A recent caller from the Bronx, NY on Sean Hannity’s show praised Hannity as “fair and balanced.”
Sean Hannity doesn’t have to be fair and balanced because that is not his job. Hannity is a commentator and sometime opinion journalist who reports the news of the day, gives his perspective, and occasionally hosts guests on his show.
During presidential primary season Hannity welcomed the Republican hopefuls on his show and gave them access to his platform. Candidates got to speak to his sizable audience about their priorities and action plans should they be elected. He also repeatedly offered to perform the same service for the Democrat candidates. This was an invaluable service for his listeners and for campaigns that might not have otherwise had the resources needed to reach a national audience.
Hannity was fair to the candidates but has he been balanced in his treatment of the race?
Hannity and Donald Trump have been friends for years. Trump’s dozen references to Hannity in the first debate when he was discussing his position on the Iraq war shows that their relationship goes back over a decade. In the time since Trump won the nomination Hannity has defended him both from the liberals in the media and conservative Never Trumps in his own party. Hannity would vigorously defend any Republican candidate but in Trump he is also defending a friend.
The difference between between someone like Sean Hannity and a news reader or ‘journalist’ is that Hannity is open about his biases and preferences and the audience can take them into account when they watch or listen. Many of the so-called objective news media are just as biased in their actions while claiming otherwise.
Sean Hannity is biased… and that’s okay.