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Tag: hannity

Dr. Oz Thanks ‘True Friend’ Hannity For Advising His Campaign

Senate candidate Mehmet Oz thanked Fox News host Sean Hannity for advising him “behind the scenes,” helping to bring him to the cusp of a potential victory in Tuesday night’s primary in Pennsylvania — a revelation that further illustrates Hannity’s position as a Republican operative who leverages his media presence for political influence.

The Republican primary race could potentially go to a recount, with Oz currently ahead of former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick by a slender margin. The winner will face Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won his primary by a landslide. During a speech on Tuesday night, Oz first thanked his wife, his children, and his campaign staff and then called out two key political figures who endorsed him and advised him throughout the campaign: former President Donald Trump and Hannity.



MEHMET OZ (U.S SENATE CANDIDATE): And 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.


Hannity previously had an eerily similar role during the Trump campaign and administration, serving as the “shadow” chief of staff to the then-president and often holding late-night phone conversations in which he functioned as a sounding board for Trump’s policies.

Hannity also endorsed Oz’s Senate campaign, helping Oz launch his candidacy with a nearly ten-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.

Oz’s revelation Tuesday night should also be placed in further context of how Hannity uses his Fox platform to spread misinforming Republican campaign talking points.

Previously released text messages between Hannity and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed that Hannity took direct instructions on coordinating get-out-the-vote messaging on Election Day in 2020, and Hannity later described himself as being “at war with” the network’s purported news figures such as then-Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace over the network’s declaration that Joe Biden had won the election. (The network undermined its own decision desk’s election call nearly 600 times in just nine days after that call was made.)

The texts have also shown the extent to which Hannity wears two faces along with his two hats. On the one hand, he publicly claimed the attackers who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, were left-wing infiltrators. On the other hand, he urged Meadows during the attack to ask Trump to call off his supporters, and afterward, he worked on damage control with the White House.

Whether Oz even wins or loses in the final result is almost beside the point. Hannity’s role in elevating his candidacy and orchestrating another instance of the Trump-Fox feedback loop provides yet another example of Fox's evolution from its earlier role as a propaganda outlet on behalf of the Republican Party to a major engine of the party itself.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Craven: Hannity Obeyed Election Day Commands From Trump White House

Sean Hannity sought, received, and carried out marching orders from the Trump White House on what to say on Election Day 2020. At a normal news outlet, this would be cause for alarm and would trigger an internal investigation into how often such behavior was going on – but Hannity works for Fox News, which long ago accepted his sidegig as a Republican political operative whose primary loyalty is to Donald Trump.

Hannity’s communications with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are included in a trove of 2,319 text messages Meadows sent or received between November 3, 2020, which was Election Day, and President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021. The texts were selectively provided by Meadows to the January 6 select committee and obtained by CNN, which reported on them on Monday.

The texts show Hannity reaching out to Meadows and receiving instructions on what to tell his audience on the afternoon of Election Day. After Hannity asked Meadows about whether Trump would win the chief of staff’s home state of North Carolina, Meadows told Hannity to use his radio show to “Stress every vote matters. Get out and vote.” Hannity responded, “Yes sir[.] On it. Any place in particular we need a push[?]” Meadows wrote back, “Pennsylvania. NC AZ,” then added “Nevada,” to which Hannity replied, “Got it. Everywhere[.]”


Hannity followed through on his pledge to Meadows to exhort his radio audience to the polls in those key states, as The Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted after reviewing that day’s edition of Hannity’s radio show, which airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET:

“I am acting as though and knowing that every single, solitary vote matters,” Hannity said near the top of the show. He added that he was sharing insights after having “been on the phone all day with people all over the country.”


A bit later: “Every single vote in every one of these states that I have just mentioned absolutely, positively matters.”


And later still: “If you’re going to be voting, you know, please, if you’re online, please don’t say, oh, this is going to take too long. Your vote is necessary. Every vote matters.”

Bump also noted that three states Hannity mentioned most frequently on that broadcast were Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona – the three states Meadows first indicated to Hannity as priorities.

