Hannity

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  • Sean Hannity Has Given Donald Trump $31 Million In Free Publicity

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS, CARLOS MAZA & BEN DIMIERO

    Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been informally advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while serving as its primary media cheerleader, has effectively turned his nightly prime-time show into Trump’s second campaign headquarters. According to a Media Matters analysis, Hannity’s program has given Trump what amounts to more than $31 million in free advertising in the form of dozens of fawning interviews with the candidate since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015.

    Hannity has devoted just over 22 hours of airtime to broadcasting interviews with Trump since the launch of Trump’s campaign. That airtime is worth more than $31 million according to advertising value calculated by media monitoring service iQ Media. That coverage includes 51 original interviews and over a dozen re-airings of previously aired interviews. This year alone, Hannity has aired thirteen and a half hours of Trump interviews, four and a half hours of which have come since Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican primary in early May, effectively ending the race.

    IQ Media uses Nielsen data to determine the viewership of a given program and price data for advertising from Sqad to come up with an equivalent advertising rate.

    These numbers only count the amount of time Hannity spent airing interviews featuring Donald Trump -- they do not include the countless time Hannity spends carrying the Trump campaign's water without the candidate present, including similarly fawning interviews with Trump family members, surrogates, and supporters.

    Hannity has repeatedly faced criticism for his obsequious Trump coverage, including from conservatives who have mocked Hannity for his “slavish” Trump cheerleading and accused him of hosting a “nightly infomercial” for Trump’s campaign.

    According to a previous Media Matters study, Hannity devoted far more airtime to interviews with Trump than with any of his 16 Republican presidential primary opponents. Just before dropping out of the race, Cruz complained that Rupert Murdoch and former network head Roger Ailes had “turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network.”

    New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg recently reported that, in addition to serving as “Trump’s biggest media booster,” Hannity has “for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.” Hannity defended himself by telling the Times that he’s “never claimed to be a journalist” and that he is “not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.”

    Hannity’s efforts to promote Trump's candidacy aren't ending anytime soon -- he’s slated to host the second half of a two-hour Trump town hall tonight.

    Methodology

    Media Matters used iQ Media to ascertain the monetary value of Donald Trump's appearances on Hannity from May 1, 2015-August 23, 2015. The study includes all original appearances in Hannity’s usual 10 p.m. EST time slot -- repeat and reaired appearances were counted if they aired on a new day between 6 a.m. and midnight (overnight reairings of Hannity were not included). Trump interviews during early morning post-debate Hannity specials were counted. Interviews with Hannity guest hosts and guest interviewers were included if they aired on the program.

    Graphic by Sarah Wasko.

  • Hannity Praises Trump For Using A Teleprompter After Years Of Demonizing Obama For Using Them

    Sean Hannity: “I Would Argue He Found The Secret Sauce, And He’s Still Trump Being Trump”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Sean Hannity hosted Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to praise Donald Trump’s use of a teleprompter during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, despite Hannity’s past obsession with criticizing President Barack Obama’s use of a teleprompter.

    Hannity has spent years obsessively attacking President Obama’s use of a teleprompter to give speeches. He has claimed that Obama “has a teleprompter on each side of the bed when he goes to sleep every night, if he doesn’t actually put it in the bed” adding “most Americans have figured out that you take away that teleprompter, he’s in trouble.”

    Speaking to Conway, Hannity declared, “I like [Trump] on prompter myself, my own personal preference,” adding Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated “he found the secret sauce, and he’s still Trump being Trump”:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask you this. He gave two speeches, this is what I -- this is what I think is the secret sauce.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes.

    HANNITY: He only talked about Hillary and Obama, he was on prompter. I like him on prompter myself, my own personal preference. But he stayed on a very powerful Donald Trump message. It was totally him, and he made very powerful points, but he outlined the failures and offered solutions.

