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Fox News doesn't condone Hannity appearance with Trump

07 November 2018
Fox News doesn't condone Hannity appearance with Trump

On the eve of the midterm elections, Fox News host Sean Hannity promised he would not go onstage to campaign with President Donald Trump at a rally.

This was greeted by cheers from the crowd as Trump smiled.

Hannity, the channel's most popular personality, had insisted all day that he wouldn't campaign, before appearing on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump.

Hannity cleared the air on Tuesday after appearing alongside the president when he initially said he would not.

Trump held three campaign rallies on November 5, the day before the midterm elections, and 11 over the past six days leading up to the November 6 midterms. "It's really great when he's with you", Trump said, then beckoning the Fox host to come join him on the stage.

"And that should mean that Republicans do very, very well [on Tuesday]", she added, citing the importance of focusing on the positive impacts of Trump's policies over his tweets or his tone. Some, like Hannity, Pirro and Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, reportedly even act as unofficial advisers to Trump at times.

Fox News, with its conservative-leaning talk shows, some of which are unabashedly pro-Trump like Hannity's, has long had a unique relationship with the Trump administration. And to be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks.

Hannity also mimicked one of the lines that Trump frequently delivers at rallies: He pointed toward the press in the back of the room and called them "fake news".

However, in a TV interview on Monday, the USA leader said he wished he had taken a softer tone in his first two years as president. Hannity was made to cancel a 2010 appearance in Cincinnati when it was revealed it was to be a fundraiser for the Tea Party, and when he was featured in a 2016 Trump campaign video Fox told him was told never to do it again.

Hannity being at the rally was announced ahead of time, though not the extent of his participation in it.

CNN on Tuesday reported that more than a dozen Fox News staffers said they were disappointed by Hannity's decision to participate in a campaign rally in Missouri on Monday night.

Their speeches weren't televised on Fox News, but were seen on C-SPAN. In 2016, for instance, he cited unscientific polls on-air after a Fox News executive told network producers that they did not meet the company's editorial standards.

One Fox News employee described to CNN Business the scene at the NY headquarters of Fox News at the time, as a number of journalists inside the company's news division watched the episode unfold live.

Fox News draws a distinction between its opinion and news sides of the house.