This week I’ve been asked by readers what’s wrong with Sean Hannity. And that’s a good question. He’s long been a reliably predictable villain who, like a lot of other people at Fox News, reports misleading bullshit that’s been carefully crafted enough to pass for news in the eyes of those who don’t know any better. But this week he seems to have simply gone off the deep end. The question is, why now?
Hannity is almost obsessed with pushing a nutjob claim about the death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich. The story is so ridiculous that Rich’s own family has asked him to stop. It’s so discredited that his own network Fox News has retracted it. And yet Hannity seems so obsessed with pushing this crazy conspiracy, which he has to know by now is untrue if he ever did believe it was real to begin with, that he seems to be putting his career at risk.
It almost sounds like something that, well, Donald Trump would do. And so it’s worth asking if Sean Hannity’s reportedly close personal relationship with Trump has impacted his own judgment now that Trump is occupying the office of President of the United States. But it would be an oversimplification to suggest that Hannity’s transformation from standard-issue liar to nutso liar is merely a result of Trump’s rise.
There have been too many other things swirling around Sean Hannity, past and present, to not point them out. He was accused of sexual harassment almost immediately after his colleague Bill O’Reilly was run out of Fox News amid a slew of sexual harassment accusations. Did this put so much pressure on Hannity that it caused him to melt down and begin putting his chips on stories that he knew even Fox couldn’t stand by? Who knows. But at this point we’re watching Sean Hannity implode.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report