  • Hannity’s Shameless Trump Town Hall Includes Lies That Trump Opposed Iraq And Opposed Troop Withdrawal

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Sean Hannity’s town hall with Donald Trump included several lies about the war in Iraq that were repeated by Hannity throughout the night.

    In one of the first questions of his town hall, Hannity suggested that Trump opposed the war in Iraq initially but wanted troops to remain later in the war to keep the country stabilized, arguing that “even though you were opposed to [the war], you were opposed to leaving.”

     

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask you this, I know it was being controversial when you said that the founder of ISIS is Obama and the co-founder is Hillary, but yesterday -- yesterday you went into a lot of detail. You and I, actually, I remember debating you, because I did support Iraq, but I didn't support leaving early without finishing the job. We had so many Americans bleed and die and risk their lives for Mosul, Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, and Tikrit, they won those cities. And you talked about, even though you were opposed to it, you were opposed to leaving.

    DONALD TRUMP: Look, look, I said one thing right from the beginning, I wanted to get out. We should have never been there, and I wanted to get out and I've been against it ever since. You can look back to 2004, 2003. In fact, on Neil Cavuto's show before the war started, I said let's not do it, we have other things we have to do, including fix our economy, which was a mess, to put it mildly. The way we got out was ridiculously. But I've been saying something since I've known you, keep the oil. Have I said that?

    During the interview with Hannity, Trump cited a 2003 interview he gave to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto as proof that he opposed the war. But Trump did not say during that interview he opposed the war, instead he urged President George W. Bush to make a decision, saying “either you attack or you don’t attack.” Furthermore, during a 2002 interview with radio host Howard Stern, Trump said that he supported the invasion of Iraq.

    Trump also called for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2007 saying  America should “declare victory and leave” Iraq, and in 2008 he said “I’d get out of Iraq right now.”

  • Fox Defends Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” Proposal As Other Journalists Criticize It

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    Fox News figures are praising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposal to have “extreme vetting” of immigrants wanting to come into the United States and using questionnaires to vet their beliefs, saying “we’ve done it before,” that it “made sense,” and that it was part of a “a solution-based program.” Meanwhile, other journalists and media outlets are saying the idea “just beggars belief” and is an “impractical” attempt “to recast his Muslim ban in other, less obviously offensive terms.”

  • Giuliani Peddles Repeated Right-Wing Media Lie That There Were No Post-9/11 Terror Attacks Under Bush

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    Former New York City mayor and Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani falsely claimed that in the “eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States,” pushing a false right-wing media narrative that there were no terror attacks during the Bush administration.

  • Media Scandalize Clinton Connections By Mischaracterizing International Security Advisory Board Appointee As Unfit

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media are scandalizing the 2011 State Department International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) appointment of Rajiv Fernando, a Chicago-based securities trader and Clinton Foundation donor, suggesting Fernando knew “absolutely nothing about intel” and claiming he was only appointed because “he donated up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.” But Fernando is an expert in cybersecurity, which the ISAB prepared a report on in 2014, and the State Department said the ISAB is “looking for a broad range of experiences” when considering candidates.

  • “I Was There”: AP Reporter Debunks Conspiracy Theory That Video Shows Clinton Suffering From Seizures

    Right-Wing Media Has Pushed Clinton Health Conspiracies In Attempt To Distract From Trump Controversies

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Associated Press reporter Lisa Lerer debunked right-wing conspiracy theories that a video showing Hillary Clinton laughing at press questions shows her suffering from a seizure.

    Right-wing media personalities including Sean HannityAlex Jones, and Matt Drudge, have attempted to change the subject from Donald Trump’s campaign troubles by drumming up a conspiracy that Hillary Clinton is in poor health. Fox host Hannity has led the crusade attacking Clinton, bringing on guests to diagnose Clinton of various diseases using deceptively edited snippets of video and photos of Clinton.

    Hannity repeatedly used video taken several months ago of Clinton’s campaign visit to a bakery where he speculated that her exaggerated motion was possibly a seizure.

