Last year around this time, Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News pulled off a multi-segment exposé on spring break in Panama City Beach in Florida. It exposed drinking and drugging and young women in bikinis. And it worked: Jon Stewart made fun of it, and the activities showcased by “Hannity” actually set in motion a review of spring break policies in the city. Authorities curtailed bar closing times — from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. — and began requiring ID for beach-based drinking.
Why not do it again, then? Panama City Beach Mayor Gayle Oberst this morning told the Erik Wemple Blog that she’d received a call earlier this week from a “Hannity” producer notifying her that Fox News’s Ainsley Earhardt will be part of a crew that will film from Panama City Beach this Saturday. Oberst turned down the producer’s request for an interview. “They’re not getting interviews with any elected officials,” predicted Oberst. That should come as a challenge to the “Hannity” crew.
The regulatory changes, along with other tweaks to enforcement, said Oberst, appear to have scaled back some of the mayhem. So does that mean that Oberst wants to thank “Hannity” for shining the light on spring break madness? Amid some chuckles, Oberst responded in the negative. “We were shown as being lawless place that you can just come and do anything and none of us liked that.”