Sean Hannity has important information about Jan. 6th and Donald Trump’s state of mind but is putting loyalty to MAGA over the U.S. Sadly, it’s not surprising.
Brian Stelter, who, I have repeatedly said, knows more about Fox News than probably any other journalist, did a 50-minute interview this week for Mediaite’s podcast, The Interview. The hosts were Fox savvy: Mediaite Editor in Chief Aidan McLaughlin and Mediaite Senior Media Reporter Diana Falzone. The latter is a former Fox News reporter. The combo made for an interview that was more substantive about Fox in a way I haven't seen since Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report.
Most of the interview was about Fox's role in pushing The Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election and in fomenting the January 6th insurrection.
I found the entire conversation fascinating and you may, too. But the part that jumped out at me was about Hannity and January 6th. Keep in mind that Stelter got much, if not most, of his information from documents produced by Fox in the Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox.
Stelter explains why Jan. 6 could not have happened without Fox News
Stelter began by saying that blame for January 6th is widely shared. He emphasized that it rests mostly on the rioters and co-conspirators. “It’s not as if Mark Levin on Fox was saying, ‘storm the gates.’” Stelter noted. But Levin didn’t need to, either. “He and others were softening the ground for months” with their drumbeat of "stolen election" lies, Stelter said
Stelter also noted that some of the January 6th rioters who have pled guilty said they had been watching too much Fox.
STELTER: Whether you're Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot [and killed breaking into the Capitol], whether you're Ray Epps, the man who was smeared by Fox and is now suing Fox for defamation, you don't fly across the country unless you've consumed a lot of these lies. You're not just watching for 20 minutes and then booking an airline ticket. You have to live in this network of lies. You have to live in this stuff every day for months. So that's why it matters that this was going on for two months on the air.
Stelter also reported that the weekend before the insurrection, Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin were on Fox News urging viewers to "stand up." “I would say Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin were the two people coming the closest to pushing for something to happen on Wednesay [Jan. 6],” he said. “And of course Trump was pushing the hardest, but they were echoing what Trump was saying.”
Before Jan. 6, Hannity texted with Mark Meadows that he was worried about that day
STELTER: Sean Hannity was texting Mark Meadows, worried about January 6th. Mark Meadows was getting those texts from Sean Frickin Hannity. … Sean has still never addressed what he knew about Trump’s mind before and after the riot. Sean Hannity is harboring secrets about what happened before and after January 6th. I get a little passionate about that because I think it’s so interesting and underappreciated.
Sean Hannity was asked by the January 6 committee to come in and testify. He didn’t. Kayleigh McEnany did. And of course, she was press secretary at the time. But that’s a Fox colleague who testified.
Anyway, I just think it’s so interesting. Hannity is one of the missing pieces of January 6th. I’m not blaming him for any of it. I’m not pointing a finger at him. I’m saying he was on the phone with Trump aides, he was on the phone with Trump. He knows a lot about Trump’s state of mind and he’s never told his [bit?].
McLaughlin said that Hannity has been on The Interview previously and “We’ll have to get him on again.”
Now that would be interesting! But I suspect Hannity would no more be a patriot with McLaughlin than he was with the January 6th Committee.
You can watch the full Stelter interview below. The relevant part for this post begins at about 21:18.
(Hannity image by Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
FWIW, I’ve been laid low for a few days by the latest Covid booster. I’m feeling a bit better tonight and hope to be back to work tomorrow.
Sean Hannity is a liar, a fraud, a coward, and a traitor. Never forget. Never forgive. Ever.