Sean Hannity long ago established himself as the most stridently partisan, pro-Trump voice in Fox News’ primetime stable of right-wing ideologues. His slavish fealty to the White House and its current occupant has made him Trump’s most-reliable, and perhaps only, mainstream-media cheerleader. So it should have come as no surprise (though it did) that he is Trump consigliere and fixer Michael Cohen’s “mystery client #3” as revealed in court on Monday.
Now, at any other news or journalistic operation, failure to disclose a business or legal connection with a public figure or official on whom one is reporting (or, in Hannity’s case, kissing up to) would constitute an ethical breach — an offense subject to discipline and even termination. But Hannity’s on-again-off-again claim that he’s not really a journalist (he is — just a very bad one) has given Fox News enough wiggle room to let him off the hook. Apparently giving its star blowhard even a week off the air wasn’t worth the loss in revenue.
So the management at Fox has bought Hannity’s shaky excuse that he only had “an informal relationship” with Cohen, and thus proved its own “informal relationship” with ethics, integrity and professional responsibility.