The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion ‘Te amo’: Sean Hannity’s biggest fan says he’s the ‘best journalist’

Post media critic Erik Wemple spoke with Hannity superfan María Falcón outside the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Miami. (Video: Erik Wemple/The Washington Post)

María Falcón says she once spoke on the phone with Fox News host Sean Hannity, after she defended him when his critics wanted to oust him from his network. But she’d like to meet him in person, as she told the Erik Wemple Blog last week in a gathering of pro-Trump activists outside of the venue for the Democratic debates in Miami.

“Hannity, I love you very much,” said Falcón, a 67-year-old resident of Miami Beach. “You are the very best journalist. I would like to meet you one day. I know it’ll happen.”

A committed anti-communist, Falcón told the Erik Wemple Blog that the regime of Fidel Castro burned her family’s farm and forced her flight from Cuba. Having arrived in the United States in 1980, she has spent the better part of four decades advocating for Republicans, including the Bushes and Ronald Reagan. “The one who’s closest to my heart is Donald Trump,” she says.

That Falcón admires both Hannity and Trump, of course, jibes with logic: Both men believe and say the same things, such that it’s hard to tell who originated the talking points that they impose on the public. According to Falcón, Hannity speaks with authority on politics, provides measured reports on the world and is a “highly intelligent person.”

Follow Erik Wemple's opinionsFollow

Here’s the thing about superfans of Hannity and Fox News: There’s an exclusivity requirement. Since Hannity’s shtick entails goring the credibility of mainstream news outlets, his followers cannot also embrace someone such as Jake Tapper or Nicolle Wallace or Robert Costa. There’s not enough room in the human brain for such incompatible allegiances.

Sure enough, Falcón sneers at MSNBC and the New York Times as purveyors of “fake news.” CNN, she says, is the “Castro Net News” because of founder Ted Turner’s interactions with the late Cuban leader.

On the central question of the past several years — honesty — Falcón says, “Trump doesn’t lie.” When we pointed out that The Post had compiled 10,000 Trump statements that are false or misleading, she replied, “No, no, no, no: Tell The Washington Post no. Trump doesn’t lie.”

As Falcón well knows, there’s great competition among media outlets when it comes to interpreting the Trump presidency. How does she filter out the falsehoods from the truths? “I analyze what is happening. What I see, I analyze,” she says, noting that she has a network of sources from Facebook and Twitter. “I have a lot of people” who provide information, she says.

First among them, of course, is Hannity, whom she calls “one of my family.”