• 68°

The Hannity-Cohen link: No big deal, or Fox guarding the White House?

Excerpts about the relationship between Sean Hannity of Fox News andMichael Cohen, President Trump’s lawyer:

Even Sean Hannity is newsworthy now.

Since it was revealed Monday afternoon that Hannity was a client of Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime lawyer, many in the media were gripped. It’s a big story because Hannity has a large audience, and while covering the Cohen story, he never disclosed his own ties to Cohen. …

The major national relevance of the Hannity story is that a popular pro-Trump commentator consults with the president’s lawyer (apparently about real estate, per Hannity’s account) and did not disclose that to his millions of viewers before covering Cohen. It’s bad, but it has comparatively little effect on the public or the larger story about Trump’s legal problems.

— Emily Jashinsky

Washington Examiner

Intellectually corrupt: Meanwhile, Cohen was forced to cough up the name of a heretofore unnamed client. (Judge Kimba) Wood again wasn’t buying the plea. That is how we learned that Fox News’ cheerleader in chief for Trump, Sean Hannity, was the other client. This is likely of no legal significance to Trump, but it is telling how intellectually corrupt is the right-wing media phalanx Trump relies upon. Hannity has been railing against the FBI raid but never disclosed that he had a personal interest in discrediting the raid and keeping the results secret.

CNN’s Brian Stetler explained: “By any standards of any normal newsroom, the Cohen-Hannity relationship is a glaring conflict of interest. Fox is not a normal newsroom. And Hannity’s viewers are not typical news viewers — people who watch almost any other show would likely feel lied to when they learned something like this had not been disclosed to them, but Hannity’s want him to have this kind of relationship with Trumpworld.”

In fact, Fox’s nighttime lineup is not an independent news organization at all. … It is, however, what Trump expects of all media – to be as docile, congratulatory and guileless as his pet cable TV outlet. Anything else — in other words, an independent free press —is “fake,” in Trump’s book.

Hannity wants us to believe that he wasn’t much of a client. He denied that Cohen represented him against any third party. (In essence he is denying drafting a nondisclosure agreement for the Fox News host.) Not a client, really. Just a guy who asked Cohen for legal advice now and then (!). Well, that makes him a client, whether he was paid or not.

— Jennifer Rubin

Washington Post

Full support: While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.

— Fox News

God bless: I just want to say thank you to all my irredeemable deplorable friends on twitter and elsewhere. The support you show me is overwhelming. You inspire me to fight hard every day. God bless you all.

— Sean Hannity

Use your imagination: Just imagine how Sean Hannity would respond if it were true that Obama’s personal lawyer, the target of a criminal investigation, was also secretly the lawyer for Rachel Maddow —and she had been using her show to defend the lawyer without disclosing …

— Brian Klass

Trump adviser: Far beyond his pose of being a simple opinion journalist, Hannity is a close adviser to the president — and they even share a relationship with the same somewhat dubious attorney. … Hannity has a special interest in leaping to defend Trump and Cohen ….

Hannity’s concealment of this fact from his fans is unlikely to cost him audience in the immediate run, but these compromises erode Fox’s ability to function independently of the Trump White House. It’s a Faustian bargain, and the price is much greater than 10 bucks for legal advice.

— The Atlantic

Comments

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant