Despite the giant graphics blaring “MEANINGLESS” and “PURE THEATER,” Sean Hannity seemed rather panicked over Cassidy Hutchinson’s extremely damaging testimony to the January 6 committee yesterday as he tried to deflect to inflation, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, Hunter Biden, Nancy Pelosi and even Hillary Clinton.
In fact, Hannity seemed as panicked as his bedtime BFF Donald Trump, who had quite the social media meltdown over her testimony. And just like his beloved, Hannity couldn’t seem to stop lying and dissembling.
Hannity's own colleague, Bret Baier, anchor of Fox's flagship "Special Report," called Hutchinson's testimony "compelling" and "stunning" but Hannity blithely ignored that, with the evident approval of Fox higher ups.
Here are his tactics:
Deflect to inflation
HANNITY: Wow, what a day in the Washington sewer and swamp once again, while you the American people -- you know, the people that actually make this a great country are facing, you know, a deluge of serious problems, you know, like record inflation, record high gas prices, record numbers of illegal immigrants, record homicides, in so many of our towns and cities.
Deflect to Black Lives Matter
HANNITY: Instead of honest hearings on how to protect our institutions, our elected officials, to protect the people's house, the Capitol. Instead of ever allowing riots like those that occurred in the summer of 2020 from ever, ever happening again, we see nothing but blind, never-ending rage, what is a seemingly an obsessive-compulsive cult like rage against Donald Trump. It never ends.
Attack Cassidy Hutchinson with lies
HANNITY: Today, we heard more rumors, a ton of hearsay, and wow a lot of impeached testimony that we'll get to in a second. And this is why it's never -- hearsay is never admissible in a real court of law, including this wild claim from a former low-level White House staffer.
FACT CHECK: Hannity is echoing Trump’s standard, dishonest denial about people who become inconvenient to know, including Hutchinson. But Hutchinson was a key aide to Trump’s top aide, Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows. She had an office next to Meadows, putting her near the Oval Office, and was reportedly “always by his side” in meetings.
Hannity also attacked Hutchinson for wanting to work for Trump in Mar-a-Lago after January 6th. It’s certainly surprising that she wanted to, and I’ll bet she changed her mind at some point, but that really has nothing to do with the truthfulness or significance of her testimony.
Blowing up the significance of Trump yes-men’s denials about lunging at the Secret Service agent
Hannity played a clip of Hutchinson's now-disputed claim that Trump, in a rage over the Secret Service refusing to drive him to the Capitol after his rally, tried to grab the steering wheel from his driver and tried to choke the Secret Service agent who tried to stop him. The Secret Service acknowledges Trump was furious, however, and the two men who are now disputing Hutchinson’s testimony are known to be Trump toadies.
But that’s a sideshow. The far bigger revelation in Hutchinson’s testimony was her claim that Donald Trump wanted to get rid of the weapons detectors at his rally in order to beef up his crowd size and because he said they would not be used on him. Then he urged people he knew were armed to march to the Capitol.
Hannity dishonestly suggested the Jan. 6 protesters weren’t really armed
HANNITY: Today, the so-called witness also claimed President Trump wanted to get rid of the metal detectors at the January 6 rally and allow armed individuals to attend. Today, President Trump flat out denied this claim and pointed out a simple fact, zero guns were ever discharged by those that breached the Capitol or in D.C. that day.
Hannity’s “zero guns” comment is beyond disingenuous and false. It also echoes a Tucker Carlson lie that none of the protesters were armed with guns.
As NPR noted, the protesters arrived at the Capitol armed with stun guns, pepper spray, baseball bats and flagpoles wielded as clubs. NPR also noted that someone allegedly planted pipe bombs by the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican parties the night before the riot and remains at large.
Hannity surely knows that about 150 officers from the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department and local agencies were injured on January 6 and hundreds of workers were traumatized by the mob, as The New York Times reported in January.
Hannity tried to blame Nancy Pelosi with more falsehoods
HANNITY: It's [Pelosi’s] domain. She's in charge of Capitol security.
Why have they [the Jan. 6 committee] not demanded the emails, the texts, the phone records of Pelosi, of [Washington D.C. mayor] Bowser, the sergeant of arms in the House, and the Senate, the Capitol police chief, and Chuck Schumer who got a letter on January 5th saying the intel is saying we might have violence?
They haven't brought any of these people in. Of course, this is not a real committee looking for real answers. It's a political theater conducted exclusively only by people who already voted to impeach Donald Trump. Every single person on this committee ever -- you can't make it up -- every one of them voted to impeach Donald Trump.
Speaking of political theater, Hannity’s that is, Nancy Pelosi is not responsible for Capitol security.
Hannity concluded his attempt at damage control by bringing up Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton
Like the conclusion of a July 4th fireworks display, Hannity wound up his attempt at damage control by tossing a barrage of attacks in the air.
You know Hannity had to be feeling desperate to start yammering about Hunter Biden.
HANNITY: And a newly uncovered audio reveals that your President Joe Biden knew all about his son's sketchy foreign business ventures, for example, in China. We now have a 2018 voicemail. You can hear Joe's voice. You know it's him.
