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Sean Hannity Can't Decide If He's a Journalist or Not

Jay Willis
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Sean Hannity Can't Decide If He's a Journalist or Not

The weirdest identity crisis in cable news continues.

Shep Smith, the lone member of Fox News' talent team who uses their airtime for something other than "staring directly into the camera, lavishing praise on President Trump, and hoping for retweets of approval," has some less-than-charitable things to say about his more, uh reality-adjacent colleagues. "They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want," he explained in an interview published in TIME. "I get... that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there."

Smith has complained before about the primetime crew's disinterest in the network's reporting, but this particular round of grousing did not sit well with Sean Hannity, who has taken to characterizing himself as an "advocacy journalist" of late—and who took to social media to inform his gravely mistaken colleague about all the Real News that happens between the hours of 9 and 10 P.M. on weeknights.

For some reason, this unintelligible string of acronyms, abbreviations, and buzzwords makes no mention of the time he cited an obviously fake Twitter story as evidence that President Obama was going to jail, or the hours he spent promoting a despicable Seth Rich conspiracy theories, or the show when he casually pulled a gun on a guest during a commercial break. (Aside: Why did Sean Hannity have a gun in the studio??) Although it occurred on his web site and not on television, the tweet also omits any reference to his diligent investigation into the hidden sperm imagery in President Obama's official portrait. Perhaps Hannity, a latter-day Woodward and Bernstein wrapped into one, just ran out of characters with which to enumerate his unimpeachable journalistic bona fides.

Hannity's righteous indignation is also curious given that his go-to response to any and all criticism is, more or less, "I'm not a journalist."

He's been leaning on this crutch, in fact, for the better part of a decade. Here he is in an August 2016 New York Times profile, back when he was just another right-wing sentient haircut occasionally boasting of his martial arts prowess:

Mr. Hannity is unapologetic about his aim. “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.” After all, he says, “I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Who is Sean Hannity, really? A journalist? A talk host? An entertainer? A flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow? Tune in tonight to watch a man try and resolve the identity crisis raging within, occasionally interrupted by monologues about uranium sales and ads for term life insurance.