What Happened To Hannity?
The popular Fox News host has some explaining to do to his audience.
Allow me to introduce a painful subject that’s difficult to discuss in conservative circles but long overdue: what has happened to Sean Hannity?
Now I’m not talking about the fact that Hannity seems to have done the exact same TV show for the last two years on autopilot. This seems so obvious that it’s hardly a controversial opinion. Even his ardent admirers can admit that most nights sound like they were pre-taped in 2019. What’s changed really? The scripts are exactly the same but the eyes look sad.
Let’s call this the “vape pen” phase of the Hannity show.
I’m also not talking about why Hannity keeps putting the GOP establishment’s court jester Lindsey Graham on the air to say absurd things like “I’m gonna get to the bottom of Russiagate.” Why Hannity keeps giving air time to Republican grifters like Senator Graham is a matter for Hannity and his audience to argue over — or perhaps Hannity and his shrink. Does he still believe Graham’s dumb lies? Or does he simply not care?
That’s another essay entirely.
Nor am I talking about Hannity spending 2019 and 2020 telling the American public that “indictments were coming soon” over the Russia Hoax and then staying mum when the outcome that he had personally vouched for actually turned out to be a hoax itself. This would have ended the career of any other anchor — but not Hannity. He just kept going like one of those speedboats that hits the shore and flips in mid-air and then lands like nothing happened in a James Bond movie.
Why was Hannity so cocksure that Bill Barr and his DOJ minions were going to indict the Russia Hoax plotters? Was it perhaps because DOJ “sources” called influential anchors like Hannity every other day to assure them that justice would be served — in other words, intentionally misled people like Hannity in order to delay justice until after the 2020 election when Biden would be installed? It sure looks that way. Hannity was not the only one deceived, of course, but he was the most prominent one deceived and his audience deserves an explanation.
At least Fox’s feisty Maria Bartiromo had the courage to call up Bill Barr and scream at him over the phone. (Well done, Maria!) The legendary Fox anchor Lou Dobbs took it one step further and castigated Bill Barr on his Fox show — so you don’t have to wonder why Fox news executives (with pronouns in their bios now!) canceled Dobbs’ show two months later.
What did Hannity say about getting played this way so publicly?
Hannity’s Texting Problem
This particular essay will only deal with Sean Hannity’s texts to various White House officials after the 2020 election. These texts have been released by the Democrats’ January 6th Committee and they will surprise and confuse Republican voters across America. What do these texts tell us that’s so disturbing? The first thing they tell us is that Sean Hannity was basically in charge of the White House Press Office during the last days of the Trump Administration.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and ask: should we treat these texts as authentic? Obviously, I don’t trust anything the Democrats do or say or “release” as a rule. However, Hannity has not publicly stated that his texts were altered or presented out of context to my knowledge. If that were the case, wouldn’t you scream to the skies about it? (His attorney did release a note saying: “We are evaluating the letter from the committee. We remain very concerned about the constitutional implications especially as it relates to the First Amendment. We will respond as appropriate.”) His silence on the subject of the authenticity of these texts seems significant.
The texts themselves are going to be extremely difficult to explain to Hannity’s viewers too. He apparently texted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on January 7th to say that it was time to give up on fighting the stolen election. (Here’s the entire letter from the January 6th Committee to Ivanka Trump if you want to read it.) No, I’m not kidding. Hannity was telling White House officials in private the exact opposite of what he was telling his TV audience in public:
“1- No more stolen election talk”
“2- Yes, impeachment and the 25th amendment are real and many people will quit...”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reportedly responded to this message with: “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce….”
So let’s summarize: Sean Hannity was telling the White House Press Secretary what to do. And what was he telling her? He was telling her to surrender. It was time to pack it in and give up. Does that sound right to you? Hannity, who is all blood and thunder on his show, was acting as the ringleader of the “Trump should quit” brigade on January 7th.
Does this surprise you? It should. It certainly shocked me.
Hannity also texted McEnany that it was “key” to keep President Trump away from certain people, writing, “No more crazy people.” McEnany responded to this text by saying: “Yes, 100%.”
Who were these “crazy people” who Hannity considered such a problem? One can only assume that he was referring to the prominent group of lawyers and military leaders who were still contesting the stolen election at Trump’s behest: people like Sidney Powell, Rudy Guiliani, and General Michael Flynn who were invited to discuss post-election strategy by President Trump at the White House in December. (These people were all blacklisted, at various times, from appearing on Fox News too.)
And that’s the main point: President Trump himself wanted to contest the fraudulent election results and Hannity did not. Was it really necessary for Hannity to intervene and contact White House officials to contradict President Trump with his own staff? Does that sound like something Sean Hannity should be doing?
Let’s add another layer of intrigue to this surreal situation: Hannity’s employer Fox News had been caught red-handed by the American public calling the 2020 election results early for Joe Biden in Arizona two months earlier. Their ratings had tanked dramatically: half of their audience disappeared almost overnight. There was widespread panic inside Fox News as its employees realized they had just played Russian Roulette with their credibility and lost. It was in this charged atmosphere that Hannity started texting Trump’s staff to convince them that “stolen election talk” had to be silenced.
Hannity’s texts were explicit on this score: “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?” This is Sean Hannity himself admitting that President Trump did not agree with Hannity’s assessment of the election and that Hannity was persuading Trump’s own staff to break with him essentially.
Why was Hannity telling President Trump that he could “never mention the election again” privately while he was hollering about election fraud on his Fox show every night? It looks like Hannity was pandering to his audience on TV while, simultaneously and privately, he was dismissing “stolen election talk” to important White House officials.
Why was Hannity undermining President Trump so much when it counted in January? The obvious question that must be asked: was this merely Sean Hannity’s personal opinion sent out unsolicited to White House officials who didn’t answer to him — or was Hannity using his influence to help Fox News bring about their desired election result by persuading Trump’s own staff to concede defeat to Joe Biden? That would be truly diabolical — but it cannot be dismissed out of hand. For one thing: we have Hannity’s texts.
How does Hannity know that President Trump will “lose the entire White House counsels office” if he continues to insist that election fraud was real? We know the answer because of this tweet to Mark Meadows a few days later. Hannity informs White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that VP Mike Pence’s office is already pressuring Trump’s White House attorneys to quit in protest if Trump continues to litigate the results of the 2020 election.
How would Hannity know this — unless he was in contact with Pence himself? Why would Hannity feel the need to carry water for the treacherous Pence Team at all? The answer seems to be: Hannity is texting Meadows to pile pressure on President Trump to concede the stolen election to Joe Biden.
The blockbuster conclusion one draws after reading these texts is that Hannity was playing politics at the highest levels of the GOP during the Trump Administration (in contact with Pence, Meadows, and McEnany after personal calls with Trump himself!) and dispensing bad advice all the way. This advice was in direct contradiction to his public persona and the opinions expressed on his show. That’s the most charitable explanation. That’s the best-case scenario.
The worst-case scenario is hard to contemplate — but would better explain these hypocritical texts, the frequent guest spots afforded to frauds like Lindsey Graham, the child-like trust in Bill Barr, the soft spot for Mike Pence, and much more. Is he merely posing as a MAGA supporter while his heart actually belongs to the GOP establishment? One thing is certain: no one is going to hold Hannity accountable for these mistakes. He’s simply too powerful in the world of conservative media. Hannity is the only one who has to answer to Hannity. How much is he personally responsible for undermining President Trump’s fight against a fraudulent election in those final days?
That sad look in his eyes — and that “checked out” demeanor you see most nights on his show during the Biden Regime — might just be the pangs of conscience at his starring role.