In short, Hannity appears to have said what the Trump White House told him to say. And there’s no reason to think this was the first time that happened – the exchange between Meadows and Hannity is casual, with no indication from either party that anything untoward was happening.

Such behavior would generally be interpreted by a responsible news outlet as a massive ethical breach. But Fox is a Republican propaganda outlet that has completely given up on enforcing anything resembling rules or journalistic ethics for Hannity, allowing him to moonlight as a key Trump adviser.

Hannity appeared in a promotional video for Trump’s campaign, was revealed as a secret client of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and a back channel between Trump and his embattled associates, spoke at a Trump political rally, and reportedly wrote one of his campaign ads. News reports indicated he was providing the president with political advice and receiving notes on his show in near-nightly conversations, and was so influential at the White House that aides called him “the ‘shadow’ chief of staff.”

Through it all, while journalists noted that such behavior would constitute firing offenses at other outlets, Fox stood by their man. At this point, there’s no question that Hannity does Trump’s bidding because that’s what the network wants him to do.

Printed with permission from MediaMatters.

Gun Outfit Hired Hannity And Others As Paid Shills

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

Right-wing radio hosts such as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin have been acting as paid pitch people for a company that promises to help train members on how to use guns to “survive a mass shooting.” Hannity has been especially vocal about the company and used the recent Las Vegas mass shooting to shill for it on his radio program.

The U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is a pro-gun company that sells membership plans featuring“education, training, and self-defense insurance” for gun owners. It also criticizes attempts to enact gun control laws and publishes Concealed Carry Magazine. The group claims to have over 250,000 members and has attempted to grow its membership over the years through numerous advertising buys with conservative media.

Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Ben Shapiro are all part of the association’s latest advertising campaign for a “100% FREE Complete Concealed Carry & Family Defense Guide,” which includes tips on “how to survive a mass shooting” and “the safest AND most dangerous places to sit in a restaurant” (the sign-up takes people to a page that urges them to pay for a membership).

The USCCA created dedicated landing pages for each individual host participating in the advertising campaign, including the following identical quote which was cut and pasted for each person:

Prior to the Las Vegas shooting, these media personalities did advertisements for the campaign that aired in late September. Here are those ads, along with their dedicated website URL: ​Beck (ProtectAndDefend.com), ​Hannity (DefendFamily.com), ​Levin (DefendThem.com), and ​Shapiro (DefendMyFamilyNow.com) .

Hannity has continued to tout USCCA as a solution to surviving a mass shooting following the Las Vegas tragedy. During his October 5 radio program, Hannity segued from talking about the mass shooting to introducing “our friends at the United States Concealed Carry Association,” saying, “I’m proud to be associated with them. They have offered a family defense guide. You’re going to learn — and this is 164 pages — how to survive a mass shooting. How to detect attackers before they see you.”

Previously, Hannity used the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in June to push USCCA membership.

The association, which did not respond to requests for comment, features a Hannity testimonial on its websiteunder the headline: “Why Sean Hannity Joined The USCCA… Hear Why One Of The Most Trusted Conservative Voices In America Is A Proud Card-Carrying Member.”

Hannity used his October 4 Fox News program to advocate for concealed carry while discussing the Las Vegas shooting. He praised right-to-carry laws and said that “having more citizens that are armed leads to a decrease in violent crime.” He did not mention he’s being paid by a pro-right-to-carry group during the program.

Despite Hannity’s claim, as The Atlantic noted in June, “academic studies have strongly suggested” that right-to-carry laws “lead to higher rates of violent crime. The latest — and, at least according to one of its authors, most comprehensive — was released earlier this month by the non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research.” The study concluded, “There is not even the slightest hint in the data that [these] laws reduce violent crime.”

Media Matters previously documented that Hannity repeatedly used his Fox New program to push his radio sponsor’s concealed carry agenda without any disclosure about his financial relationship. He similarly used his Fox News program in 2014 to promote the fundraising efforts of the Tea Party Patriots, which sponsored his radio program.