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Opinion Five takeaways from Sean Hannity’s interview with Ted Cruz about Cancun

Then-President Donald Trump greets talk show host Sean Hannity at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Nov. 5, 2018. (Jim Watson/AFP, Getty Images)
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Former President Donald Trump reportedly mocked Fox News host Sean Hannity for his cloying and sycophantic questions during their frequent interviews.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) may be getting the same feeling. On Thursday night, he appeared on “Hannity” for a helping of the host’s patented image-rehab service.

The appearance was a crucial one for Cruz, who faces a career crisis stemming from his decision to decamp from Texas to Cancun in the midst of a massive infrastructure collapse. A snap of brutal winter weather —extreme cold and snow — deprived millions of Texans of electricity. On Tuesday, 4 million households in the state were without power. The struggle continues, as residents cope with broken pipes, contaminated water and frigid homes. The number of households without electricity on Thursday dropped to around 300,000, though 13 million-plus state residents were subject to boil-water advisories.

Enjoying recreational privileges unavailable to the proles has always been a hazard for politicians in this country. Social media users likened Cruz’s skipping out of town to then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) lounging on an otherwise closed beach during a 2017 state government shutdown. Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Tex., bolted via private jet to Cabo San Lucas in December and, from Mexico, asked his constituents to stay home because of the pandemic. If Twitter had existed in 1987, it surely would have feasted on D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was content to hang out in sunny California in lieu of hustling home to direct the city’s response to snowstorms. Of course, Cruz himself has criticized others for their indulgences during times of crisis.

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The Post’s Aaron Blake has compiled a roundup of these leisure lapses by U.S. politicians. One thing all of them would have liked to have was … Hannity! Here are the takeaways from Thursday night’s memorable Cruz-Hannity chat:

1) Sean Hannity is a propagandist. In introducing the interview, Hannity said, “Now, Sen. Ted Cruz tonight is facing the ire of the mob, the media, for traveling to Cancun, Mexico, with his daughters to drop them off and come home as Texas is still addressing the fallout and damage from severe weather.” Boldface added to highlight a nice little gift from Hannity: As many news outlets have reported, Cruz had initially planned to stay on vacation in Mexico through Saturday, but later changed his plans to return on Thursday. Even Cruz conceded as much after his return: “The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family,” he said.

2) Sean Hannity is a propagandist. When most sycophants disguised as journalists interview their pals, they at least make an effort to ask a question. Hannity is a different beast, as this exchange demonstrates:

Hannity: Now, you went and you took your daughters to Cancun and you came back. I think you can be a father and be the senator of Texas all at the same time and make a round-trip quick drop-off trip and come home.
Cruz: Well, Sean, that’s right.

You cannot find better service than that anywhere.

3) Sean Hannity is a propagandist. In pooh-poohing the idea that Cruz needed to be in Texas, Hannity said, “I thought we learned during covid that teleschool, telemedicine, teleworking, Zoom calls, all this other stuff change the way that we do everything.”

Indeed those things have changed the way that we do everything — including presidential campaigns, during which candidate Joe Biden made extensive use of teleconferencing technology. And what did Hannity say about that? “Joe is still nowhere to be found. He spent yet another day, for the last five days holed up in his basement bunker, with less than two weeks to go before Election Day. No rallies, no press conferences, no big events. Maybe he had a nice, leisurely breakfast, a couple of naps, hot cocoa, early dinner inside, and maybe he’s watching ‘Hannity,’” said the host on Oct. 21.

4) Sean Hannity is a propagandist. Hannity to Cruz: “Now, I’m not assuming that the people of Texas thought you’re going to go out there with a blowtorch and antifreeze and get the wind turbines going.” Blaming wind power for the Texas crisis is a chilling example of disinformation spread on Fox News.

5) Sean Hannity is a propagandist. As he completed his exoneration of Cruz, Hannity remarked, “I think there’s a lot of sanctimony and politics being played in this attack.” Sanctimony, politics, attacks — we’ll credit Hannity for knowing of what he speaks.

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