Shameless Sean is at it again. In these days of stress before the November midterms, he's ramped up the hate and the tea party rhetoric to a dull roar. But you know what you can't hear over the din? Sean's voice telling viewers that he has a business relationship with folks he's interviewing on his television show.
You may recall that Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing radio hosts (like Mark Levin) are beneficiaries of wingnut welfare. Organizations like FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and the Tea Party Patriots prop up Hannity et al in order to keep the messaging machine fed with plenty of fresh hate.
So be it. The problem is, you don't get to receive wingnut welfare on the radio side and then interview your benefactor on the cable side without some disclosure of the business relationship, which Hannity 'forgot' to do, thereby making (even bigger) liars of Fox News.
Sean Hannity used his Fox News program to promote the fundraising efforts of a paid sponsor of his radio show. Hannity read an advertisement for the Tea Party Patriots (TPP) on his September 8 radio show, and then hosted the group's president on Fox the following day to plug their fundraising website.
At no point during the Fox segment was it disclosed that Hannity and TPP are financial partners.
Fox News previously responded to criticism over ethical issues related to Hannity's relationship with TPP, which has included fundraising emails and live read radio advertisements, by claiming the network is not connected to the sponsorship. TVNewser wrote in February that "Fox News tells us Hannity's involvement with the Tea Party group is for his radio show, and has nothing to do with his FNC show or role with the network."
But as The Washington Post's Erik Wemple noted, Fox's explanation is "a brilliant and meaningless distinction. So Hannity's radio show will have a financial connection to and a rooting interest in the Tea Party Patriots, but presumably 'Hannity' on Fox News will not. When the star commentator moves from radio mic to television camera, his institutional ties to the Tea Party Patriots will go poof in a cloud of media-platform dust."
Oops! Don't expect Sean to correct anything, though. He's not about to admit he did anything wrong ever when he can cross-promote his radio business partners on his cable broadcast show.
What a racket, eh?