Nobody throws a temper tantrum quite like Sean Hannity, and on his radio show Thursday, Fox’s number one serial liar cranked it up a notch with a meltdown culminating with a lawsuit threat against his long-time rivals at CNN.
Hannity, whose ego is as large as his skin is thin, claimed CNN had slandered him by covering his unhinged reaction to the news that Hillary Clinton was sick with pneumonia. CNN media expert Brian Stelter correctly noted that people like Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and others in the right-wing media, are almost gleeful at rumors that Clinton got sick. Hannity, for his part, has spent weeks pushing false health scandals about Clinton.
The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel even summarized Hannity’s shameless conspiracy baiting back in August.
Every night this week, Fox News’ Sean Hannity has drawn attention to a story that was largely debunked before Monday morning. Again and again, Hannity has summoned a “Fox News Medical A-Team” to probe the claim that Hillary Clinton has serious medical issues, covered up by a press that won’t demand her medical records.[…]
But in the last week, the baseless allegations of secret Clinton health issues have heated up on fringe news sites, and Hannity has booked doctors to discuss them on his eponymous news show, one of cable’s highest-rated. On Monday, Hannity informed his viewers that a photo “which shows Hillary Clinton apparently needing assistance to climb a flight of stairs at a campaign stop back in February” went viral thanks to a prominent link on the Drudge Report. Hannity did not note, as the photo service Getty Images noted, that Clinton had merely stumbled and been caught by Secret Service agents. Instead, he told viewers that the Clinton campaign refused to comment on the new attention paid to the photo, apart from criticizing the source.
In other words, even neutral observers of Hannity’s handling of Clinton’s health can tell he was and is being an asshole. Hannity clearly doesn’t like Clinton for political reasons. As a consequence, he’s throwing every bit of mud he can find at her and rarely bothers to check whether or not it’s true. The observation led Stelter to remark on Hannity’s depravity.
Shelter told PBS’s “Charlie Rose” on Wednesday night that some conservative media figures covering Clinton’s recent health bout of pneumonia are in a “truly deplorable basket. Sean Hannity fits into it, so does Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and others. These are people who bring up rumors and innuendo about Clinton’s health, and have been doing it for years.”
“I’m not saying Hannity or Limbaugh fit into these necessarily,” Stelter continued, “but they — some of these figures want her to be sick. They want her to be dying. They want her to be on her death bed.”
Enter Sean Hannity, who reacted with textbook indignation at being called to task for doing exactly the kind of shameless crap that Stelter said he was.
“What does — how do I get an apology from CNN? Should I — I would love to sue them for slander when they say, ‘Oh he wants Hillary on her deathbed and dead,’ when I said just the opposite?
“I know it’s hard to sue when you’re a public figure pretty much people can call you anything, and I’ve been called pretty much everything. But I’m thinking of suing them.”
It would be one hell of a case. Hannity, in front of a judge, would have to defend himself when CNN’s lawyers trot out dozens of instances in which he publicly and while staring into a camera lens told his audience disgusting lies about Clinton’s health because he knew it would get them going. He would also have to somehow prove he does not deserve to be placed in a “truly deplorable basket” – a thing that no jurors in the country could reasonably say he doesn’t deserve.
And then there is always the fact that people in glass houses probably shouldn’t throw stones. From birtherism to Clinton’s health, Hannity has built his career off of slandering people he doesn’t like. Does he really want to go there?
Featured image via Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images