Sean Hannity told his radio listeners that they’d have more “freedom” by struggling financially, rather than take any government assistance. Yet, Hannity seems to have no problem lavishing his own family with unearned privileges and opulence.
Media Matters caught Hannity urging listeners not to enjoy a fraction of the benefits he and his family take for granted, merely because they might come from the government:
HANNITY: Socialism will always end this way -- with unfulfilled promises, lofty promises. You -- you think it's a great thing, "I don't have to worry about these things anymore. Ah, thank goodness. Alright, I don't have to worry about getting a college fund for my kids. I don't have to worry about my healthcare. I even have government guaranteed retirement -- I'm gonna have -- I'm gonna have daycare if I have kids," blah, blah, blah.
Sounds great -- they'll never pull it off because they can't afford it. Socialism's great until you run out of other people's money.
And then after the promises are unfulfilled, then the next problem occurs -- and that is -- it results in dependency and more poverty. And the last thing that you gotta calculate - depending on what manifestation this fully takes on in the end: How much freedom did you give up in the name of false security created by people that when you look deep inside, didn't really want to promise anything. They wanted to make you dependent on them so they can stay in power. It's that simple. That's what is -- that's the game that they play. It sounds appealing.
Here's my unsolicited advice to all of you, my wonderful radio family. Can't do this show without you.
Don't rely on the government for anything. Rely on yourself. Go out, work hard. Work 2 jobs, like my parents did. Save as much as you can so you can make choices down the road.
Do you think Hannity’s children have worked two jobs and saved up for their elitist lifestyle? A lengthy Salon investigation shows just how large the lap of luxury Hannity's son, Patrick, was born into, without earning it. The article is full of fascinating tidbits about the privileges Hannity thinks are fine for his family while he urges his “radio family” to struggle without health care.
The Salon article notes that Hannity’s financial relationship with Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, NC, raised a number of legal and ethical red flags, so much so that a grand jury investigation ensued (it closed without charges). But the circumstantial evidence suggests that Daddy Hannity's money at least helped facilitate son Patrick's way into Wake Forest and onto its tennis team.
One NCAA compliance official at an Atlantic Coast Conference school — that is, a school in Wake Forest's conference — told Salon it was "not possible" that a random player with Patrick Hannity's relatively modest statistics could land a spot on a top-tier team without the backing of family money or influence. Many schools will happily pay tens of thousands of dollars to keep an athlete on the bench for four years "if it's worth that million-dollar donation" coming at some point down the road, the official said.
Salon obtained research for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's rankings of the 10 best college men's tennis teams for 2016 and 2017, which shows that those teams' U.S. recruits had a median national ranking of 33. TRN [Tennis Recruiting Network] also assigns a Ratings Power Index to tennis prospects: While the median rank for the aforementioned recruits was 50, Patrick Hannity was ranked 292 in 2016, and 329 in 2017.
Hannity bought a $813,000 house for his son to live in during college
[O]n June 23, 2016, before Patrick Hannity applied to Wake Forest and five months before he signed, his father's shell company SPMK XXII NC (created about two weeks earlier) purchased a house for $813,000 on Turnberry Forest Court in Winston-Salem. Three months later, in September, the Wake Forest men's tennis head coach, Tony Bresky, contracted to buy the house next door for $820,000, according to public property records. Bresky and his wife closed their deal about a month after Patrick Hannity signed with Wake Forest.
One of Patrick Hannity's coaches at Wake Forest moved into Hannity's new home in Winston-Salem almost immediately, and lived there with Patrick for some time.
Think Hannity charged either of them rent, so that they would have the character-building experience of not taking any handouts?
Salon notes that Wake Forest requires its students to live on campus for the first three years unless they live with a parent or guardian in the area. The Hannity family attorney would not say whether Patrick Hannity followed that rule.
