WASHINGTON, D.C. — Media Matters President Angelo Carusone released the following statement after Donald Trump appeared on Fox News’ for the 70th time since Trump announced his presidential run. Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to shut down news outlets critical of him.
Hannity’s sit-down with Donald Trump reminded me of Trump’s announcement speech to a crowd of paid actors. It was scripted stagecraft, which is exactly what you’d expect to see when a leader following the authoritarian playbook and his principal propagandist sit down.
This was the news media equivalent of a sour burp. And Hannity’s odious sycophancy on display is a reminder of why advertisers have started to abandon his show.
Sean Hannity’s Fox News show has long been built around the propaganda tactic of repetition, but now a series of Media Matters studies of Hannity’s opening monologues shows he has turned that method toward casting doubt on the legitimacy of any criticism of the president.
A Media Matters study illustrates a framework of “five forces” Hannity frequently presents as united in opposition to the president. This review of Sean Hannity’s 61 Fox News opening monologues from May 15 through September 1 found:
A second Media Matters study of Sean Hannity’s 61 Fox News opening monologues from May 15 through September 1 found that Hannity’s treatment of Trump’s Russia scandal has taken an authoritarian turn:
Between August 3 and October 2nd, President Donald Trump, prominent figures in his administration, members of his family, and his personal lawyer have appeared on weekday programming on Fox News far more often than on corresponding shows on CNN or MSNBC. According to a Media Matters report:
Prominent figures in the administration, members of his family, and his personal lawyer made more appearances (19) on Hannity than on all programming on CNN and MSNBC combined.
These Trump-linked guests made 78 appearances on weekday Fox News programming, compared to eight on CNN and only six on MSNBC.
60 percent of appearances by the guests on Fox were concentrated on two programs: Fox & Friends and Hannity.
More on advertisers leaving Sean Hannity’s show and a recent Associated Press report that looked at the first week weeks of the Stop Hannity effort HERE.
And, HERE is a list of Sean Hannity’s current Fox News advertisers.