Being a Myopic Dick About the Election Cost Sean Hannity Half His AudienceS

Oh, Sean "Don't Worry, Frightened Elderlies, We'd Never Reelect a Colored!" Hannity. It pleases me to laugh at you! All the bizarre, insulated right-wing media rhetoric—which straight-facedly predicted a landslide win for Romney—is coming back to bite them where it hurts a conservative the most. In the dick money.

According to Nielsen numbers, Hannity lost around half of his audience in the weeks after the election, while his Fox News colleague Bill O'Reilly - who steadfastly refuses to identify himself politically as a conservative - retained around 70% of his audience.

So what happened to Hannity?

The going wisdom is that viewers who basked in his preelection anti-Obama rhetoric tuned him out when they were stunned to wake up on Nov. 7 and discover that the President had won a second term - a scenario that Hannity had all but promised could never happen.

...Wrote Friedersdorf: "The right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh's show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. If you're a rank-and-file conservative, you're probably ready to acknowledge that ideologically friendly media didn't accurately inform you about Election 2012. Some pundits engaged in wishful thinking; others feigned confidence in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; still others decided it was smart to keep telling right-leaning audiences what they wanted to hear."

By contrast, Rachel Maddow lost very little of her audience and Anderson Cooper "almost none," which is especially significant because "until the election, Hannity was unassailable by any of his rivals, at least in terms of ratings." I don't really give a shit if Hannity stays on the air or loses his show or has to do Grover Norquist's laundry for a year or whatever. If he gets canceled some other disingenuous party-line hack will just take his place. No big. But it is satisfying and heartening to see that once in a while lies have consequences—even if it's just grumpy old dinos killing the messenger because the news didn't go their way.

Political commentator Sean Hannity was one of the big losers in the 2012 election [NYDN]