On Monday a shocking courtroom drama played out during a hearing for Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. After previously refusing to disclose the name of one of his clients, he relented and announced that the secret client was Fox News host Sean Hannity. After those in attendance regained their composure, the media lit up with tales of the obvious violations of ethics from everyone involved.
It took Fox News another day to come up with a response to this calamity. But the extra time they devoted to it didn’t seem to help them manufacture a satisfactory excuse. All they could muster was a weak attempt to hold themselves blameless and free pass for Hannity to continue being a complete sleazeball. They said that:
“While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.”
Let’s break that down. First of all, Fox News is admitting that they have no idea what Hannity is up to. Obviously he never bothered to tell is bosses that he was in violation of common principles of media ethics. That failure to alert the executives in charge was, by itself, a fireable offense. No media enterprise should ever be “surprised” like this.
Secondly, what Fox is so cavalierly looking the other way about is a complex web of immorality and deceit. Cohen told the court that Hannity is his client. Hannity denied that. In effect, he is calling Cohen a liar. Plus, Hannity insists that Cohen isn’t his lawyer, but still says he should have attorney-client privileges. For that privilege to be in effect, there has to be an attorney and a client. Also, Hannity said that he never paid Cohen anything for his advice. Well, except for the time he slipped him ten bucks to invoke the privacy of an attorney-client relationship that he said he didn’t have. But what is he trying to keep private if the only thing he said he ever discussed with Cohen was real estate?
And why did Cohen try so hard to keep Hannity’s name a secret at the hearing? Does it have anything to do with Cohen’s specialty of facilitating hush money payoffs to mistresses of his famous clients? Or could there be some connection between Hannity and Cohen’s other client, Donald Trump, that they need to keep on the down low? Or maybe even some link between Hannity and Russia? Who knows?
Certainly not Fox News. At least they didn’t know before, and if they know now they aren’t saying. They also aren’t doing anything about it despite all of the blatant misbehavior noted above. Never the mind the beating they are taking in the press. For instance, the Washington Post published an article saying that it’s “Time for Fox News to investigate Sean Hannity.” Time Magazine is asking “Can Sean Hannity and Fox News Cover Michael Cohen Fairly?” Even Trump defender Alen Dershowitz called out Hannity on his own show saying “I do want to say that I really think that you should have disclosed your relationship with Cohen when you talked about him on this show.”
Fox News has already lost too many top prime time stars to take a chance with their current ratings king. Bill O’Reilly was fired due to his serial sexual harassment and abuse. Megyn Kelly ditched Fox for NBC in part due to O’Reilly and other Fox perverts. Laura Ingraham is currently suffering a hemorrhage of advertisers after she attacked David Hogg, the high schooler who survived the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Hannity would be getting off scot-free in under any circumstances because Fox is a den of iniquity and doesn’t care if their standard bearers are slimeballs. But he’s also benefiting because Fox is running out of replacement shills. If they were smart they’d give Hannity the heave-ho – not just because he committed unforgivably unethical acts – but because he’s losing to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. That should be the biggest embarrassment to Fox News that you would think they wouldn’t tolerate. They must really be hard up to let that go by.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.