In the days before special counsel Robert Mueller indicted President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Fox News’ Sean Hannity attempted to create an alternative reality in which Hillary Clinton might be executed for treason. On Tuesday night, Hannity tried to suppress another uncomfortable truth from his audience — that an election night in which Democrats defeated Republicans in a number of key races across the country country never happened.
Despite promising on Twitter that he would cover the election results during his show, Hannity’s coverage lasted all of six seconds.
As Tucker Carlson introduced his show, Hannity told his viewers, “By the way, those results in Virginia, New Jersey, New York — by the way, not states Donald Trump won” — insinuating that elections happening outside of Trump country don’t matter. He then started talking about Trump’s speech in South Korea.
Hannity’s approach was similar to Carlson’s, who covered the election during the first half of his show, but immediately pivoted to topics like criticizing liberals’ response to the mass shooting in Texas as soon as the major races in Virginia and New Jersey were called for Democratic candidates.
After Hannity went off the air, new Fox News primetime host Laura Ingraham did spend a bit of time talking about the Republican losses. But her main takeaway was that Ed Gillespie, the defeated Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, would have had more success had he doubled down on campaigning on behalf of Confederate monuments.
“What if Gillespie had campaigned on preserving our history, respectfully. Virginia first, law and order — simple,” she said.
Gillespie did in fact run ads claiming that while Democratic candidate Ralph Northam “will take our statutes down, Ed Gillespie will preserve them.” Another Gillespie ad suggested that a vote for Northam was a vote to bring more scary-looking, violent Latino men to Virginia, and a third sought to tap into cultural resentment Trump voters feel toward NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
Ingraham — who is from Connecticut — thinks New Jersey-native Gillespie made a mistake by not more loudly echoing Trump’s talking points. But while Trump remains extremely popular among Fox News’ primetime hosts, that isn’t the case outside of the conservative media bubble.
As CNN reports, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this week found that 59 percent “disapprove of Trump’s handling of the presidency — the worst of any president at nine months in office since modern polling began.” Just 37 percent of respondents approved of the job Trump’s doing. And exit polling in Virginia indicated more than one in three voters voted for Northam in part to express their opposition to Trump, who publicly endorsed Gillespie.