Monday, January 19, 2009

The rise of Sean Hannity during an Obama Presidency

Liberals have often charged that Conservatives are more effective as the opposition party. Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News enjoyed an ascendancy during the Clinton Years, particularly with the Lewinsky scandal. The effective onslaught spearheaded by Talk Radio, Hillary Clinton dubbed "The Vast Right Wing conspiracy". A term, Rush Limbaugh would cheekily use to refer to his fan base

APF Heavyweight Rush Limbaugh has been the Number One talker throughout both Bush Presidencies, gaining special popularity during the Clinton years. His crowning achievement then was being credited as 'National Precinct Captain' for the 94' Republican Revolution.
In a previous post I asked - Will Rush Limbaugh remain conservatism's leader 2009 onwards?

Though there are no signs of Rush slowing down, Sean Hannity is well positioned to overtake Rush now that he is no longer encumbered by a liberal foil in Alan Colmes. Though Rush is quick to deny he has any "competitors".

Sean showed his designs to be Obama's Number #1 challenger with his sensational documentary, Obama and Friends: History of Radicalism. A late gambit by Sean to sway Election votes from Obama, among other things it charged that Obama's community organising past was rooted in "radicalism"
Obama’s Personal Ties Are Subject of Program on Fox News Channel
The program was the latest step in the evolution of opinion journalism on cable news. It comes as one of Fox News’s rivals, MSNBC, becomes increasingly liberal... But Mr. Hannity’s program on Sunday was notable in presenting partisan accusations against Mr. Obama in a journalistic, documentary format in prime time...
Mr. Hannity’s executive producer, John Finley, said that the program was clearly opinion and that the audience — on average 1.5 million to 2 million — knew to take it as such.

VIDEO: Hannity's News Special
Obama and Friends: History of Radicalism

But the best argument that Hannity may supercede Rush is that Sean has personally sparred with Obama. The then-campaigning Barack Obama often singled out the popular Conservative talker in print interviews and on the campaign trail.

In wrestling parlance, this is know as "working a program". Where 2 combatants develop a feud usually beginning with distant verbal exchanges, escalating into something more. Whilst Obama hasn't directly mentioned Hannity since his election victory, Hannity is sure to continue the rivalry regardless.
Obama’s surrogates, his best friends have been out there. We even have tape. We’ve got Father Pfleger - his Farrakhan supporting friend has attacked me, Obama himself in print and he attacked me by name. He sent somebody out there to “tear me up”. Moss the new pastor attacked me. Revered Wright has attacked me multiple times by name… Here’s the attacks (cue audio montage of Obama supporters calling out Sean Hannity)
- Listen to an audio compilation of Barack Obama supporters taunting Sean Hannity

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