On Tuesday’s primary for the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Trump favorite Ron DeSantis came away with the victory and the opportunity to face progressive Democrat Andrew Gillum in November. So the DeSantis campaign officially launched the next day when he appeared on Fox News and charged that African-American Gillum would “monkey up” the state.
That’s a pretty horrendous start to what will surely be a campaign marked by the sort of racism and invective that a Trump minion like DeSantis embraces. It will be a campaign that relies on State TV (aka Fox News) for support and free advertising. In fact, DeSantis has already received more than $9,000 000 worth of airtime from Fox.
However, that isn’t the only boost that DeSantis has enjoyed from Fox News. The top rated host on the network, Sean Hannity, has been plugging his candidacy, and maligning his opponent, for weeks. But something that DeSantis said in his victory speech stood out as peculiar and warrants more scrutiny (video below):
“We had some great surrogates. You know (Rep.) Matt Gaetz was out on the road with us raising a little hell now and then. We had people like Sean Hannity come down, and Mark Levin, which was just phenomenal.”
So thanks to this revelation by DeSantis, we now know that Hannity went down to Florida to assist the campaign of a Republican candidate for governor. At any other news network that would be considered a breach of their standards of professional conduct and cause for termination. Surprisingly, that appeared to be just such a breach at Fox News in 2016 when Hannity appeared in a campaign video for then-candidate Donald Trump. Fox noted at the time that this was improper and Hannity was sternly advised not to do it again. Sure, that’s about wrist-slappy a punishment that there could be, but it was a punishment.
There is no excuse for a “news” network host colluding with partisan candidates for public office. And this being a second offense, it ought to draw a more severe penalty. Anyone else at any other network would likely be fired. And if Fox News needs any additional incentive to invoke that sanction, they could just look at Hannity’s recent past. Earlier this year he was revealed to be a client of Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney who just pleaded guilty to eight felonies. But Hannity kept that a secret even when interviewing Cohen on his show.
What’s more, Hannity serves in the odd position of being Trump’s “shadow chief-of-staff” and reports say that he talks to the President on an almost nightly basis. But even when these reports surface, Hannity refuses to disclose the nature and extent of their relationship. That alone should be regarded as a blatant conflict of interest and a fireable offense.
FOR THE RECORD: Hannity has gone back and forth about whether he is a journalist. At times he insists he is. Other times he denies it. Here are examples of both.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox News to behave honorably. After all, they are the network that gave Trump more airtime than any other network. And it was Hannity who gave Trump more airtime than any other program on Fox News. So Hannity is actually carrying out the mission of Fox News by advancing the people and propaganda that he is directed to from the executive suites – and the White House. Note that Bill Shine, former Fox News president and Hannity’s old boss, is now a top Trump White House aide. That’s how State TV works.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
After winning the GOP nomination for governor in Florida, Ron DeSantis gave thanks to Fox News hosts Mark Levin and Sean Hannity pic.twitter.com/daBBWwD13B
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) August 29, 2018