The Sunday Edition

Michael's essay: Sean Hannity is only doing his job — to be a salesman for Trump

“I wish people would stop picking on poor Sean Hannity. After all the man is only doing his job.”
US President Donald Trump greets talk show host Sean Hannity at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on November 5, 2018. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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I wish people would stop picking on poor Sean Hannity. After all the man is only doing his job.

How would like it if you worked day and night trying to fulfill your mission, your assignment if you will, in public and under tremendous pressure and then have your work constantly poo-bombed by mean-minded critics.

I'm thinking you wouldn't like it one little bit.

Look at all the flack he takes from the elite mainstream media. 

On Tuesday the New York Times, on its front page, said Hannity had crossed a journalistic Rubicon by standing on stage with Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Missouri.

The Gray Lady further harrumphed that Hannity spoke in favour of the president. Which is something journalists should not do.

Which is where The Times and other media slide off the rails.

Hannity is not a journalist. He is not an op-ed columnist, or reporter.

[Hannity's] job, his role in life, is to actively promote the promises, policies and programs of the American president.- Michael Enright

He is a pitchman, like radio host Rush Limbaugh, a salesman whose product is the president of the United States.

He is Willy Loman to his older and more successful brother Ben, or Donald John Trump. 

His job, his role in life, is to actively promote the promises, policies and programs of the American president.

And he is very good at it.

The former house painter and roofer has an audience in the millions for his radio and television shows, what a salesman would call his territory.

None of it has anything to do with journalism; it's all about money.- Michael Enright


In his sample case, Hannity has all kinds of conspiracy theories for an audience that laps them up.

He was an early supporter of his boss's accusation that Barack Obama was not an American.

His theories about Hillary Clinton's health and the death of a Democratic Party staffer, didn't move very well, but he kept up the sales pitch.

Hannity is an accomplished front man for the administration's propaganda arm, Fox News. And for its other client, the Republican Party.

None of it has anything to do with journalism; it's all about money.

Trump is delighted with Hannity and his sales prowess, but as he showed this week, he can't stand real reporters.

In a bizarre 90-minute harangue, he lit into reporters who dared to ask challenging questions. Later, the Secret Service took away the White House access pass of Jim Acosta of CNN.

Trump has a seething enmity for CNN, a target of the pipe bomb terrorist.

Covering a federal government whether it's Ottawa or Washington, is never easy even in the best of times. And for American reporters, this is not the best of times.

Their president has called them enemies of the people and worse.

He has accused them of lying about him, making up false stories, being very bad people, attacking him without reason and generally making his life miserable.

We have never seen presidential coverage like this because we have never seen a president like this.

With the president facing an oppositional House of Representatives, the war on the American press will escalate intensively over the next two years.