For two weeks running Friday Fox Follies reported on separate Sean Hannity freak outs complaining his words were quoted accurately. It wasn’t pretty. Nor are his sycophantasies™ of becoming Press Secretary in a Trump White House. Hannity’s fawning is so bad even the Wall Street Journal — Rupert Murdoch’s own paper — compared him to Al Sharpton in Sean Hannity’s Veneration of Ignorance. Man, that’s gotta hurt.
That was Hannity Humiliation #1.
Number 2? Because it was Too good to check: Sean Hannity’s tale of a Trump rescue. SPOILER ALERT: Wash. Post Fact Checker Debunks Bogus Story Touted By Hannity About Trump Helping Gulf War Troops.
Do I hear three? Yes, I do. Sean Hannity is Melting Down Already Because He Knows He’ll be to Blame For Hillary Winning, which is why an Angry Hannity Goes After Republicans ‘Sabotaging’ Trump — And He’s Naming Names and why Sean Hannity accuses GOP ‘crybabies’ opposing Trump of paving the way for Clinton win: WATCH:
Anything else? Oh, yes! Sean Hannity refuses to let Trump move on, launches “investigation” into Gold Star parent Khizr Khan and then Hannity Mainstreams a Very Silly Response to Trump’s Bad Poll Numbers. That’s #4 and #5. Then Watch As Sean Hannity Fails To Convince Doctors That Hillary Clinton Suffers From Seizures and In prime time, Sean Hannity carries out a Clinton medical ‘investigation’.
Little had been advanced by the panel [on the two previous days], but on Wednesday, Hannity invited Siegel back and added New Jersey neurologist Fiona Gupta. He played back the clips that had been circulated the most by online conspiracy theorists, including two videos of Clinton coughing (“Those coughing fits go on for a long period of time”) and one of her making an exaggerated bobble-head motion when reporters ask her questions in a scrum.
“That last one is so odd to me,” Hannity said.
“It’s just so hard to speculate based on snippets,” said Gupta.
“But watch this video,” said Hannity, playing back the bobble-head clip. “It almost seems seizure-esque to me.”
Is it any wonder real journalists call Hannity a hack, other than the alliteration?
MURDER ON THE HILLARY EXPRESS: This week, digging deep into the Conservative Conspiracy Catalogue™, Fox, Right-Wing Media Run With Conspiracy Linking Clinton To Murdered DNC Staffer. While he’s not the only one: Fox’s Eric Bolling Floats Conspiracy Theory That Murdered DNC Staffer “Was A Hit”.
How soon before this is all linked to Whitewater and Vince Foster? OH! Wait!!!
DIVING DEEP ONTO THE FOX HOLE: This new rubric will showcase thought provoking articles about the Fox “News” Channel:
Will Megyn Kelly Stay at Fox News? Why She’s a Litmus Test for Network Talent (Guest Column) , in which Andrew Tindall says:
FNC has spent so much time differentiating itself from all other mainstream networks and boasting that it has a radically different journalistic agenda and ideology (“fair and balanced”) that it is not clear Kelly’s star power (she reportedly already makes $10 million a year) would translate seamlessly. Can she fit in at a network she has disavowed with her implicit endorsement of Ailes’ proposition that it is unfair and imbalanced in comparison to Fox?
It is likely Kelly had thought it through before she made her allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes. She must have known her claim to internal investigators would eventually be made public, so she was delivering the coup de grace that would topple Ailes and transform the management structure at FNC. Her decision makes sense if she already had locked in an opportunity to leave and saw no downside to burning bridges. Equally, it makes sense as an internal power grab; with Ailes supplanted, she increases her chances of leapfrogging his acolytes Sean Hannity and, in particular, archrival Bill O’Reilly, to become the network’s true star.
It will be interesting to follow Kelly’s career now and which way she jumps at contract time.
Also worth reading is: Exclusive: Inside the Fox News Bunker at Vanity Fair [& Balanced?].
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: FFF predicted a drip, drip, drip. It’s turning into a flood, but you wouldn’t know it by watching Fox. As of yesterday Here Are The Women Publicly Accusing Roger Ailes Of Sexual Harassment. Meanwhile there’s a Report: ‘Multiple Women’ Taped Conversations With Roger Ailes
New reports suggest the atmosphere at Fox News under Roger Ailes was more Nixonian * than previously thought — though none of it should really come as a surprise since Ailes got his start in politics working for our most paranoid president.
On Monday, Vanity Fair reported that the settlement in Gretchen Carlson’s sexual-harassment lawsuit against Ailes may reach “eight figures” due to “the existence of audio tapes recorded by multiple women in conversation with Ailes, two people familiar with the tapes said.” The magazine did not elaborate on what the tapes might contain, but with multiple women now claiming that they too were sexually harassed by the former CEO, we have an idea.
Even the Wall Street Journal — Murdoch’s own paper — says 21st Century Fox Anticipates Settlements in Roger Ailes Harassment Probe. Other Ailes Allegations:
Harassment Crisis Builds at Fox News, Despite Its Swift Response reveals bigger problems in the corporate culture:
Of particular issue is a $3.15 million settlement that Laurie Luhn, a former booker at the network, said she received in 2011. In an interview with New York magazine, Ms. Luhn said that Mr. Ailes forced her into a yearslong sexual relationship.
Executives at 21st Century Fox have said they were only made aware of the settlement recently. On Wednesday, when asked to clarify exactly when it learned of it, the company declined to respond.
“One would hope that a $3 million settlement for sexual harassment would flow up the line to somebody in corporate management,” said Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “At least today, that kind of settlement should come to the attention of the audit committee of the board.”
How soon before the shareholders revolt?
* Headly Westerfield loves nothing more than using the latest headlines to remind readers of all his posts on Watergate in the Not Now Silly Newsroom, including this one in which Roger Ailes uses James Rosen to cover up Richard Nixon’s treason.