How 'aching' Sean Hannity is the face of Fox News' 'post-Trump identity crisis'
Sean Hannity speaking with attendees at the Conservative Review Convention at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Tuesday, The Washington Post profiled the recent behavior of Fox News host Sean Hannity — and how he personifies an "identity crisis" at the network as it struggles to pivot in a post-Trump news cycle.

"For a few weeks, it manifested as the denial shared by his fellow believers in the ex-president's unsupported claims of election fraud," wrote Sarah Ellison and Jeremy Barr. "After the inauguration of the new president, Hannity pivoted to the next stage — anger — as he lashed out at 'the weak, the frail, the cognitively struggling Biden.' More recently, he has displayed something closer to depression, as he engages his viewers in a session of public mourning. 'My heart's troubled,' he told his on-air colleague Laura Ingraham. 'It's aching for my country right now.'"

"Hannity's process is a window into the current tumult inside Fox News, as the former president's former favorite network tries to find its place in a post-Trump reality," said the report. "The end of a presidential campaign is often a time for news organizations to take stock and recalibrate their strategies. But never before had a network been so closely affiliated with a commander in chief. Now, as Trump wages war with the more established elements of his own party and against Fox News itself, Fox is seeking to navigate its future without the ear of a sitting president or even his angry voice from exile."

During the Trump presidency, Fox was often a platform to disseminate his message directly to the American people, getting exclusive interviews on a number of shows, including Hannity's primetime show and the morning program Fox & Friends.

In recent weeks, Hannity's show has suffered a ratings collapse as Fox not only loses a friendly president, but as that ex-president turns away from Fox in favor of newer right-wing channels.

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