibility as it relates to you. But I want you to know that I am today and have always been behind you.”
The Fox News star added, per Cohen: “I speak to Michael on a daily basis. Anything he has asked me to do that benefits you, I have done.”
After Cohen affirmed this to Trump, telling him, “That’s true, Boss,” the former fixer writes, the future president replied: “Okay, fine, let’s forget about it.”
“Hannity was keen to do more supplication, it seemed,” Cohen writes, adding that the Fox host concluded the conversation: “Thank you, sir. Thank you for believing in me, because I believe in you.”
See? I told you it was stomach-churning.
Sean Hannity is the poster child for the destruction of journalism in America.
I think when all of this is said and done that the FCC needs to take a long look at Fox News, investigate all of the bad they have done to this country, and strongly consider taking them off the air, or at the very least doing something to minimize their impact moving forward.
Sarah Palin, the Bush presidency, the Iraq War, Donald Trump, the Coronavirus pandemic, in every case Fox News either had a hand in helping to create it or amplified its negative effects.
I think if we did away with Fox News we would see an improvement in this country almost overnight.