That’s trouble for Trump’s impeachment proceedings and trouble for Hannity, his No. 1 cheerleader.
So the Fox News host attacked the messenger. “Perfectly timed hit piece framed over the weekend,” said Hannity. “The abusively biased New York Times hack Maggie Hagerman — Haberman, whatever her name is — claiming that top-secret, unnamed sources — top-secret unnamed sources, how often we heard that? — revealing that former national security adviser John Bolton will accuse President Trump of a Ukrainian quid pro quo in his upcoming book while they simultaneously ignored the real quid pro quo with Joe.”
There are so many problems with the story, argued Hannity. One is that the New York Times has published corrections over the past few years. “Look at this one of many examples, June 29, 2017, the Times forced to issue a major correction on one of, oh, Maggie Haberman’s pieces about Trump and Russia.” That correction related to the number of intelligence agencies that approved an assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Hannity cited a couple of other examples, as he himself provided an example of how to weaponize a news outlet’s integrity. Corrections, after all, build trust rather than destroying it. We’ve asked Fox News for a list of corrections issued by Hannity.
As for Hannity’s gripe about the “top-secret, unnamed sources”:
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that a January 2020 scoop from the New York Times about an investigation involving former FBI director James B. Comey relied on “top-secret, unnamed sources.” “And breaking tonight, the New York Times is reporting that the DOJ probe into leaks of classified material appears focused on Mr. Super Patriot himself. That’s right, Jimbo Comey.”
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that a November 2019 story from the New York Times about former vice president Joe Biden’s work in Ukraine relied on “top-secret, unnamed sources.” “And according to a brand-new report from the New York Times, even Biden’s own aides were concerned about Hunter’s Ukrainian business dealings. Quote: ‘They were so worried about the optics that they enlisted State Department officials to gather facts to determine how to handle the story,’” said Hannity on Nov. 11.
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that an October 2019 scoop from the New York Times about the investigation by federal prosecutor John Durham into the Russia probe relied on “top-secret, unnamed sources.” “All right. We start with a Fox News alert. Breaking news, multiple fronts, just moments ago: The New York Times has, in fact, reported and confirmed that [Attorney General William] Barr’s Department of Justice [has] now shifted the probe into the origins of the Russia collusion witch hunt. It is now officially a criminal investigation,” said Hannity on Oct. 24.
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that a September 2019 story from the New York Times rebutting CNN’s reporting about Trump’s alleged negative impact on foreign intelligence assets. “In fact, this claim by fake news CNN was contradicted by both The Washington Post and even the New York Times. The Times reporting, quote: ‘Former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that the media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction,’” said Hannity on Sept. 10.
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that a June 2019 scoop from the New York Times about the investigation of Durham into the Russia investigation relied on “top-secret, unnamed sources.” “Breaking only moments ago from The New York Times, major new development in John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. This is huge,” said Hannity on June 12.
— Hannity didn’t appear to mind too much that a June 2019 scoop from the New York Times about Trump’s aides keeping him in the dark about U.S. operations against Russia relied on “top-secret, unnamed sources.” “Over the weekend, even the New York Times issued a report about America’s escalating online attacks against Russia’s power grid. Now, the Times is alleging that the president was purposely left in the dark about these new measures. … Excuse me. But whether Washington unelectable bureaucrats like it or not, President Trump was a duly elected president of the American people,” said Hannity on June 17.
And on it goes.
Night in and night out, Hannity can do two things at once: 1) Call New York Times reporters “abusively biased,” accuse them of reporting lies, marvel at their outrageous work and then 2) rely on those same journalists to fuel the narratives of “Hannity.” His bosses allow the hypocrisy, as, apparently, do his viewers. We asked Fox News if Hannity is aware of this, and we’ll update if we get a response.
Regardless, “Hannity” would wither without the New York Times.
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