Sean Hannity

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Sean Hannity (1961-) is a U.S. media commentator, self-identified as a Ronald Reagan conservative. His major outlets are cable television: first the Fox News "Hannity & Colmes" debate show, with Alan Colmes, a liberal, which ended in November 2008.[1] He then went to a solo program, “Hannity’s America”, both on Fox News and also has a talk radio show on ABC News. He has also published books and does road tours.[2]

Fox News has dismissed arguments that they have an overall bias towards Republicans and conservative, saying they clearly distinguish opinion broadcasters such as Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck from general news coverage. It is not clear that the general public also makes this separation. Nevertheless, Hannity does speak at Republican fundraisers.

Television

He has a mixed relationship with Rush Limbaugh; he has been an on-air substitute for Limbaugh, but Limbaugh seems to patronize him in a friendly manner. Nevertheless, he has interviewed Limbaugh on his own show. In the second interview, they laughed together about what Limbaugh called the "drive-by media".
And they’re driving the groups of people they report a bunch of totally wrong libelous stuff about people, they create a giant mess, sometimes people get really harmed, they go out and try to destroy people’s career. Then they get in the convertible, head on down the road, and do it all over again while people like you and me are left to clean up the mess with the truth.[3]

Limbaugh said “I have no competitors...Hannity isn’t even close to me.” [4]

Radio

According to Talkers Magazine, the Sean Hannity Radio Show has approximately 13.5 million listeners per week, the second most popular show on radio, Limbaugh being #1. It is broadcast on over 500 stations. The show received two Marconi Awards for Nationally Syndicated Radio Host of the Year and is a three-time consecutive winner of the Radio & Records National Talk Show Host of The Year Award (‘03, ’04, ‘05).

Appearances

He conducts “Hannitization of America Tours,” which have live audiences, abd conducts Freedom Concerts began in 2003 to raise awareness and funds for The Freedom Alliance, a charity which provides scholarships to the children of slain U-S military personnel.

Hannity appeared at the Atlanta, Georgia public "Tea Party" protest about government spending on April 15, 2009.[5]

Political participation

In 2010, he will appear at a fundraising event for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
"As a best-selling author who reaches millions of viewers and listeners on a daily basis, Sean Hannity fights for conservative values and serves as an important voice for our party," NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said in a press release. "His insight will be invaluable to our Conference, and I look forward to welcoming him to Washington as we prepare for a victorious election cycle."[6]

He was part of a 2007 fundraiser, not open to the public, for Rudy Giuliani. [7]

Responses to comments

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, wrote, in his blog, that Hannity, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh
you have accused me of wanting to exclude white males from jobs generated by the stimulus package. Anyone who takes a moment to examine what I actually said and wrote knows this to be an absurd misrepresentation of my position (see this). ...The hate mail I have received since your broadcast suggests that the mischievous consequences of your demagoguery are potentially dangerous, in addition to being destructive of rational and constructive political discourse.[8]

Reich cited an analysis of his actual words, "he favors a stimulus plan that 'includ[es] women and minorities, and the long-term unemployed' in addition to skilled professionals and white male construction workers, not one that is limited to women and minorities." [9] Hannity, on his January 22 show, Reich "expressed concern that the current [stimulus] package is, well, too inclusive." After airing a clip of Reich's testimony, Hannity stated: 'Now here I thought the package was intended for everybody. So aren't pink slips color blind?'"

References

  1. Brian Stelte (24 November 2008), "One Half of ‘Hannity & Colmes’ Is Leaving", New York Times
  2. Sean Hannity Bio, Sean Hannity and MediaSpan
  3. Bob Ellis (January 23rd, 2009), "Sean Hannity Rush Limbaugh Interview, Part 2", Dakota Voice
  4. Zev Chavets (July 6, 2008), "Late-Period Limbaugh", New York Times
  5. Patrik Jonsson (April 18, 2009), "Arguing the size of the "tea party" protest: In any case, experts see it as democracy in action, and that's a good thing", Christian Science Monitor
  6. Ben Pershing (3 December 2010), "Sean Hannity to address Republican fundraiser", Washington Post
  7. David Saltonstall (19 August 2007), "Giuliani's Fox-y pal cash flap", New York Daily News
  8. Robert Reich (January 24, 2009), "An Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin", Robert Reich's Blog
  9. "Conservative media figures falsely suggest that Reich proposed excluding white males from stimulus package", MediaMatters, January 23, 2009