Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sean Hannity is No Good

When I was in college, a friend of mine used to sarcastically warn my girlfriend, "He's no good for you. In fact, he's no good for anybody."

The more I listen and watch, and the more I think about it, the more I realize these comments accurately describe Sean Hannity. This revelation dawned on me the other day as I listened to Hannity continue his daily condemnation of every single move of the Obama Administration.

Certainly, I expect that Hannity is going to criticize the President - that is the nature of his job - and he has made tens of millions of dollars working in the "preaching-to-the-choir" field. In fact, the criticism is why I tune in. However, there is something unseemly about the disingenuous nature of Hannity's rants. The other day, he pointed out that the Obama Administration's actions have done absolutely nothing to mitigate the recession, evidenced clearly because the unemployment rate has continued to rise. That's his evidence - and he delivers it as obvious. Yet, there's a disconnect. Did unemployment not continue to rise during the Recession of 1982-83 - topping out at 10% - following the Reagan tax cuts that Hannity regularly praises as saving America? Would he argue that the tax cuts did nothing for two years? Isn't it more complex than that?

It's the disingenuous over-simplification to which I object.  Several years ago, I penned an op-ed for the Denver Post in which I exposed and criticized The Mis-Education of Sean Hannity. That criticism is still appropriate, for he has certainly not become any more "fair and balanced."  And, keep this in mind: he's not supposed to. Sean Hannity has made an incredible amount of money "preaching to the choir," and it is his job to sow dissent and profit off that. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure Sean believes most of what he says because nothing in his youth indicates a strong political leaning. His reason for being on the radio and FoxNews is simply to make money - he found a very willing market for his brand of pessimism, and he has profited extravagantly from feeding people's unease.

Unlike many commentators, he is so reviled by his critics that numerous websites have sprung up to criticize and mock him.  In fact, there is speculation that he is not even liked in his own camp at FoxNews.  Most of the criticism is geared at the fact that Sean Hannity doesn't really think for himself - or even care about the issues - but simply serves as a lap dog for conservative media. I'm not really opposed to that perspective because I've truly always felt that this is just a lucrative deal for Hannity. And while I don't always agree with Bill O'Reilly, I don't feel that way about him. He is conservative, but he has his convictions, and like Chris Matthews he is likely to skewer both sides and complement either ideology or party when it's, in their opinion, correct or doing a fair job.  But that's not Hannity.

Hannity's no good for us.


Dennis Fermoyle said...

You're a stronger man than I am Michael. I can no longer stand listening to that clown for more than 5 seconds. Whenever he appears on my TV, I end up falling over myself in my rush to get to the remote so I can change channels. I have to believe that Sean Hannity knows that the unemployment rate is a lagging economic indicator, which means that it doesn't improve until about six months after the economy has turned around. That's basic economics. I don't think Hannity is ignorant, but I do think that he's intellectually dishonest. The same can be said for that entire network. Fair and balanced....Give me a break!

mmazenko said...

You're right, Dennis. Hannity isn't ignorant. In fact, I often doubt how truly political or ideological he is. Both he and Limbaugh were not incredibly motivated conservatives growing up - they didn't lead Young Republicans or join campaigns or write missives. They simply found a market vacuum and they have filled it. Impressive business model, but overall, not good for the country.