In a speech Tuesday night, Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz thanked Sean Hannity for “giving me advice on late night conversations.” Does that mean Donald Trump is no longer Seanie-Poo’s bedtime BFF? Or do they have three-ways?
The GOP’s Pennsylvania Senate primary is still too close to call but fake Pennsylvanian candidate Oz – who couldn’t be bothered to know the name of the supermarket where he filmed himself pretending to be a regular-Joe food shopper – clearly knows who his true friends are. Spoiler alert: Neither of them are regular Joes.
Media Matters caught Oz’s speech on primary night:
OZ: I want to thank some other individuals who are actually unbelievably close friends, made a big difference in my life, are always there at every moment. Let's start with 45, President Trump. President Trump, after he endorsed me, continued to lean in to this race in Pennsylvania. He knows all the subtleties of it. He was willing to participate with tele-town halls, which he advised that I do, it was a brilliant idea. He participated in a massive rally out in Westmoreland County. God bless you, sir, for putting so much effort into this race. I will make you proud.
I want to thank Sean Hannity. Sean is like a brother to me. When Sean punches through something, he really punches through it. He understands exactly how to make a difference, and he's been doing that this entire campaign — much of it behind the scenes, giving me advice on late night conversations — again, the kinds of things that true friends do for each other.
I learned and posted about the wee-hour chats between Hannity and Oz, thanks to the reporting of Oliva Nuzzi, in December. But this is the first time, as far as I know, that Oz has revealed he considers Hannity a full-fledged adviser. It sounds rather similar to his role as Donald Trump’s unofficial chief-of-staff, a moniker bestowed on Hannity by the actual staff at the Trump White House.
So is Oz competing with Trump as Hannity’s Bedtime BFF and advice recipient? However Hannity divvies up his bedtime chats between the fake Pennsylvanian and the fake business tycoon or not, he continues his fake persona as an independent news person while he secretly works behind the scenes as a Republican political operative.
More from Media Matters:
Hannity also endorsed Oz’s Senate campaign, helping Oz launch his Senate candidacy with a nearly 10-minute interview on his prime-time Fox show in late November. Hannity also reportedly lobbied Trump to endorse Oz, which may have made the difference if indeed Oz’s currently thin lead holds up through the vote count.
Hannity also used both his TV show and his radio show last week to attack the campaign of insurgent candidate Kathy Barnette, telling his audience that Barnette should not win in the primary due to her history of anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ statements. (Hannity did not acknowledge his own history of spewing similar bigotry.)
During one such segment trashing Barnette, Hannity reiterated his endorsement of Oz, saying he would “always tell you how I feel,” before interviewing Oz to continue attacking Barnette. But, while Hannity might acknowledge his candidate preference, he did not reveal that he had been advising Oz behind the scenes, nor admit his role in securing Trump’s endorsement for the candidate.
That’s not including all those Hannity texts to Mark Meadows we now know about, thanks to the January 6th Committee. Some revealed Hannity literally doing Meadows’ bidding on the air on Election Day and his tacit acknowledgment that Donald Trump was in trouble (despite later promoting the Big Lie designed to overturn the results). Others showed that Hannity (and several Fox colleagues) knew that the insurrectionists were Trump fans (yet covered that up on the air by suggesting that it was Antifa and “bad actors” who were to blame).
Just as significantly, Hannity texted Meadows on December 6, 2020 that he was “at war” with Fox after Meadows texted him about then-anchor Chris Wallace calling Biden “President-elect.”
It’s no huge surprise that Oz is now on Hannity’s Bedtime Call list. But it’s long overdue for Hannity and Fox News to acknowledge what he’s really up to.
You can watch Oz spill the beans about who helped him con his way into at least coming close to being the New Jerseyan Republican nominee for the Pennsylvania senate seat below, via Media Matters.
(Oz image via screen grab)