It was revealed this week that Fox News host Sean Hannity was the third mystery client of President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. To make matters worse, Hannity is also helping craft tweets and discuss strategy with the president while still working for Fox News.
“Real Time” host Bill Maher couldn’t help but note that the Fourth Estate isn’t supposed to be colluding with the First Estate.
“Obviously he carries Trump’s water every day,” Maher said on Friday’s show. “We didn’t know that he was talking to Trump every day. I mean, this is such a violation of what the Fourth Estate is supposed to be! It’s not supposed to be a branch of the First Estate! Can you imagine if they found out if Obama was talking to Rachel Maddow every day? And they were like sharing information and, ‘Now you say this and then I’ll say this. And then we’ll do that and come have dinner tonight.’ I feel like that didn’t get enough coverage.”
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni told Maher that in the past Hannity has tried to claim he wasn’t really a journalist he was an entertainer. Then he flipped back to being a journalist. Now, after this week’s revelation, Hannity is back to being an entertainer again.
Bruni called it “more than a little scary” to think that “on major issues, the President’s first call is to Sean Hannity.”
“On a red phone!” Alex Wagner, host of Showtime’s “The Circus,” said laughing.
Bruni noted that Hannity isn’t likely to counsel anything tempered and sensible because he wants it to be entertainment as much as Trump wants to provide him with entertainment.
“The more melodrama, the more Sean Hannity has to cover and talk about,” Bruni continued. “So this is a very toxic relationship.”
Wagner also said, “Fox News is on the hook here” because, while Hannity is trying to spin himself, the network actually has the word “news” in the name.
“Depending on the hour,” Bruni cut in. “There’s that whole big chunk of Fox & Friends.”
“The fact that they have not answered for this is shocking,” Wagner continued.
Bruni explained that due to Hannity’s ratings, Fox isn’t likely to get rid of his highest rated host.
Watch their full discussion below: