Considering these facts and given that the president often tweets things he has just seen on Fox News, is there anyone who genuinely believes that Trump is the one telling Hannity what to say? The president is clearly not a person of ideas; he’s barely a person of coherent thought, as his recent two-hour rambling “off-script” speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference reaffirmed. Simply put, Sean Hannity is not spreading Donald Trump’s endless stream of lies, self-aggrandizing delusions and wild conspiracy theories, he’s authoring them. And Donald Trump is obediently repeating and tweeting them.
That should be alarming to every American. It should be alarming not simply because Hannity was never elected by the American public to lead anything, but also because Hannity is widely trusted. As Adweek recently reported, Hannity was the most widely watched program on cable news in 2018 (for the second year in a row), drawing 3.2 million viewers on average. But the popularity of Hannity is based on a fundamental deception. Hannity has convinced a wide swath of the American public that he is a journalist and that his show on Fox News is a news program. Both of these things are demonstrably untrue.