It turns out Donald Trump is not Sean Hannity’s only late-night phone buddy.
While I was writing up a post for Crooks and Liars about Dr. Oz and his wife getting caught cursing out reporter Olivia Nuzzi after they thought they had hung up on her, this nugget in Nuzzi’s subsequent profile caught my eye:
[Oz] appeared for lighthearted chats with Sean Hannity of Fox News, whom he had befriended at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when the men bonded over the discovery that they kept similar insomniac schedules and began talking often on the phone around 3 or 4 a.m.
During their late night pandemic chats, Dr. Oz would relate to Hannity the latest information he was hearing from his friends in the medical community about coronavirus treatments, which Hannity would then share with his audience.
Interestingly (at least to me), it was also Olivia Nuzzi who reported on Hannity’s bedtime chats with Trump, back in May, 2018:
The call to the White House comes after ten o’clock most weeknights, when Hannity is over. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Sean Hannity broadcasts live at 9 p.m. on Fox News, usually from Studio J in midtown, where the network is headquartered, but sometimes from a remote studio on Long Island, where he was raised and now lives.
On the phone, he and the president alternate between the “witch hunt!” and gabbing like old girlfriends about media gossip and whose show sucks and who’s getting killed in the ratings and who’s winning (Hannity, and therefore Trump) and sports and Kanye West, all of it sprinkled with a staccato fuck … fucking … fucked … fucker. “He’s not a systematic thinker at all. He’s not an ideologue,” one person who knows both men said of Hannity. “He gives tactical advice versus strategic advice.”
The talks may be more important for Trump than for Hannity in a therapeutic sense, even if it’s nearly impossible to accept what we’re seeing from the president reflects any kind of therapy. “He doesn’t live with his wife,” one person who knows both men said of Trump, explaining that he lacks someone “to decompress” with at the end of the day. When they spoke a few hours before Trump welcomed home the newly freed Americans who’d been held hostage in North Korea, he and Hannity told each other how proud they were, how happy the news made them. “You can’t function without that,” this person said, adding that Hannity “actually likes him” even though “he knows how nuts he is. He’s decided that you’re all in or you’re not.”
Of course, that was pre-pandemic and before Trump was kicked out of the White House by the voters. It’s not clear if Hannity’s late-night call roster still includes either or both these guys or if anyone new has taken their place(s).
Fortunately, Nuzzi’s profile makes it seem very unlikely Dr. Oz will win his primary, much less arrive in the U.S. Senate. “The best thing he has going for him is his relationship with Hannity,” a conservative operative told her. But the grass roots influencers are “on a jihad against this guy.” I highly recommend reading her entire article. It’s extremely entertaining, so long as you don’t think too hard about the damning picture it paints about the state of American politics.
You can watch Hannity slobber over Oz, even while insisting he knew better about the risks from COVID than Oz, below, from the March 9, 2020 Hannity.
I particularly like that she did not refer to him as ‘Doctor’, something that has riled him over the mostly negative press he’s been getting.