But he also went after Rep. Liz Cheney. He said she is engaged in “one final hurrah at the bitter end of a sad and self-serving political career."
He complained that there isn’t a committee looking into the Black Lives Matter protests. And then:
HANNITY: Remember the media mob, Democrats accused Trump of Russia collusion. They lied for three long years. Turns out the only real Russia collusion was Hillary Rodham Clinton's dirty misinformation bought and paid for dirty Russian dossier.
You can watch Hannity sound like he’s on a drunken tirade below, from the June 28, 2022 Hannity show.
It really doesn’t matter because the point is that it’s not in dispute that Trump was OK with armed protesters and he wanted to go to the Capitol with that same armed crowd, only now more riled up.
1. The Fusion GPS research in 2016 which resulted in the dossier on Trump’s proclivities was paid for by the Washington Free Beacon, a Far Right propaganda outlet that was doing oppo research on behalf of GOP candidates who wanted Trump out of the race. It was only after Trump bullied everyone out of his way that WFB walked away and Fusion GPS asked a Clinton supporter if they wanted to have the results. The constant angry Right Wing refrains of “Hillary Clinton paid-for” leaves out the reality of this situation – and Clinton herself didn’t deal with the dossier or Fusion GPS anyway.
2. The Hunter Biden obsession by angry Right Wingers is quite odd, to be honest. In reality, he’s a guy who’s had addiction issues and other problems who has tried to legally parlay his family name into helping him in business. For all the Right Wing noise about it, nothing we’ve seen of Biden’s activity has been illegal or even unethical. It’s possible that he didn’t pay all of his taxes (although he did pay a very large sum, one that’s exponentially higher than anything Trump has paid) and maybe he’ll wind up having to pay a fine at some point. But there’s no story there – the only reason that propaganda outlets like Fox keep pushing Hunter stories is because they know their viewers hate the Bidens and it’s good revenge fodder.
3. It’s interesting that Fox and other angry Right Wing outlets have tried to turn Liz Cheney into a boogeyman for her temerity in upholding criminal laws and standards. Suddenly, Cheney went from getting to be a fill-in host for Hannity and disgraced former host O’Reilly to being a target of their scorn and hatred. Let’s keep in mind that Cheney is still the same Far Right personality she always was – she is not some kind of liberal icon at all. (She made a point of celebrating the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v Wade). But Fox and Hannity and the other angry Right Wing shouters cannot tolerate Cheney now – simply because she does not swear eternal loyalty to Zod.
4. Hutchinson’s testimony is primarily about what she personally saw and heard while working in the Pence White House. Her accounts line up with what other witnesses have been saying about Pence’s childish former spokesman having multiple tantrums and meltdowns after people would patiently try to explain to him that he lost the 2020 Election. As for the infamous tantrum in the vehicle, it has not been disputed by the people who were there. What we’re hearing is an “unnamed source” who says that people are disputing it. Ornato and Engel were both interviewed by the January 6 committee at a prior date. Neither has made any statement that Hutchinson was saying anything but the truth. Let’s also note that angry Right Wingers are trying a narrative that Pence’s childish former spokesman could not have lunged for the steering wheel from the back of the limo. Except that there are different “Beast” vehicles (ie bulletproofed, etc). When this incident happened, Pence’s childish former spokesman was being travelled in the Suburban SUV “Beast” and could easily have reached over to grab the wheel. Further, let’s remember that all parties are acknowledging the tantrum happened. The Right Wing quibble is whether or not the tantrum went far enough for him to try to grab the wheel or the agent.
5. It’s interesting that angry Right Wingers keep trying to change the narrative about the mob on January 6. Their latest wrinkle is “it’s no big deal that the crowd had guns and tasers and weapons”. Of course, their first spin was “it was antifa people doing this”, and that went nowhere. Then they said “it was good people just visiting the Capitol to protest and they were acting like tourists anyway”. Then it went to “some of those good people got carried away and they should be punished, but nobody was armed and the only one attacked was poor Ashli Babbitt.” Now we’re getting “it’s no big deal that people were armed.” What’s next? “It’s no big deal that the armed mob was attacking people with weapons”?
The reality of January 6 is and was that an angry Right Wing mob, led by a group that worked with premeditation, assaulted the US Capitol with intent to injure and kill anyone not letting them have their way. The reality is that Pence’s childish former spokesman cannot deal with the fact that he is the loser of the 2020 Election, and his tantrum over being a loser has cost this country dearly in terms of lives lost, property damage, injuries and a general loss of confidence in our ability to have a civilized society when angry Right Wingers do not wish to be part of it.
Sean Hannity is a liar, a fraud, a coward, and a traitor. Never forget. Never forgive. Ever.
I wonder if the idea of holding an additional impromptu, surprise session may not have been motivated by desire to remove/reduce the target on Hutchinson’s back. Dampen down the temptation to snuff her before her testimony became public. Trumpians do tend to talk/behave like mobsters in the movies, don’t they?