How Fox News Handled the Hannity-Cohen Situation Proves they’re State-run TV

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How Fox News Handled the Hannity-Cohen Situation Proves they’re State-run TV

Fox News showed their true colors this week. The leading news organization in America had touted the slogan “fair and balanced” for years, but wisely switched to “Most Watched, Most Trusted” in the summer of 2017, because they knew the former would be a boldfaced lie in this Trump administration era. Fox News was forced to make a monumental decision this week after the FBI raided the office, home and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen’s attorneys revealed in Monday to a judge that his third secret client was none other than Fox News’ biggest star, Sean Hannity.

The master of spin and Trump’s staunchest defender vehemently denied the accusation, which was revealed in a court of law and under 18 U.S. Code 1621 would be classified as perjury if Cohen or his lawyers lied to the judge.
The master of spin and Trump’s staunchest defender

But Hannity made a bit of a Freudian slip on his radio show after the news broke he reiterated his tweet, but also admitted something that contradicted it by saying, “Michael never represented me in any matter, I never retained him in the traditional sense as retaining a lawyer, I never received an invoice from Michael, I never paid legal fees to Michael. We definitely had attorney-client privilege because I asked him for that but, you know, he never sent me a bill or an invoice.” Hannity also recalled that he “might have handed him 10 bucks.”

Legal experts have pointed out his “10 bucks” is not required for retaining counsel and many news organizations noted that it was straight out of the hit show “Breaking Bad” when shady lawyer, Saul Goodman, asks for one dollar to ensure their conversations about any criminal misdeeds were to fall under attorney-client privilege.

Two tweets and one comment later, Hannity effectively threw himself and Cohen under the bus. Hannity insinuated that Cohen lied before the judge, but also buried his attorney-client privilege with Cohen by denying any contract between the two, which means whatever conversations or documents taken by the FBI during the raid will not have those protections under that agreement.

Hannity has been on a tirade on his Fox News primetime and daytime radio show – attacking former FBI Director James Comey, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the whole FBI for raiding Michael Cohen’s office – often implying witch hunt and total anti-Trump biases. But he failed to mention his own personal bias between himself and Michael Cohen.
Hannity has been on a tirade

Even renowned conservative professor, Alan Dershowitz, called him out on his show.

Fox News Judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano told “Outnumbered Overtime” host Harris Faulkner, “I love him and, you know, I’ve worked with him for 20 years. He can’t have it both ways,” in regards to whether he can have attorney-client privilege while also not disclosing that information when criticizing the opposition.

Amazingly, Hannity was relentless in parading the murder of former DNC staffer, Seth Rich, on his show despite the victim’s family pleading with him not to. Despite that, he didn’t stop because his hatred for Hillary Clinton outweighs his gross lack of empathy. Yet, somehow Hannity believes he’s afforded “the right to privacy,” which also means he didn’t disclose this information to his producers and the network about his private relationship – even in whatever “minimal” capacity that he claimed.
His hatred for Hillary Clinton outweighs his gross lack of empathy

Fox News had a big decision to make at that point. On one hand, Sean Hannity is highest paid Television journalist in the world. In 2017, Forbes estimated his annual income was $36 million per year, which means he’s far and away their biggest money grab. On the other hand, Fox News might’ve wanted to hold onto any semblance of credibility by firing him, or at the very least, suspending Hannity.

Although the extent of their relationship isn’t fully known yet, Fox News chose to defend their star by putting out a statement that read, “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.”

If his undisclosed connection to Michael Cohen wasn’t bad enough, Rosie Gray of The Atlantic is reporting that Hannity is connected to at least one more of Trump’s personal lawyers.

Rosie writes, “On May 25, 2017, KFAQ, a radio station based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, received a cease-and-desist letter signed by two lawyers for Hannity: Victoria Toensing and Jay Alan Sekulow. Toensing’s signature sits above her name and that of her husband Joseph E. diGenova, the members of diGenova and Toensing LLP, who are identified as ‘Counsel for Sean Hannity,’ according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Atlantic. Sekulow is also identified in the letter page as a ‘Counsel for Sean Hannity.’

Sekulow is now the only known personal attorney for President Trump working full-time on the response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry. Sekulow recently announced that diGenova and Toensing had been hired to join him, before reversing course. The letter to the radio station was sent before Sekulow joined Trump’s team.”

To be fair, Fox News just extended anchor Shepard Smith’s contract who is arguably the fairest and most unbiased at the network. Smith has been critical of President Trump and also addressed the Hannity-Cohen debacle as being “the elephant in the room,” and said his producers were trying to get in contact with him.

Also, it’s possible that new information revealed in the Cohen-FBI raid might force Fox News to pivot on their position away from Hannity, but as of right now they seem to be unfazed by Hannity’s unmitigated pro-Trump stance.

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Jennifer Slate is an accomplished artist and when she’s not writing; you can find her tearing up the art scene with her talented sculptures and paintings around the Houston area.

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