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

Illustration for article titled Being a Myopic Dick About the Election Cost Sean Hannity Half His Audience

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]



My husband told me about this story earlier.

We talk about Fox News viewers being in an unpenetrable bubble, and how nothing gets through, but this is not (quite) true. They spent months believing the spin, and lecturing people outside of the bubble based on a source that they trusted, only to have the concrete results be nothing like they were promised, and exactly like the people (who told them Fox was a joke network) said.

I don't care how loyal you are to your news source, when they get nothing right at all, and people from other sources showed that you really can predict with astonishing accuracy how the electoral college will be divvied — and that most of the polls leading up that were dismissed by your source were also right — you have to do some questioning if you have any brains at all.

For most people, there is a bridge/conspiracy theory too far, and for a lot of people that bridge appeared while watching Rove deny reality. Once they recognized this, all the misleading things that lead up to this, perhaps they at last saw the pattern.

Fox did all by itself what millions of Facebook posts, and arguments over holiday dinners could not — showed that they're neither fair, nor are they balanced.