Not only did Sean Hannity appear with Donald Trump as a guest at last night’s rally – after promising otherwise – he claimed he was “surprised” to have been invited. Even though the rally advertised Hannity’s appearance.
On Sunday, the Trump campaign announced that Hannity, along with Rush Limbaugh, would make “special guest appearances” at Trump’s final campaign rally before the midterms.
Still pretending to have a smidgen of journalistic integrity, Hannity insisted he would “not be on stage” with Trump but “covering” the rally. Hannity even suggested that any reports otherwise were fake news:
In spite of reports, I will be doing a live show from Cape Girardeau and interviewing President Trump before the rally. To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President. I am covering final rally for my show. Something I have done in every election in the past.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 5, 2018
Fox also engaged in the “just covering” charade:
Yesterday, I wrote that it was “hard to think of a tinier or more transparent fig leaf for Hannity’s appearance. It turns out even that fig leaf was too big for the Hannity/Trump/Fox bromance.
Hannity: "To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President." pic.twitter.com/nn8e4P2NMQ— Contemptor (@TheContemptor) November 6, 2018
Fox News acknowledged that Hannity was a “special guest” (i.e. not “covering” the rally) when it posted the video on YouTube. The network’s description states, “Cape Girardeau, Missouri - Special guests Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Lee Greenwood will be in attendance at President Trump's last campaign rally for the 2018 midterm elections.”
Yet, today, Hannity claimed he had been “100% truthful” in previously saying he would not be appearing on stage with Trump and that he had been “surprised, yet honored by the president’s request.”
What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful. When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 6, 2018
Columnist Erik Wemple has a great summary of Hannity’s “surprise appearance” in The Washington Post:
President Trump called Hannity to the podium at the rally. Hannity came right up. With some autocratic gusto, too. “By the way, all of those people in the back are fake news,” said Hannity, sounding as if he’d been wanting to deliver just that message for quite some time.
“Mr. President,” said Hannity, “I did an opening monologue today and I had no idea you were going to invite me up here.”
No idea! This shellshocked TV host still managed to deliver a short and punchy endorsement of the president. Lots of nightly practice came through for him: “The one thing that has made and defined your presidency more than anything else: Promises made, promises kept. Four and a half million new American jobs, 4.3 million Americans off of food stamps, 4 million Americans out of poverty and we’re not dropping … cargo planes of cash to Iranian mullahs that chant ‘Death to America.’ Mr. President, thank you.”
Oh, and fellow Fox host Jeanine Pirro was a “special guest,” too. The New York Times reported:
After Mr. Hannity’s short remarks, Mr. Trump introduced Ms. Pirro, who he said “treats us very, very well” and “has got viewership like you wouldn’t believe.”
Ms. Pirro offered her own endorsement of the president from the stage. “Do you like the fact that this man is the tip of the spear who goes out there every day and fights for us?” she asked the enthusiastic crowd. “If you like the America that he is making now, you’ve got to make sure you get out there tomorrow.”
Mr. Trump thanked her. “Jeanine has been a great, great friend to all of us,” he said.
Fox News tried to crawl under another fig leaf when it issued a statement rebuking its hosts’ participation – and suggested that those who found this a fascistic breach of ethics were merely engaged in a “distraction”:
“FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” Fox News spokesperson Carly Shanahan said in a statement to TPM. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
Notice that Fox put forth no criticism of either Hannity or Pirro, no mention of how the network has addressed the matter and no promise that it would not happen again. Hannity’s tweet was similarly defiant and unapologetic.
In other words, there’s every reason to believe Fox News gave a wink and a nod to Hannity and Pirro and every reason to expect more of this sort of thing in the future.
The only real question is whether Fox will continue pretending not to condone it.
Watch Hannity and Pirro literally become part of the Trump campaign below, from the November 5, 2018 rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, via Media Matters:
The high-level frauds knew Hannie Pie, the Omen of Long Island, and Mrs. Albert Pirro, was going to be there supporting Crazy, Corrupt, Crooked Trumpy.
Nothing gets the green light unless it goes through the proper channels at this Demonic network. Certain suits and skirts signed off on this.
These travels are pre-planned way in advance: Hotel reservations, via Hilton, Marriott, etc., transportation vehicles, catered meals for hosts and production crew, security for Pie, and security for the live broadcast setup area.
Also, the graphics promoting aging Pie’s Trumpy interview has to be created by the graphics department at the Foxies. This was signed off by the Foxie suits.
And let’s not forget about Pie. This self-absorbed dúr is slippery as a bucket of eels. The "if it weren’t for me, Fox “News” wouldn’t be number one" attitude" won’t get him nowhere. There are younger hosts who can keep Fox #1 without his rapidly, aging azz.
Coming down the pipeline:
1. The focus is now on Pie.
2. Heads will roll.
3. Revolt at Fox.
4. Internal infighting continues.
5. The Heels is pressured.
NOTE TO HANNITY
About those ‘business deals’ of yours.