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Home » Fox News’ Sean Hannity gets involved in the House speaker vote

Fox News’ Sean Hannity gets involved in the House speaker vote

Will Jim Jordan end up being the House speaker? That remains to be seen, but someone influential in the Republican Party is pushing for him: Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity.

The popular personality from the Republican Party’s favorite cable outlet reportedly has gone as far as to question Republican representatives on why they wouldn’t vote for Jordan.

Axios congressional reporter Juliegrace Brufke tweeted that Hannity’s show emailed some GOP lawmakers to advocate for Jordan. Brufke posted the email that those Republicans have received from Hannity’s show:


Stephanie from the Hannity show with Fox News. Sources tell Hannity that Rep xxxx is not supporting Rep Jim Jordan for Speaker. Can you please let me know if this is accurate? And, if true, Hannity would like to know why during a war breaking out between Israel and Hamas, with the war in Ukraine, with the wide open borders, with a budget that’s unfinished why would Rep xxxx be against Rep Jim Jordan for speaker? Please let us know when Rep xxxx plans on opening The People’s House so work can be done. Lastly, are there any conditions Rep xxxx will choose to work with Democrats on the process of electing a new speaker? The deadline for comment is 11 AM ET tomorrow 10/16. Thank you.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Leigh Ann Caldwell tweeted, “One member said Hannity reached out directly with this same message — that the war in Israel is a reason to get behind Jordan. Member told me it’s not going to persuade them.”

None of this should be surprising. Hannity himself tweeted last week, “Any Member of Congress would be crazy to NOT support Jim Jordan for Speaker. He is a natural born principled leader who will lead house Republicans to unite vs the radical left on the house and senate. … #JimJordanForSpeaker.”

Now, if you gave Fox News and Hannity’s show the benefit of the doubt, you could say they are merely looking for transparency and trying to get to the bottom of what the heck is going on behind closed doors with the vote for speaker of the House.

But, let’s be real, the email looks more heavy-handed than that. (“Please let us know when Rep xxxx plans on opening The People’s House so work can be done???”)

Any legitimate news outlet would (or should) have a problem with its biggest star getting personally involved in something as politically big as this.

Hannity is more commentator than reporter, and his role at Fox News gives him the flexibility to express his opinions, including who he thinks should be speaker of the House. No problem there. But to send emails to Republicans in a bullying or, at the very least, a guilt-driven attempt to sway a vote seems like a line he shouldn’t be crossing. Then again, this is someone who has advised Donald Trump over the years.

Hannity defended himself on his radio show, saying, “So, I’m doing my job, working my sources, trying to figure out when Republicans are gonna open the people’s house again, because I think people’s patience by the end of this week is gonna have run out.” (Media Matters has the clip of what he said.)

For what it’s worth, Brufke also tweeted, “Moderates are growing increasingly irritated with the tactics Jordan allies are using to pressure them into voting for him, with one member noting the Hannity show has gotten involved in the efforts sending potential defectors the email below. One lawmaker said the push is counterproductive to swaying Jordan skeptics.”

Meanwhile, in a piece for Politico, Brian Rosenwald writes, “… the truth is that angry conservative media hosts have only themselves to blame for McCarthy’s downfall and the disarray currently facing House Republicans. The leaders of conservative talk radio and cable news have spent years assailing GOP congressional leaders — including (former Speaker Kevin) McCarthy — and they are largely responsible for turning far-right rebels like (Florida Rep. Matt) Gaetz into stars. Going back to the 1990s, conservative media created the political ecosystem in which torching and targeting Republican leaders is good politics on the right. And they’ve ensured that the next speaker, whether it’s Steve Scalise or someone else, will face the same poisonous incentive structure that took down McCarthy.”

After two presidential debates on Fox News properties, Republicans are going to venture a little outside their comfort zone for debate No. 3.

NBC will host the third GOP presidential debate on Nov. 8 in Miami. (NBC News will partner with Salem Radio Network and Rumble, which CNN’s Oliver Darcy described as “two right-wing media companies that have a history (of) peddling and profiting off extremist rhetoric.”

The moderators and format have not been finalized. But if I were in charge, I’d have “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker heavily involved. She performed very well moderating one of the 2020 debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. It’s also a good way for NBC News to promote her relatively new gig as “Meet the Press” moderator.

Puck’s Dylan Byers has reported that Welker will indeed be involved, along with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt and Salem Radio’s Hugh Hewitt.

The first two Republican debates aired on Fox News, with the second one being hosted by Fox Business. The debates averaged 11.25 million viewers across all platforms.

Injured Palestinians arrive at al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, on Monday. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)

In just a dreadfully horrific story, a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy was stabbed to death in Plainfield, Illinois, allegedly by a 71-year-old man in what appears to be a hate crime. The boy’s mother also was allegedly stabbed and badly wounded by the man, who was their landlord.

