Fox News Calls Sean Hannity Campaign Appearance ‘Unfortunate Distraction’

Pauline Gross
November 7, 2018

It's considered standard for employees of news organizations not to engage in political campaign activities so their outlets do not appear unfair; some journalists go so far as to not vote at all for this reason. Hannity was made to cancel a 2010 appearance in Cincinnati when it was revealed he was participating in a fundraiser for the Tea Party.

It was a group that included his own Fox News colleagues.

"While we often hear that all politics is local, there's just no getting away from the fact that Trump's policies are on the ballot", said host Laura Ingraham on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" during her opening monologue, in which she focused on protecting and preserving America's and Americans' future. In 2016, the network said Hannity was prohibited from appearing in promotions for the then-candidate after appearing in a campaign ad. Some, like Hannity, Pirro and Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, reportedly even act as unofficial advisers to Trump at times.

"The campaign started with talk of [the] blue wave", said Fox News' chief national correspondent Ed Henry on "The Ingraham Angle" on Monday night. Country singer Lee Greenwood performed Trump favorite "God Bless the USA" in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was expected to appear Monday with the president in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Hannity - who explicitly promised he would not campaign with Trump on stage in a tweet before the event - later clarified that the onstage moment had not been planned.

Fox called it an "unfortunate distraction" that has been addressed.

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But in Missouri, the press pool reported former Fox News executive and current White House communications director Bill Shine high-fived Hannity from off stage. "They've been with us from the beginning also". Hannity hugged Trump and, after lobbing his crowd-pleasing insult at the media, recited economic statistics. He did return to tell the crowd to "say a little prayer", and soon after members began singing "Amazing Grace".

That seemed to be a good enough explanation for his employers over at Fox News, who issued a statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

Later, Trump introduced Ms Pirro as she took the stage.

As shameless as that kind of partisan cheerleading is for a channel with "news" in its title, I would not be writing this column if that was all Hannity and Fox News did Monday.

One Fox News employee described to CNN Business the scene at the NY headquarters of Fox News at the time, as a number of journalists inside the company's news division watched the episode unfold live.

Fox News, however, said Tuesday it wasn't pleased with their talents' performances, calling it an "unfortunate distraction".

Other reports by GizPress

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