This week, in our 'Fake New Family Tree' series we are focusing in on two white hot fake news overachievers - Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Both contribute to the spread of misinformation from the most watched fake news platform, Fox News. The High Priest and Priestess of Hate make quite the iconic duo as they spin and weave a narrative of lies on a nightly basis to their misled fans.
Head Racist in Charge, Laura Ingraham, has been blowing the whistle on deviant (see, non heterosexual white Christians) since early adulthood. In college at Dartmouth she 'infiltrated' a LGBT student group to spy on their meeting. Ingraham published a transcript of the meeting and included the names of the attendees, describing them as "cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites". Ingraham later renounced her beliefs on homosexuality, but never apologized for outing her fellow students in an era of intolerance.
Don't worry, Ingraham doesn't just hate the gays, she also hate immigrants! In 2014 Ingraham said that allowing more immigrant workers to come to the United States would be "obscene to the American experience". Remember when she referred to child detention centers as 'just like summer camp'? What a great example to the (Nazi) youth.
And who can forget her famous refrain to LeBron James and Kevin Durant to "Shut up and dribble." Yeah, who allowed those American citizens to speak their mind about politics? Outrage!
2018 was a banner year for Ingraham controversies. She also took it upon herself to ridicule Parkrose survivor David Hogg for not getting into two two colleges he applied to. For this, she lost 27 advertisers and took a short 'previously planned' vacation, but returned soon after with little discernible change in ratings (still less ad time though).
Controlling people by telling them how to think for themselves is a nice piece of demagogic trickery, though hardly original among the conservative bloc that crowds talk radio today. Ingraham has proved to be a master at such trickery — and like her or not, she’s every bit as funny, as appealing and as dangerous as each of her male peers and friends.
You may know him as Trump’s #1 trusted news source, but before Hannity became the president’s bestie and top fake news entertainer, he was (shockingly) still a dumpster fire of racism, sexism and homophobia.
Raised in small-town New York City, Hannity went to 3 different universities, including UCSB, before quitting altogether. At the age of 27, Hannity volunteered for a college radio station, KCSB as a sort of ‘shock jock’. During this time he developed the essence of his on air personality, blasting the news media, lending credence to fringe theories, speaking up for the little guys who felt overrun by the elites. This DJ job did not last long, however, as Hannity was fired after making extremely homophobic comments saying that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to teach children because they can’t control their lust, AIDS was a gay disease that could be spread through saliva or tears, and even agreeing with an extremely anti-gay guest who claimed that gay men ate feces. He says now those remarks are embarrassing - but, I wonder what he will say in another 30 years about the things he’s saying now?
Hannity used his notoriety from his controversial statements to parlay himself into a career in radio, lauding himself as "the most talked about college radio host in America." His competitive streak and relatability made him a star on conservative talk radio.
By 1996, Hannity had become prominent enough in the conservative talk realm that he caught the eye of Roger Ailes, who hired him for a show on the newly formed Fox News Channel. This show, Hannity and Colmes, was a debate show, between liberal and conservative ideas - Fox News’ version of Crossfire. The show was criticized for hosting almost 3x more conservatives and republicans than democrats and liberals, and Colmes himself was often criticized for not speaking up about Hannity’s erroneous claims on air. Hannity was a follower of the birther movement and had many episodes devoted to his theories on Benghazi. He is what we think of when we think of Fox News lies. Hyping up the fear of terrorists everywhere, Sharia law in America, WMD in Iraq, invasions of illegal criminal immigrants at the border. He proudly proclaimed he was waging an underground guerilla war on Obama and liberals. During the Bush years he was a loyal supporter, yet he turned away from many republicans during Trump’s campaign as he became closer and closer to our Cheeto overlord. In Hannity’s mind Trump can do no wrong, from the insults to Gold Star families to racist comments about Mexicans to the Access Hollywood tape - Hannity spun them all into his particular kind of gold - ratings. And his increased ratings helped to pump up Trump’s campaign, since he was able to dismiss those harder stories as just ‘fake news’. Even just this week Trump appeared on Hannity’s show, saying he was terminating his NYT and Washington Post subscriptions because they were nothing but ‘fake news’.
2017 saw Hannity lose several advertisers after he continued to spread conspiracy theories about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, even after Fox had officially retracted the story.
However, even with his success on screen, Hannity has kept his radio gigs, using them as a sounding platform for some of his more conservative ideas. It was there, under the Obama years he branded himself as the ‘conservative resistance’, another well paid high profile victim of liberals and mainstream media.
Hannity is a rich guy who likes to pretend he’s not rich with his Aw Shucks demeanor and talk about not needing limousines to ride to work, yet he makes over 35m a year.
Hannity’s FB page has over 3m followers, but here is a lot of infighting in the comments, so possibly not all fans.
Hannity’s Twitter has 4.3m followers, but it is clear not all followers are fans. Even one of our old guests, Will Sommer is a follower, as are both David Axelrod and The Daily Show.
Obviously, Hannity’s social media is far more popular than Limbaugh’s was when we discussed it last month.
Kelly's Jam of the Week: The Laundromat
When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world's wealthiest citizens amass larger fortunes. Founding partners Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) are experts in the seductive ways shell companies and offshore accounts help the rich and powerful prosper. They are about to show us that Ellen's predicament only hints at the tax evasion, bribery and other illicit absurdities that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world's corrupt financial system.
Beth's Jam of the Week:
FLASHBACK: The Repulsive Anti-Gay Comments That Once Got Sean Hannity Fired
How Sean Hannity Began His Path to Punditry on Santa Barbara Community Radio
Sean Hannity Show
White House to cancel Times, Post subscriptions after Trump's 'Hannity' comments
All statements by Sean Hannity
One day encapsulated everything that’s wrong with Fox News
6 Blatant Attempts To Stir Up Completely Unfounded Outrage
Hannity and Colmes
Hannity Passionately Defends Birtherism, Demands, “Don't Bring Up Race”
Here’s Why 15 Sean Hannity Advertisers Say They Haven’t Dumped Him
The making of Sean Hannity: How a Long Island kid learned to channel red-state rage
Bill Moyers' View Of Contemporary America
Paul to Hannity: Stop with your Sharia
Sean Hannity: “I Still Think” Saddam Hussein Had Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Laura Ingraham: Right-Wing Radio’s High Priestess of Hate
Top diplomat tells lawmakers Ukraine aid was directly tied to investigations
Ingraham: Deep state's coordinated effort to take down Trump
After Republicans storm hearing room, Defense official testifies in impeachment inquiry
House Republicans Storm Adam Schiff’s Closed-Door Impeachment Hearing
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And don't forget - Spread jam, not lies.
Spread jam, not lies.