Sean Hannity attempted to blame the beating of two or three people by members of the far-right, “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys on the left, and repeatedly insisted that he had “never heard of” the Proud Boys. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes was a long-time Fox News contributor and appeared on Hannity's eponymous Fox show Hannity 24 times from January 2014 to May 2015, according to a Media Matters review. On Hannity, McInnes espoused deeply racist and sexist views, including that the notion of gender equality makes women vulnerable during spring break, that women earn less than men because “they're less ambitious,” and that he only regretted calling actress Jada Pinkett Smith a "monkey actress" because it cost him Fox News exposure. McInnes founded the Proud Boys in 2016 and announced he was leaving Fox in 2017.
From the October 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): We had riots over the weekend in New York City and in Portland, and it's getting ugly, and I don't think it should surprise anybody in light of the rhetoric we've been hearing.
HANNITY: A viral video surfaced showing, in New York City, members of the group, which I've also never heard of, Proud Boys, some type of male chauvinist organization beating two or three protesters in New York City after an event at a Republican headquarters. So, what you have is -- I know the media's been reporting that they were a group of white supremacists. I don't know anything about them. But there was a hate rally at Republican headquarters in New York City. The way the media's portraying it -- I just have no idea because I don't have it, but, according to the Daily Caller, antifa members actually vandalized the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York ahead of an appearance of this group, Proud Boys, prompting an outbreak of violence there.
HANNITY: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a history of smearing Republican organizations as white supremacists and neo-Nazis. They have labeled this group a hate group. What do they call antifa?
McInnes also advocated violence on the May 12, 2014, edition of Hannity's Fox News show:
GAVIN MCINNES: It would just be nice to see them get their asses kicked once. Why don't we punch them in the face? They make a movie about Islam. Van Gogh's grandson gets a rapier through the heart, and then everyone goes, not going near that again. How about we kick some butt for a change? Show them--
HANNITY: You say this. And this is the world I grew up in, which is we played hockey, ice hockey, roller hockey, street hockey, and I can't think of a day we didn't drop our gloves and throw fists and then pick them up and start playing again. If you do that today, you're going to get arrested.
MCINNES: Pat Buchanan had a handicapped brother. They used to walk him out in front of their brothers, and every time he got picked on they'd all jump in and beat the crap out of the guy.
HANNITY: And beat the crap out of them.
MCINNES: Let's get back to that.
HANNITY: The good old days. ... Cowboys, they brawl sometimes, yes. They do.