Sean Hannity unplugged: Embattled Fox News host opens up

In recent months, Sean Hannity, host of the #1 program on cable news and the #2 nationally syndicated political talk radio show, has been at the tip of the spear.  Day in and day out, his programs nightly on Fox News and during the day on radio have featured some of the best original reporting and commentary – and debate – on the divisive and polarizing issues that have arisen since the election of Donald J. Trump as president one year ago.  For his efforts in trying to give President Trump a fair hearing, Hannity has been targeted for destruction by Media Matters and other left-wing individuals and groups.

With 20 hours a week on the air (radio and TV), Hannity rarely gives interviews on other programs.  An exception was his first appearance at the start of Fox News host Jesse Watters weekly show Watters' World on FNC last Saturday evening, November 11.

Hannity's interview with Watters was pre-recorded in Hannity's studio at Fox News headquarters in New York City.  It proved to be an interesting discussion of fake news and where, in Hannity's view, we go from here.  A partial transcript below starts with Hannity's comment about the surprising victory of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016:

HANNITY: Nobody listened. ... But the people who are suffering listened.

Watters then played a montage of video clips from CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast networks of mainstream media anchors and hosts weeping and wailing on the night of 11/8/16, when they realized that the unthinkable – the victory of Donald J. Trump – was actually happening.

HANNITY: This meltdown has gone on for a year. ... This is now bordering on a psychotic, collective breakdown by the left. They can't handle how wrong they were[.] ...

There is a swamp. There are forces that are working every day that want this president out – no matter how they do it. You've got the Deep State, you've got the liberal media, you've got the Democrats, then you've got weak, timid, spineless Republicans and Never Trumpers. They want him out! They'll do anything they can do to get this man out of office.

JESSE WATTERS: And they're doing it day after day and I believe it's because the Democrats are completely shut out of power so the media now is the tip of the spear. Trump has declared war on the media. Let's look at the history going back a year of Trump vs. the press. Roll it!

At this point, another selection of video clips highlighting the media's unfair and biased reporting on the administration of President Trump was shown.

WATTERS: Who do you think is winning? Right now, the ratings and circulation are up with the media but credibility is way down.

HANNITY: I don't think they'll ever recover credibility-wise. The single greatest quality of Donald Trump is that he's not going to take your lies, he's not going to take your misinformation, he calls you out for what you are. This media bias thing – we conservatives have talked about for years – now you see it, day after day, night after night, newspaper article after newspaper article. I don't see how they recover any credibility. . . I think people are hip to media bias. I said in 2007 that journalism is dead. It's buried, it's finished.

It's sad because people deserve the truth. I definitely have a conservative view, because I feel that conservatism works. But you just have to look at the truth sometimes. They're [the MSM] so ideological – everything is seen within the prism of this hatred that they have toward the president. It's not good for the country.

Here is video of Watters's entire show.  Hannity is introduced shortly after the start of the program.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

In recent months, Sean Hannity, host of the #1 program on cable news and the #2 nationally syndicated political talk radio show, has been at the tip of the spear.  Day in and day out, his programs nightly on Fox News and during the day on radio have featured some of the best original reporting and commentary – and debate – on the divisive and polarizing issues that have arisen since the election of Donald J. Trump as president one year ago.  For his efforts in trying to give President Trump a fair hearing, Hannity has been targeted for destruction by Media Matters and other left-wing individuals and groups.

With 20 hours a week on the air (radio and TV), Hannity rarely gives interviews on other programs.  An exception was his first appearance at the start of Fox News host Jesse Watters weekly show Watters' World on FNC last Saturday evening, November 11.

Hannity's interview with Watters was pre-recorded in Hannity's studio at Fox News headquarters in New York City.  It proved to be an interesting discussion of fake news and where, in Hannity's view, we go from here.  A partial transcript below starts with Hannity's comment about the surprising victory of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016:

HANNITY: Nobody listened. ... But the people who are suffering listened.

Watters then played a montage of video clips from CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast networks of mainstream media anchors and hosts weeping and wailing on the night of 11/8/16, when they realized that the unthinkable – the victory of Donald J. Trump – was actually happening.

HANNITY: This meltdown has gone on for a year. ... This is now bordering on a psychotic, collective breakdown by the left. They can't handle how wrong they were[.] ...

There is a swamp. There are forces that are working every day that want this president out – no matter how they do it. You've got the Deep State, you've got the liberal media, you've got the Democrats, then you've got weak, timid, spineless Republicans and Never Trumpers. They want him out! They'll do anything they can do to get this man out of office.

JESSE WATTERS: And they're doing it day after day and I believe it's because the Democrats are completely shut out of power so the media now is the tip of the spear. Trump has declared war on the media. Let's look at the history going back a year of Trump vs. the press. Roll it!

At this point, another selection of video clips highlighting the media's unfair and biased reporting on the administration of President Trump was shown.

WATTERS: Who do you think is winning? Right now, the ratings and circulation are up with the media but credibility is way down.

HANNITY: I don't think they'll ever recover credibility-wise. The single greatest quality of Donald Trump is that he's not going to take your lies, he's not going to take your misinformation, he calls you out for what you are. This media bias thing – we conservatives have talked about for years – now you see it, day after day, night after night, newspaper article after newspaper article. I don't see how they recover any credibility. . . I think people are hip to media bias. I said in 2007 that journalism is dead. It's buried, it's finished.

It's sad because people deserve the truth. I definitely have a conservative view, because I feel that conservatism works. But you just have to look at the truth sometimes. They're [the MSM] so ideological – everything is seen within the prism of this hatred that they have toward the president. It's not good for the country.

Here is video of Watters's entire show.  Hannity is introduced shortly after the start of the program.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

RECENT VIDEOS