Hannity repeatedly pushed stories after Fox backed away from or retracted them

Hannity repeatedly pushed stories after Fox backed away from or retracted them

He also has flouted ethical and employment guidelines

››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

Volatile Fox News anchor and right-wing conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity has repeatedly pushed stories even after his network retracted or backed away from them and has on multiple occasions broken ethical and employment guidelines. Hannity has pushed polls that the network had previously said “do not meet our editorial standards,” hyped debunked Muslim “no-go zones” in France after the network had to apologize for reporting about them, engaged in political activity without Fox’s knowledge or approval, and has used his Fox platform to benefit a sponsor of his radio show.

Online polls

Clinton indictment

Muslim "no-go zones"

Helping Trump during campaign

Fundraising for tea party

Hannity pushed online polls supporting Trump days after Fox memo said they “do not meet our editorial standards”

Leaked Fox memo said 2016 online election polls "do not meet our editorial standards." Business Insider reported that the Fox News vice president for public opinion research sent a September 27 internal memo “reminding television producers and the politics team that unscientific online polls ‘do not meet our editorial standards.’” [Business Insider, 9/28/16]

Hannity hyped online polls just two days after internal memo circulated saying they don’t meet Fox standards. On September 29, Sean Hannity cited post-debate online polls to show that people "vote so overwhelmingly for [Donald] Trump," just two days after a Fox News internal memo said they "do not meet our editorial standards.” Scientific polls showed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won the debate, with an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll showing that then-candidate Donald Trump came in third place in the two-person debate, finishing both behind Clinton and "neither." [Media Matters, 9/26/16]

Hannity hyped a “likely” Hillary Clinton indictment after anchor Bret Baier apologized for saying the same

Hannity boosted a claim that Hillary Clinton would “likely” be indicted after Fox anchor Bret Baier issued an apology for making the same claim. According to HuffPost, Special Report anchor Bret Baier reported “that a post-election indictment” of Hillary Clinton “over the Clinton Foundation is ‘likely,’” basing the claim off of “two anonymous sources.” Two days later, Baier apologized for his reporting and called it a “mistake,” but Hannity still pushed the story on his show after Baier’s admission. Hannity asserted that if elected president, Clinton would “spend all of her time certainly fighting off any type of indictment or criminal charges against her,” and asked his guest Newt Gingrich whether Clinton “would spend most of her time fighting off ‘potential indictment.’” [HuffPost, 11/5/16]

Hannity hyped so-called Muslim “no-go zones” in France a year after Fox said there was “no credible information” to support its prior claims about them

A year after Fox admitted that there was “no credible information” that “no-go zones” exist, Hannity said that “no-go zones actually do exist in France. I know because I’ve covered it here on this program.” After the July 14 terrorist attacks in Nice, France, Hannity asserted that “no-go zones actually do exist in France. I know because I’ve covered it here on this program.” A year and a half before, however, Fox News had to issue two corrections on the existence of Muslim “no-go zones” in England and France. In one statement, Fox host Julie Banderas stated, “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in [England or France] and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion,” according to Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/14/16; The Washington Post, 1/18/15]

Hannity appeared in a pro-Trump ad during 2016 campaign without permission, flew Gingrich to a Trump meeting

Wash. Post: Fox had “no knowledge that Sean Hannity was participating” in a pro-Trump ad and barred him from “doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election.” Hannity appeared in a promotional video for Trump’s 2016 campaign called #HEARTLAND4TRUMP, and the network told The Washington Post it had “no knowledge” that he would appear in the advertisement. A spokesperson said that “he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election.” [The Washington Post, 9/20/16]

CNN: Hannity provided a private jet for Newt Gingrich, then a finalist for Trump’s vice presidential pick, to meet with Trump. CNN reported on July 13 that Newt Gingrich “flew to Indianapolis to meet with Trump on a private jet provided by Fox News host Sean Hannity.” CNN continued that “flying Gingrich to Indianapolis may be viewed as a conflict of interest,” though “Hannity has long argued that he is not subject to journalist ethics because he is a pundit.” [CNN, 7/13/16]

Hannity repeatedly used his Fox platform to promote fundraising for the tea party despite network concerns

In 2014, Hannity used his show to promote fundraising efforts for the Tea Party Patriots, a paid sponsor of his radio show, after Fox said his involvement “has nothing to do with his FNC show.” On September 9, 2014, Hannity used his Fox News program to promote fundraising for the Tea Party Patriots (TPP), a paid sponsor of his radio show, hosting the group’s president to plug its fundraising website. The Fox segment did not disclose that Hannity and TPP are financial partners. [Media Matters, 9/10/14]

After Hannity attempted to tape a 2010 episode of his show with proceeds benefiting a tea party group, “furious” Fox executives cancelled the event. Amid a firestorm of criticism, reportedly "furious" Fox News executives yanked Hannity from taping an April 15, 2010, edition of his show at a Cincinnati Tea Party event, where viewers would be charged admission and "all proceeds" would benefit the organization. Hannity's appearance, which he promoted on 18 editions of his Fox News program, elicited criticism from news and broadcast veterans who questioned the ethics of raising money for a political organization during a production of a Fox News show. [Media Matters, 4/15/10]

Posted In
Religion, Elections, Media Structures & Regulations, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity
Stories/Interests
2016 Elections
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