     

     

    Lerer explained that what happened during Clinton’s campaign visit to Washington D. C. on June 10 while covering the campaign was less controversial (emphasis added):

    I've never been part of a conspiracy theory. Now, video of my surprised facial expression has become Exhibit A in the latest unfounded speculation about Hillary Clinton.

    It starts with Clinton's visit to a muffin shop in Washington on June 10, five days before the District of Columbia's Democratic primary. The then-presumptive Democratic nominee popped in for a photo op with Mayor Muriel Bowser and other officials supporting her campaign.

    As an Associated Press reporter who's spent more than a year covering her candidacy, I was there for her appearance. After she ordered herself a "cold chai," my colleagues and I shouted some questions, mostly about Clinton's recent meeting with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    Perhaps eager to avoid answering or maybe just taken aback by our volume, Clinton responded with an exaggerated motion, shaking her head vigorously for a few seconds. Video of the moment shows me holding out my recorder in front of her, laughing and stepping back in surprise. After the exchange, she took a few more photos, exited the shop and greeted supporters waiting outside.

    CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter explained the Clinton health conspiracy theories began from “pro-Trump Twitter accounts, which then went to a fringe right-wing blog, which then went to the Drudge Report” and on to other media outlets.  

  • Hannity Responds To Trump Campaign Troubles With Clinton Health Conspiracy Parade

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Hannity

    Over the last week, as Donald Trump faced disappointing poll numbers and continued to spawn a series of never-ending controversies on the campaign trail, Fox News’ Sean Hannity -- who has perhaps been Trump’s biggest cheerleader in the media -- has devoted large chunks of his Fox News program to engaging in baseless conspiracies that Hillary Clinton is in ill health.

    Hannity, Drudge and conspiracy media like Alex Jones’ Infowars are part of a steady, months-long drumbeat consistently pushing baseless claims that Clinton has serious health problems.

    As CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out, Hannity’s crusade is an example of “how this ecosystem exists, where something starts, in this case on pro-trump Twitter accounts, and it makes its way all the way up to some of the top shows on cable television, even though it's really rooted in a conspiracy theory.”

    Monday: “Some Said It's Like A Mini-Seizure”

    On Monday, Hannity hosted neurologist Dr. David Samadi and Dr. Marc Seigel to assess whether Clinton “could be experiencing a serious undisclosed medical condition.” During the segment, Hannity referenced a misleading Drudge-promoted photo of Clinton slipping on icy stairs to kick off a segment in which he questioned his guests on whether Clinton had suffered “a mini-seizure” or had a “mini-stroke.”

    The transcript of the exchange, via Nexis:

    HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY. So an image of Hillary Clinton recently posted to the Web site "The American Mirror" is sparking new controversy for the Clinton campaign. The picture, which shows Hillary Clinton apparently needing assistance to climb a flight of stairs at a campaign stop back in February, was picked up by "The Drudge Report," which posted this headline over the weekend detailing Hillary Clinton's history with falls and speculating that the former secretary of state could be experiencing a serious undisclosed medical condition.

    Earlier today we reached out to the Clinton campaign for a statement, and a spokesman told us that "The Drudge Report" is shameful, and anyone who buys into that vitriol, including yours truly, is shameful as well. So shameful we are.

    Anyway, what was noticeably missing from the statement is any reference or rebuttal to the health issues that were alleged by Drudge and others.

    Joining us now with analysis, from the FOX News medical A-Team we have FOX News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel and Dr. David Samadi is with us. It's in "The Daily Mail," are Hillary Clinton's health problems more severe than thought? A new book is coming out that claims that. The Gateway Pundit had today, "Hillary's handler carrying a diazepam pen for patients who experience recurrent seizures. When you look at her history, Dr. Siegel, of falling, concussions, the blood clots, et cetera, and then this other video that has emerged, what are your thoughts?

    DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the public has the right to know. Number one, we're talking in 2008, Sean, I looked over 1,000 pages of John McCain's records because of a melanoma he had 10 years before. What about Hillary? In 2009, a severe fall, she breaks an elbow. In 2011 she boards a plane, falls. In 2012 she has a severe concussion which Bill Clinton says it took her six months to recover from.

    Then she ends up with a blood clot on the brain. She's on lifetime blood thinners. Just to point alone, if she's prone to falling, and you see from our picture up there that it looks like she can barely get upstairs without two people carrying her. If she falls and hits her head she'll get a blood clot in her brain.

    HANNITY: Just out of fairness, I don't want to show the video. But I've asked both of you to look at the video where she seems like, some said it's like a mini-seizure. What does it look like to you.

    SIEGEL: I'm also concerned about this concussion she had in 2012. It could be post-concussion syndrome. Your balance is off. You're dizzy all the time. Your memory is off. You're not thinking clearly. Maybe that is what she meant this week when talked about that click she had with Chris Wallace. Maybe she just can't think.

    HANNITY: She says she short circuited. Also, it's not just that. She doesn't give a lot of press conferences. She doesn't want to seem to put herself in high pressure situations.

    SIEGEL: I want to know what her neurologist says. I've reached out to her neurologist at Columbia after she had that fall. No comment. I want to know what her neurological records show.

    HANNITY: You think as you have done with John McCain and other presidential candidates, obviously John McCain is older, do you think it's fair game, especially if people see that something seems a little off?

    SIEGEL: Not just fair game. Just the point alone that she's on blood thinners and seems to be prone to fall, if she falls when she's in the White House --

    HANNITY: Is there a possibility she had a mini-stroke, a TIA? What do you think?

    DR. DAVID SAMADI, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The picture that you showed as she's going up the stairs speaks a million words. Is he really fatigued? Is she dehydrated? One of the main reasons why she fell in 2012 and had the concussion was severe dehydration. They're holding her and going up the stairs so she may be really dehydrated, she may have arthritis, she may have back pain. She may have fallen again. We don't know. So there are a lot more questions that are unanswered. What we know today is that she's on thyroid medication. She suffers from hypothyroid or low thyroid that can cause some fatigue and gaining weight and all of that.

    Tuesday: “What About Some Of The Weird Pauses She Has”

    On Tuesday, Hannity had neurologist Dr. Daniel Kassicieh and Dr. Marc Seigel on and again brought up the photos from the Drudge Report. He asked, “Is it possible she had a stroke, or do you really believe it was a head injury, traumatic brain injury?”

    He also pondered, “What about some of the weird pauses she has, the coughing fits she has? There are moments when I'm literally watching her and I'm thinking, OK, the facial expressions are odd. They seem off.”

    The transcript of the exchange, via Nexis:

    HANNITY: So last time on this program we spoke about an image that was being circulated online of Hillary Clinton. The picture shows the Democratic nominee being helped a flight of stairs by her staffers. This was back in February. "The Drudge Report" picked it up and speculated about her health.

    So should Hillary have to reveal her medical condition as well as give us maybe those Wall Street speeches, maybe those big bank speeches? And joining us now with reaction is board-certified neurologist and headache specialist Dr. Daniel Kassicieh and from the FOX News Medical A-Team is Dr. Mark Seigel. Dr. Siegel, good to see you again.

    Daniel, let me start with you. Doctor, let me ask you, what do you see in her condition and some of these images where she keeps getting flustered or the coughing fits or you hear about the blood clots. What is your interpretation?

    DR. DANIEL KASSICIEH, BOARD CERTIFIED NEUROLOGIST: My concern is going back to her concussion when she fell back in December of 2012 and she had a reported blood clot. The blood clot cleared up quickly with the blood thinners, but Bill Clinton actually reported that it took six months of hard work for Hillary to recover from her head injury.

    HANNITY: Is it possible she had a stroke, or do you really believe it was a head injury, traumatic brain injury?

    KASSICIEH: I believe that she had a concussion with a possible brain injury. Of course, I haven't seen medical records, but the blood clot once it cleared up was no longer an issue. It was the latent effects of the concussion that I would be concerned about.

    HANNITY: By the way, I'm glad you're a headache expert because any time she or any liberal speaks, I get a headache. Dr. Siegel?

    DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sean, this is a year when we're looking into the long term effects of concussion and we're finding that we're underestimating this, that someone who has a severe blow to the head can have affects later on that even an MRI doesn't show. So at the very least I want to see her medical records.

    HANNITY: What about some of the weird pauses she has, the coughing fits she has? There are moments when I'm literally watching her and I'm thinking, OK, the facial expressions are odd. They seem off.

    SIEGEL: I don't know this because I'm only looking at a video. But I saw the same video you saw and I'm wondering about a word called "aphasia" where you're searching for words, you suddenly lose those words, and that can be the sign, again, of some kind of traumatic brain injury or the after effects of a concussion.

    I'm not satisfied to just get a letter from Dr. Bardack who is her primary and say she's fit to be president. That is like getting a letter from an accountant, the taxes are OK. I want to see what a neurologist wrote about her.

    Hannity similarly promoted the conspiracy theory that Clinton had a stroke on his syndicated radio show on Tuesday, claiming, “one doctor friend of mine was really convinced she had a stroke.”

    Wednesday: “It Almost Seems Seizure-Esque To Me”

    On Wednesday, Hannity hosted Dr. Marc Siegel and Dr. Fiona Gupta, claiming that “questions continue to swirl about Hillary Clinton's health and if she is fit to serve as president of the United States.”

    The transcript of the exchange, via Nexis:

    HANNITY: Look at this video right here. Watch her reaction, because I'm not -- it almost seems seizure-esque to me.

    GUPTA: There are different types of seizures, local seizures that sometimes can cause just one body part, but it would be very rare. I mean, typically seizures will generalize, so I can't say that's a seizure.

    HANNITY: Aren't there many seizures like that, Dr. Siegel?

    DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not a neurologist, and I don't think that necessarily looks like a seizure, but I will say this --

    HANNITY: Let's re-rack this. What do you think this is?

    SIEGEL: I'll tell you what I think it is. I think that we've seen enough there, especially in someone who has a long medical history and who's approaching 70 years old for me to be able to say here that both of our candidates need to release their medical information. Sean, the whole idea --

    HANNITY: It looks like violent, out of control movements on her part.

    SIEGEL: And it could be, and I say could be, related to previous head trauma she's had. It's possible. That's why I need to see the records. That's why a neurologist needs to come forward and give a press conference and say this is what is going on with her. She may very well be completely fit, but we want to know.

    Thursday: “You've Got This Sort Of Twitching Thing That She Does”

    On Thursday, Hannity hosted Drs. Marc Siegel and David Samadi, along with former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson to discuss “speculation” about Clinton’s health in a segment he introduced by asking, “Why won't the mainstream media talk about this story?”

    Hannity asked the panel to comment on video supposedly showing Clinton engaging in “violent, violent, repetitive jerking of the head,” and wondered about “this sort of twitching thing that she does.”

    The transcript of the exchange, via Nexis:

    HANNITY: Dr. Carson, I'll show you the different examples. She's falling. You've got this sort of twitching thing that she does in front of reporters that was really bad. There's been a number of incidents and reports that she fell. And then she had this really long incident where she was out of commission for quite a while, recovering, her husband said. She's on anti- coagulants.

    Number one, do we have a right to know? And number two, what do you make of this twitching thing that she keeps doing? I'll run it again.

    HANNITY: Why are you laughing? You're the brain surgeon here. I'm just a humble little host.

    (LAUGHTER)

    CARSON: Oh, it just looks funny. You know, certainly as a person gets older, you know, the number of medical conditions that we have to watch for increases, which is one of the reasons that we strongly suggest, as you get older, that you have at least an annual examination. If you're going into a very important position like this, it's critical.