Now prosecutors are saying that the man charged with murder, Joseph Czuba, had been listening to conservative talk radio about the Israel-Hamas war and became increasingly concerned about his Muslim tenants.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ David Struett wrote, “In the 45-minute hearing, prosecutors explained how Czuba became increasingly concerned about his safety while listening to media about the Israel-Hamas war before violently attacking his Muslim tenants. Czuba’s wife told detectives that he ‘believed he was in danger and she (his tenant, Hanan Shaheen) was going to call Palestinian friends to come and harm them,’ Michael Fitzgerald, a Will County assistant state’s attorney, said during a detention hearing Monday. Prosecutors and his assistant public defender did not provide any evidence backing up Czuba’s concerns about his tenants.”

The boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, was born in the United States. He celebrated  his sixth birthday on Oct. 6. Shaheen, who has been in the U.S. for 12 years, reportedly told detectives, “Czuba is an angry man, but on the day in question he came to the house and said he was angry at her for what was happening at Jerusalem.”

I had a chance to review an email that CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews sent to staff about the network’s coverage in Israel and Gaza. She thanked the staff, talked about the seriousness of the moment and wrote, “There is no more important time for us to be precise and comprehensive in our reporting — to tell everything from the geo-political to the human story.”

Ciprian-Matthews added, “We are covering a conflict with history and nuances that make our jobs of telling stories in the present tense harder. Our language matters, the context matters, and the accuracy and precision of our reporting matters. We have a great deal of responsibility as we live up to our obligations to serve the public. With each and every piece I am assured that we have met the demands of the moment, and I can’t thank you enough.”

CNN’s Laura Coates, left, and Abby Phillip. (AP Photo)

It didn’t seem all that long ago that CNN was all set with its prime-time lineup. Anderson Cooper hosted in the 8 p.m. Eastern hour, followed by  Chris Cuomo at 9 and Don Lemon at 10.

But then things went off the rails.

Cooper remained CNN’s most valuable asset, but Cuomo and Lemon spiraled into a mess. Cuomo was busted helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fight off sexual harassment allegations. And Lemon was shifted to a morning show that was highlighted (or lowlighted) by him bickering with his co-hosts and then making misogynistic comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley being past her prime. That led to Lemon eventually being fired.

All the while, CNN tried to sort out its nighttime programming.

But now, after nearly two years (Cuomo was fired in December 2021), CNN finally has a permanent lineup in place. Cooper remains the rock at 8 p.m., followed at 9 p.m. by Kaitlan Collins, whose show debuted in July.

On Monday, the final pieces were put in place when Abby Phillip’s new show aired at 10 p.m., followed by Laura Coates’ show at 11.

The Los Angeles Times’ Greg Braxton did a Q&A with Phillip and Coates. Coates told Braxton, “I’m so excited that Abby and I get a chance to pass the baton from one to the other. Having two Black women at the helm of prime-time coverage speaks volumes about CNN’s commitment to representation. We are not mouthpieces. We are women who take seriously this enormous and generous platform we’ve been given, and we will do it with a unique perspective that is unlike anywhere else on TV.”

About her show, which will be called “Laura Coates Live,” Coates said, “It will be a renaissance and rejuvenation of the Larry King experience. It’s not coincidence that the show is called ‘Laura Coates Live,’ like ‘Larry King Live.’ I always loved the intimate experience, where the viewers feel like they are in the room where it’s happening. I am a conduit to the questions they want asked. It will have a late-night vibe.”

When asked what excites her about her new show, Phillip told Braxton, “Thinking creatively about ways to do stories, bringing in voices that we don’t regularly hear from. I want to spotlight people who can reflect a perspective that’s closer to the average person, and not just people in Washington or New York. Hopefully people will see something that they don’t usually see on CNN.”

CNN’s news chief legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid. (Courtesy: CNN)

  • Speaking of CNN, Paula Reid has been named chief legal affairs correspondent for the network. Reid joined CNN in 2021 as a senior legal affairs correspondent. Reid has been at the forefront of CNN’s coverage of the various investigations involving Donald Trump, as well as the Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter Biden.
  • One more CNN item: Camila DeChalus is moving from The Washington Post to CNN to cover the White House. DeChalus had been a congressional reporter at the Post. Before the Post, DeChalus worked at Business Insider.
  • NewsNation will air interviews with Republican presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Asa Hutchinson on Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern. The interviews will be moderated by Blake Burman, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of “The Hill.” The interviews will be conducted in front of a live audience at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
  • In one of the all-time troll moves, Joe Biden’s campaign is joining Donald Trump’s Truth Social social media network. A senior Biden campaign aide told Fox News’ Brooke Singman, “There’s very little ‘truth’ happening on TruthSocial, but at least now it’ll be a little fun.”
  • Chris Johnston — who has been an NHL insider for years in Canada at places such as Canadian Press, The Toronto Star, “Hockey Night in Canada,” Sportsnet and TSN — has been hired at The Athletic. Most Canadian kids dream about playing the NHL, but even as a little guy, Johnston dreamt of covering the NHL, as he writes about in this essay.
  • Hiring? Post jobs on The Media Job Board — Powered by Poynter, Editor & Publisher and America’s Newspapers.
  • Poynter ACES Introductory Certificate in Editing (Online) — Enroll now.
  • How to Improve Your Coverage of LGBTQ+ Communities (Webinar) — Start anytime.
  • How Any Journalist Can Earn Trust (Self-directed course) — Enroll now.

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