MSNBC's John Heilemann explains why Fox News and Sean Hannity are sticking with Roy Moore

Heilemann: “Sean Hannity and Fox News are a totally corrupt enterprise that have nothing to do with journalism or principle”

From the November 16 edition of MSNBC's Deadline: White House:

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NICOLE WALLACE (HOST): Sean Hannity spends a lot of time on Bill Clinton's accusers, I think he had Juanita Broaddrick on last night. Sean Hannity, in many hours at Fox News, has spent a lot of time, justifiably so, on Harvey Weinstein's accusers. They will undoubtedly spend time on people accused of sexual misconduct, justifiably so.

JOHN HEILEMANN: I'm sure Al Franken will lead the show tonight.

WALLACE: I'm sure Al Franken will lead all their shows tonight. Why can't anyone -- And, I guess it's the same question I have about Donald Trump. Why is someone accused of predatory sexual conduct who's Republican, like Roy Moore or Donald Trump, given the hands-off treatment, and everyone who leans left or is a media figure crucified? 

HEILEMANN: Well, are you asking in the context of Fox News or Sean Hannity or both?


HEILEMMANN: Because Sean Hannity and Fox News are a totally corrupt enterprise that have nothing to do with journalism or principle and everything to do with advancing an ideological agenda. That's all their behavior. All their behavior is totally predictable on those grounds. That's what they do every day on every story, and this is just -- this is a particularly galling, grotesque example. You would like to think that, in this realm, that we would not care about tribes, partisan tribes or ideological tribes. But the whole Fox News empire and its entire reason for being, its profit motive, its business model is built not, again, on journalism but on advancing that agenda and they are -- Again, we have tribalism in every area, but for Fox News it goes all the way even to this area where you'd think that it would be the one place where it wouldn't be the case. 

WALLACE: Right, the family friendly --

HEATHER MCGHEE: Child molester. 

WALLACE: I guess the hypocrisy, to me, Heather, is that, I worked in a Republican White House. We relied on Fox News for more generous and sort of the benefit of the doubt that we keep talking about, that we couldn't always get other places. But I would never have fathomed in a million years that it would extend to someone accused of sort of preying in a sexual manner on teenage girls. 

MCGHEE: Well, I think it actually goes broader than Fox News, and I'm never one to take the spotlight off of beating up on Fox News' journalistic integrity, or lack thereof. But we also saw that with the white evangelical base that often before was actually more moralistic about the behavior, the sexual behavior of politicians. A poll out last year from Pew -- I'm sorry, [the Public Religion Research Institute] showed that there was a wild swing towards excusing sexual misconduct by politicians after Donald Trump was revealed with the Access Hollywood tapes. And a lot of evangelicals right now are really soul searching because that's a moral question. That's saying, the Bible said this and suddenly, because Donald Trump, a reality host from New York, said differently, I'm going to change what I think the Bible says? And that's I think the degree that we've gotten to right now where we really have to interrogate these labels that we give a lot of meaning to because it's evangelical. But it's actually also a cultural signifier that it seems like Donald Trump has trumped that cultural signifier. 


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