Sean Hannity of Fox News. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Media critic

Forgive “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy, but he asked a rather logical question on Monday morning. In a chat with fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity, Doocy asked, “What do you make of Robert Mueller and the suggestion that the president is about to fire him? You don’t think that’s a good idea, do you?”

There was plenty of grist to feed that particular inquiry, especially in the vicinity of @realDonaldTrump:

“The president didn’t say he was going to fire him,” Hannity said. “This is … the fake news media doing what they do best. The president made a comment — and maybe if I was advising the president, I’d say ‘Let this investigation go forward.’ We’re probably coming to the end of it, if I had to render a guess, and it would be in his best interest probably not to comment — but look at the president’s comments closely, and the media took it the wrong way: And all the president was saying, this never should have been, this never should have happened. The president is 1,000 percent right. There never was any Trump-Russia collusion. … There’s not going to be any firing of Mueller. The White House issued a statement late last night.”

Bolding added to highlight two points.

No. 1: Hannity is advising the president, whether that happens via the television set …

… or whether it happens via one of the many direct conversations that have been reported over and over again. “Do I talk to my friend who I’ve known for years and speak my mind? I can’t not speak my mind,” Hannity told the New York Times during the presidential campaign.

And some adviser you are, Sean Hannity! How many times have you said that the Mueller investigation needs to be “disbanded immediately” or “shut down immediately” or otherwise ditched?

No 2.: On what basis is Hannity suddenly an authority on President Trump’s plans vis-a-vis Mueller? We saw the depth of his expertise on this front, after all, play out on Fox News itself. It was back in January, after the New York Times reported that Trump, in June 2017, had ordered Mueller fired. “At this hour, the New York Times is trying to distract you. They have a story that Trump wanted Mueller fired sometime last June, and our sources, and I’ve checked in with many of them, they’re not confirming that tonight,” said Hannity. “And the president’s attorney dismissed the story, and says, ‘Nope, no comment, we’re not going there.’ And how many times has the New York Times and others gotten it wrong?”

As the show concluded, Hannity was forced to admit — via reporting by Fox News’s Ed Henry — that, yes, the New York Times was right about Trump-Mueller. The president, indeed, had ordered the special counsel to be dismissed. And Hannity won the January ratings.

Read more:

‘This is the hardest reporting there is’: Inside ProPublica’s correction on Gina Haspel

Fox News won’t say whether Seth Rich conspiracy reporter is working on stories

New Yorker depicts President Trump without a tie at a press conference

‘They never called us to check any facts’: Seth Rich’s parents blast Fox News

‘Intense distress’: Lawsuit from Seth Rich’s parents details trauma from Fox News hatchet job