Conflicts of Interest: A Hannity Speciality

Sean Hannity

Hannity has been a fraud since the very beginning of his career at KCSB: he wasn’t even a student there. So the article from The Guardian, while somewhat breathless, lays out all the many ways that Hannity is beyond unethical in his dealings with his guests. It is not just that he should reveal his business relationship with Mikhail, er, Michael Cohen, but his feather nesting with HUD properties and having Ben Carson on is absolutely a violation of everything I ever learned about ethics and not just journalism. The conflicts of interest are astounding.

I have a hard time believing that Fox is not reeling from these revelations, as crappy as they are. Or at least demanding a piece of the action.

So, we agree with Brian Stelter, as he puts it in his Reliable Sources email thingie…

Fox News host Sean Hannity probably wouldn’t like this guy Sean Hannity.

Here’s what I mean: On camera, Hannity rails against “elite” media types who have inappropriately cozy connections with the rich and powerful. Off camera, that’s exactly who Hannity is. A pair of stories in the past week have highlighted this on-air, off-air contradiction. First, the Michael Cohen revelation. Then Jon Swaine’s piece for The Guardian about his “property empire.” It called to mind this infamous Hannity quote: “Now, my overpaid friends in the media, well, they have their chauffeured limousines, they like their fine steakhouses and expensive wine lifestyles.” More…

Hannity’s response to the “attacks”

“It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money,” Hannity said Monday. “The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about…”

[Ed. – this Hannity respone is a poorly done, rip-off of Nixon’s Checkers speech. — TG]

Brian Lowry emails: Like Bill O’Reilly, Hannity has always positioned himself as a man of the people, and their wealth is certainly no secret. The larger issue that Hannity has yet to adequately address is his failure to disclose potential conflicts of interest that almost anyone else working for a news organization — including, yes, opinion hosts or columnists — would be expected to make public.

As both Josh Marshall noted at TPM and unnamed sources told Gabe Sherman,there’s room for skepticism — especially given the breadth of his real-estate holdings — that Hannity would need advice from Cohen. Marshall wrote: “Whatever Hannity was seeking Cohen’s counsel about, it’s unlikely it was about this stuff.” Which means the question about the nature of their relationship hasn’t been quelled by Hannity’s explanation…

Also/too: The LATimes has a piece up:

Over the last decade, Hannity appears to have built a real-estate empire worth tens of millions of dollars that spans at least four states and whose existence has remained hidden from the public behind anonymous shell corporations registered to the address of Henssler Financial, according to property records and corporate filings reviewed by The Times.

The companies all start with the same four letters — “SPMK,” followed by Roman numerals — and, along with high-end luxury properties, they also own rental properties that could house hundreds of tenants and which are currently taking new renters.

SPMK companies own an entire neighborhood of duplexes in Lithia Springs, Ga.; apartment complexes in Athens, Ga., Brunswick, Ga., Gainesville, Ga., and Madison, Ala.; high-rise condos in South Florida; and a private helicopter and a private jetregistered at an airport 20 miles from Hannity’s mansion on Long Island…

…The companies also appear to have obtained mortgages insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, leading some commentators to ridicule “Handout Hannity” for using taxpayer help to build his wealth at the same time that Hannity was criticizing the Obama administration’s housing policies. Hannity had not previously disclosed his relationship with HUD when previously interviewing and praising HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Fox News.

So, as I noted at the top, Hannity is a fraud and a liar since the start.

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9 Responses to Conflicts of Interest: A Hannity Speciality

  1. Just a regular guy who buys his clothes at KMart and lives in a mansion on Long Island. Wow.

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  2. ming says:

    Yes, but anyone who cares already knew that. His core audience, Trumpies, doubled-down on the hypocrisy a long time ago. They learned that if they ignore a scandal for long enough, the rest of the media will move on to the next outrage and it will disappear into the memory hole. That is why indictments work.

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  3. Czippee l'Shimp says:

    Maybe I’m just being pedantic, but by using HUD money, WE are investing in real estate. He is merely profiting off of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      L’Shrimp –

      That’s not pedantic at all. It’s accurate, which I think maybe makes it worse?

      Rgds,

      TG
      PS – Welcome!

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  4. RWW says:

    For community investments Hannity does not “individually select, control, or know the details about…” he is SURE that no one criticizing him invests in those same communities. Another example of a conservative proclaiming self-serving ignorance on a subject while at the same time trying to authoritatively condemn his enemies on the same subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      RWW –
      Very good point.

      It’s like a virtue signal with a razor blade in the apple (he said, mixing metaphors wildly).

      TG

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  5. YellowDog says:

    Hannity is not a journalist; he is an entertainer. Working at KCSB while not enrolled at UCSB is not a conflict of interest–it is dishonest and a cheat.

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  6. Osirisopto says:

    He’ll claim he’s an entertainer not a journalist.

    In the world of the RWNJ hypocrisy is entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. roket says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would think that FAUX News has a legitimate conflict of interest polity.

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