Still, even if Hannity turns out to be on his last legs, even if Fox News stays in third place among the major cable-news channels and wanes into irrelevance within the decade, it will remain the case that Hannity and Fox matter more today than they ever have for an unprecedented reason: a geriatric audience of one hangs on their words.
And he is the president of the United States.
If you have elderly, Fox-News watching relatives you’re probably familiar with the way a bit of scaremongering from Sean Hannity can change the tenor of an evening, causing grandpa to become agitated or anxious at what is clearly misinformation.
Grandpa Trump watches television an average of five hours every day.
And Bloomberg reports that the longer his presidency has gone on, the more he has shifted to watching Fox News. Sean Hannity is the main beneficiary of his evening viewing. A conspiracy theory aired on that show might be repeated by the president on Twitter, or even determine irreversible actions that he takes in his official capacity.
The stakes could not be higher.