Editor's Note: This piece is authored by Streiff and was originally published at Redstate.com.
One thing this campaign season has showed us is who are actual conservatives and who are the cynical opportunists with no values beyond their own bottom line. One of the biggest offenders is Sean Hannity. I’ve never thought that Hannity was the sharpest tool in the shed BUT I had always admired his work ethic, his hustle, and I considered him to be “one of us.” Now there is evidence otherwise. I don’t like quoting ThinkProgress, but, in this case, the odious Judd Legum hits the nail on the head:
Trump has appeared on Hannity an astonishing 41 times since he announced his campaign last June, often for the entire hour. (On five occasions, Hannity replayed extensive excerpts from previous appearances by Trump.) In other words, you can watch Hannity interview Trump about once a week.
Hannity’s role is less of an interviewer than a member of Trump’s campaign staff. During his appearances, Hannity seeks to tamp down controversies, talk up Trump’s poll numbers, and tout his policy proposals. Hannity’s Trump is a reliable conservative with specific ideas who isn’t afraid to take on “PC” culture. Trump’s critics in the media, according to Hannity, are “dumb” “idiots” who don’t understand what’s happening in America.
Hannity has managed to interview Trump for hours without ever coming even close to making news.
Effectively, Hannity has given Trump something that is unprecedented in American politics: A serialized infomercial spanning nearly an entire year, targeted at the most reliable Republican voters, but presented to the public as “news.”
This is a sampling of the hard-hitting reportage from Hannity. I nearly gagged on some of these:
Hannity asks Trump to explain how he’s so ‘right’ about terrorism
I’m sure you wish you were wrong, Mr. Trump, but you were right. What did you see that maybe others didn’t see about what was happening in Brussels and Belgium? [3/22/16]
Hannity on the peacefulness of Trump rallies and ‘ignorant so-called journalists’ who suggest otherwise
I don’t see any violence at Trump rallies.
Hannity on whether Trump’s campaign talks enough about what a great guy he is
I’m hearing a very different side of you. I’ve known you for over 15 years now. And I sense a real pain in there about how bad things are. Do you think maybe you communicate that enough to people, that you — that this is a — that your campaign is about people? [3/11/16]
Hannity asks Trump how he’ll feel if he wins all the states
If you win Florida and Ohio, you are well on your way to the nomination to be the Republican nominee for president. How would that make you feel? [3/9/16]
Hannity dives deep on Trump’s business interests
Is there any state you don’t have property in? [3/9/16]
It is basically the radio equivalent of BuzzFeed’s cat videos.
This is really sad. Both Hannity and Rush have shown they are willing to check their conservatism at the door if it brings better ratings. They didn’t have to do that. Since RedState has become anti-Trump our readership has tripled. Rush shows signs of having begun to realize what he has done to himself. Hannity hasn’t. He has become, for all intents and purposes, part of Trump’s campaign apparatus. That is the only way you can describe forty-one interviews with no news worthy information being produced.