On Monday night, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham attacked the media for reporting that Trump intentionally announced his pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio amid news of Hurricane Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast on Friday night — something Trump himself admitted himself hours earlier.
While introducing a video montage of anchors from MSNBC, ABC News, and CNN pointing out that Trump seemed to time the Arpaio pardon to coincide with Hurricane Harvey approaching landfall, Hannity said, “Watch how insane the media in this coverage is. You can’t make this up.”
After the montage ended, Hannity took a cheap shot at MSNBC’s Brian Williams. Ingraham chimed in by saying, “The idea that Donald Trump has to wait until a hurricane to do something that the media will find offensive is just a total knee-slapper.”
But Trump himself admitted he intentionally timed the Arpaio pardon to coincide with wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Harvey during a news conference earlier Friday.
“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed that the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” Trump said. “You know, the hurricane was just starting.”
Hannity has partnered with Trump in a shared mission to discredit the mainstream media. During the first week of Trump’s presidency, Hannity interviewed Trump in the White House and told the new president, “The New York Times, CNN, ABC — they use the word liar to describe you.” That prompted Trump to interject, “these are very hostile, angry people… the media is very dishonest. They are very dishonest people.”
“I said journalism is dead, so we agree,” Hannity replied. He also said the media “colluded against [Trump] on the campaign.”
Since then, Hannity has shown an unbridled willingness to defend Trump. During an episode of his show last week, Hannity made a case that Trump’s impulsive unpredictability is actually an asset, and praised the president for a tax reform plan he hasn’t even released.