Is Sean Hannity one of Trump’s unofficial advisors?
Every president has a group of official advisors who offer input and guidance, and President Donald Trump is no different.
But there’s one unofficial Donald Trump advisor that isn’t in the administration: Sean Hannity.
The relationship between political commentator Sean Hannity and President Donald Trump has been a topic of speculation for years.
Hannity, a highly conservative and controversial political commentator from FOX News, has been a staunch supporter of President Trump. But even though close relationships between media personalities and presidents is not uncommon in American history, this one has lawmakers and regular Americans stumped.
With Hannity’s growing influence on Trump’s base, the question some critics are asking is, “Has Hannity joined Trump’s advisor list, and is he controlling the president?”
Who is Sean Hannity?
Sean Hannity is a conservative political commentator, talk show host and author (presidential advisor still to be determined).
He has been in broadcasting since the late ’90s. He hosts the nationally syndicated TV and radio show Hannity on FOX News where he discusses current events. He calls himself an “advocacy journalist… or an opinion journalist.”
His audience, mostly right-wing voters, tunes in for his strong conservative views and support of President Trump. He is also known to call out Republicans who he thinks aren’t doing a good-enough job of supporting the administration.
However, not everyone is a fan of this FOX News host.
Critics of Hannity have accused him of putting out conspiracy theories as a ploy to discredit politicians that he opposes. Many believe that he stretches or the truth or even lies for ratings.
For instance, during the 2016 presidential election, Hannity got heat from Republicans and Democrats alike when he promoted a theory about Hillary Clinton assassinating a DNC staffer.
How did Trump and Hannity get so close?
Many have called Trump’s and Hannity’s relationship “unorthodox.”
Long before President Trump first launched his bid for the presidency, he was a regular guest on Hannity’s show on FOX News.
While other political commentators were focusing on Trump’s behavior and recent scandals – the sexual assault charges, illegal payment claims, to name a few – Hannity doubled down on his support of President Trump.
And thankfully for him, this support doesn’t come without reward.
The Trump-Hannity relationship seems to be working well for both men.
In recent years, Hannity has become one of the most popular commentators on television and radio. Back in February 2019, Hannity beat out all other cable news shows, gaining a total audience of 3.3 million on average.
Many experts argue that while the FOX News channel has always supported Trump, Hannity is one of his biggest supporters at the station.
Hannity says his bias makes him more honest than other media outlets. However, the “advocacy journalist” has been criticized for only presenting facts that protect Trump and his administration.
President Trump, who has long complained about his perception in his media, has benefited from the positive media coverage.
According to reports, President Trump regularly calls Hannity after his nightly show. He also promotes his Sean Hannity live appearances on Twitter.
Is their friendship really that strange?
The connection between Hannity and the president has gotten a lot of attention. Media historians have noted that this relationship is particularly interesting because of “the extent of Hannity’s reach.”
He has used his knowledge of the Republican base and his new influence to defend the Trump administration and put pressure on Republicans in Congress.
But critics say that Hannity’s loyalty to the president may not be in the best interest of Americans.
The Washington Post reported that after getting advice from Hannity, the president considered releasing a controversial memo written by a Republican lawmaker spreading conspiracy theories about the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Hannity, meanwhile, had apparently not even read the document. Talk about blind faith.
A few years back, Hannity also admitted to advising then-businessman Trump not to run in the 2012 presidential election.
Multiple reports have said that Hannity basically has a seat in the White House.
So while U.S. voters mostly see him discussing politics on television, Hannity seems to moonlight as one of Trump’s most trusted advisors behind the scenes.
In fact, in addition to being spotted at the president’s golf club in Florida, Hannity has made a few appearances at Trump’s campaign rallies, even speaking at one back in 2018.
What does it all mean for voters?
With Hannity’s way of presenting facts in a way that benefits Trump, some critics say that viewers may not be getting all the information they need to make informed decisions.
Hannity has been criticized for “asking softball questions” to the president during his many exclusive interviews. This speaks to a bigger issue that could affect voters.
The media plays a big role in how voters view politicians. Many voters place trust in media outlets to present the facts as is and keep them informed.
Meda outlets also influence how voters perceive everything from policies to lawmakers.
Deciding what facts to discuss and how to present them is an individual decision that Hannity (and everyone with a platform) makes every day. However, it has wide-reaching consequences.
News literacy has always been a concern in U.S. politics.
Whether it’s the ability to distinguish between facts and “fake news,” or between journalists and political commentators, voters have their share of work to do before and after they head to the polls.
Some critics fear that Hannity’s closeness to the White House may keep some voters from seeing the full picture.
Experts say that Hannity’s hold on Trump’s base will likely remain strong. However, how will his preferential coverage of Trump affect voters? Only the next election will tell.
What do you think about Hannity’s relationship with President Trump? Let us know in the polls!