Patrick Hannity's tennis team traveled by private jet, courtesy of Daddy
Research obtained by Salon shows that in 2019, seven of the top 10 college tennis teams strictly took commercial flights while traveling to or from out-of-town matches and tournaments. One other school chartered a private plane occasionally. And then there was Wake Forest: Within the space of two years, Hannity's jet appeared more than a dozen times at locations where the Demon Deacons were playing, the research showed. Although Hannity at some point restricted public access to his plane's flight data, Salon has obtained information showing that the plane made seven trips to or from the Winston-Salem area between Feb. 24 and May 21, 2019. Instagram photos posted by one of Patrick's teammates show the team using the plane at other times.
Daddy Hannity scored a White House visit for his son
After that 2018 national championship, Hannity — who was often described as former President Trump's informal chief of staff — played a key role in scoring the team a White House visit. While NCAA champions frequently receive such honors, the Trump administration was more finicky. The New York Times reported that if not for Hannity, the tennis team would seem "an unlikely choice for a special visit hosted by a president whose administration has planned a crackdown on foreign students who overstay their visas as part of a broader drive to tighten immigration." All six of the leading singles players on that Wake Forest team had been recruited from other countries, including Croatia, Cyprus, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.
School spokesperson Dan Wallace confirmed that impression, telling the Times that Hannity "helped instigate the talks" that led to the visit. "That was the driving force," Wallace said.
At the ceremony, Trump, without prompting, called out his ally's son by name among the Wake Forest players. "Patrick is back there," the president said. Patrick Hannity had not played a match for the team for months.
So when Hannity complains about government assistance, what he really means is that those less fortunate than he and his son don’t deserve it. Also, that Patrick might get one less private jet ride or one less luxury appointment in a mansion while a small fraction of Hannity’s millions goes to someone not born into the kind of wealth his kids were.
You can listen to Hannity try to dress up his selfish callousness below, from the May 27, 2021 The Sean Hannity Show, via Media Matters.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
The basic Libertarian approach is to pretend that there is nothing we can do to help each other and that everyone is living on an island completely apart from everyone else, with no obligation to anything other than ourselves. This is intended to help justify the typical anger that Libertarians feel when it comes to taxation or any kind of community spirit toward lifting the common good. To the committed Libertarian, there is no common good and community spirit is a myth that justifies the individual not being able to just enrich themselves without shame or humility.
I’ll note that I’ve never heard Libertarians cry out against wealthy people and business owners being given various subsidies and tax exemptions at everyone else’s expense. Their only complaint is when they are required to contribute to society.
I’ll also note that this narrative serves two purposes. First, it establishes the false premise that anyone receiving money from a government program is somehow a moocher. If they’re getting Social Security, they’re taking an “entitlement” that they don’t deserve. If they’re getting Unemployment Insurance, they’re lazy idlers who won’t go out to do real work. Never mind that both programs are partly funded by the recipients. (Of course, there’s a big exception to this for angry Right Wingers – if there’s a stimulus check that Donald Trump rushed in to plant his own signature on and thus fool millions of Americans into voting for him in 2020, then that’s a wonderful thing that shows how much Trump cares.)
But the main purpose of talking down any kind of community effort of us to help each other is to continue to sow seeds of distrust in that entire notion. By repeating the canard that “we can’t afford it” and by constantly telling everyone that Social Security is “on the verge of bankruptcy”, angry Right Wingers are trying to close the sale on the idea that “government” can’t get anything done. This was the reason why the Pence White House deliberately understaffed every major cabinet department, refused to even appoint ambassadors to much of the world and gutted every agency they could, including the CDC. They were practicing the self-fulfilling hypothesis of saying that “government” was inept while making sure that this would be the case. Had they not been trounced in the 2018 midterms, they would have gutted Social Security and Medicare for everyone under the age of 62, following the published Heritage Foundation playbook for destroying those programs. At which point, disingenuous propagandists like Hannity would have shrugged and said “We TOLD you that you couldn’t trust the ‘government’!”
The approach is as predictable as it is despicable.