Chuck Todd: I Am "Stunned" Sean Hannity Wasn't Suspended For A Week

|

Chuck Todd was incensed on his show today that Sean Hannity was not suspended or disciplined by FOX News for not disclosing his legal relationship with Trump attorney Michael Cohen who is currently under federal investigation.

On Tuesday's broadcast of MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily, the host wondered if there would be a "revolt" from the "few remaining" journalists at FOX News. Todd said the press release released by the network backing the primetime host sent a message about "where journalism matters for them" and "they're not hiding it."

"I am just stunned that FOX had no punitive response," Todd exclaimed. "Not a 'Sean Hannity must disclose every night.' Not a 'he can't cover this story.' Not a 'he has been suspended for a week.' Nothing. Not a single thing. They are saying this is okay for anybody that works at FOX News."





Todd imagined that FOX's response, other than the press release, would be that the viewer knows Hannity is "biased" and "in the tank" for Trump.

"I think what FOX executives would argue and push back say at me and you and this conversation, they would say the viewer knows what they are getting with Sean," Todd surmised. "They would sit there and say they know exactly what they are getting. They know he's biased. They know he's in the tank. It's not a secret. He's not fooling anybody. So they would say what's the harm?"

Todd, concerned about the standing of what he called the journalists at FOX News, asked if they are just cover for Sean Hannity.

"What message does it send?" he asked. "There are, when I think, particularly when I think of the Washington bureau of FOX News -- filled with longtime journalists, professional journalists with professional ethics and conduct themselves with as high of a standard as anybody. What is being sent? I feel like saying Sean Hannity is not accountable to any standard what so ever of journalistic ethics that we would hold others to. Does it send the message that those that are the professional journalists at Fox News are nothing but cover for Sean Hannity?"

He also speculated about a "revolt" among the "professional journalists" at FOX.

"Is there going to be a revolt among the remaining professional journalists there? I mean is the Washington bureau going to revolt?" Todd asked.

Todd vented with NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik:

CHUCK TODD, NBC: As we said, conservative media is also getting caught up in President Trump's legal problems after FOX News host Sean Hannity was revealed as the secret third client of Michael Cohen's. Hannity downplayed his relationship with Cohen and said, "he never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees." Okay. But should he have been transparent about it with his viewers before discussing the Cohen raid on his show? It depends. Journalists typically have to potential conflicts of interest. But is Hannity a journalist? It depends on when you ask him.

Here is what he said in 2016: "I'm not a journalist. I'm a talk show host."

And here is what he told The New York Times Magazine late last year. He said, I'm a journalist... but I'm an advocacy journalist, or an opinion journalist."

And FOX is standing by Hannity.

"While Fox News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support."

So not even the thought of a suspension, nor asking him to say anything on the air? Nor even asking him not to cover that story? ...

I am just stunned that FOX had no punitive response. Not a 'Sean Hannity must disclose every night.' Not a 'he can't cover this story.' Not a 'he has been suspended for a week.' Nothing. Not a single thing. They are saying this is okay for anybody that works at FOX News...

What message does it send? There are, when I think, particularly when I think of the Washington bureau of FOX News -- filled with longtime journalists, professional journalists with professional ethics and conduct themselves with as high of a standard as anybody. What is being sent? I feel like saying Sean Hannity is not accountable to any standard what so ever of journalistic ethics that we would hold others to. Does it send the message that those that are the professional journalists at Fox News are nothing but cover for Sean Hannity? ...

I think what FOX executives would argue and push back say at me and you and this conversation, they would say the viewer knows what they are getting with Sean. They would sit there and say they know exactly what they are getting. They know he's biased. They know he's in the tank. It's not a secret. He's not fooling anybody. So they would say what's the harm? ...

Is there going to be a revolt among the remaining professional journalists there? I mean is the Washington bureau going to revolt? ...

They sent a message today about where journalism matters to them. I think that's all I am going to say. They sent a message and they are in some ways not hiding it anymore.

Comment
Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives