Fox News’ Sean Hannity is no journalist; he has said as much. However, he may be a entertainer. Still, he needs a marketing fixer to fully achieve that status.
Apparently, he also needs a big attorney sometimes. Turns out, it's the same one President Trump uses: Michael Cohen.
Hannity says he confers with Cohen over real estate matters. But he did not reveal that relationship on-air. That’s not good. Famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said on “Hannity” on Monday that this is something he should have done.
Surely as a journalist, Hannity knew this. It's called full disclosure. As an entertainer? Maybe not. Fox News just needs to change the name of his show: “Hannity: The Apprentice Entertainer.” That would clear things up.
The show already hints at this. The first segment on “Hannity” is billed specifically as -- wait for it -- the Opening Monologue! So I got it wrong. He’s not exactly an entertainer; he’s a comedian! (Viewers do laugh, I’m told.)
And lest you forget which network you are watching, just closely read Fox News' marketing tagline: “Real News. Real Honest Opinion.” Previously, it was: “We report. You decide.” We see the direction this network is going.
Some viewers get this; so do other big Fox News anchors. Shepard Smith, one of many real journalists/anchors on Fox News, has noted recently: "Some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining ... We serve different masters,” Smith told Time some weeks ago.
Hannity didn’t feel it necessary to disclose that he sought Cohen’s legal advice about some real-estate matters when interviewing him on his show -- since he didn’t pay him any legal fees. As any lawyer who has chased down fees will explain, not paying a fee doesn't negate the attorney-client relationship.
Yet on his radio show on Tuesday, Hannity said: “I did have attorney-client [emphasis added] conversations, mostly over real estate.” Another key word there: mostly. And real estate. Hmmm. Does that mean homes, apartments, land? Know any New York real-estate developers?
In a 2016 tweet, Hannity wrote: “I'm not a journalist jackass. I'm a talk host.” Now, that’s entertainment!