In Defense of Sean Hannity
Yesterday Sean Hannity had people searching for the nearest fainting couch again when he appeared to say that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore may have been involved in an alleged “consensual” sexual situation with a 14-year-old girl.
In a dialogue on his radio show, Hannity was reported, most notably by the always trustworthy (*eyeroll*) Media Matters, to have made the statement while discussing the allegations facing Moore. Media Matters, pearls in hand, released the transcript of the show on Twitter and Hannity became the poster boy for forgiving child molestation.
Hannity was quick to apologize that he was unclear, and that due to crosstalk between he and his guest, his reference to “consensual” contact was applicable only to his discussion of the two other accusers who were 17/18 at the time of their alleged encounters with Moore. Hannity noted that the conversation was unclear, but blamed the “lazy media” for making a case of it.
Well it appears that more than one Twitter user, many of whom still expressed an intense dislike of the Fox News Host, actually went and listened to the audio of the show and were forced to admit that what Hannity said was true: he was taken out of context and discussion of consensual activity was in reference to the accusers who were older than 14.
CNN host Jake Tapper was among those who had jumped at the chance to condemn Hannity, later saying he was, in good conscience, deleting his tweets after realizing his mistake.
Yours truly was also taken in. My original statement on Twitter upon seeing the transcript — my only statement on this whole mess because I’m too sickened and exhausted by these stories of innocents being abused to bring myself to comment much — was something along the lines of:
Hannity, no. I don’t care if a 14 year old is, uh, mature in their approach. The only response from an adult should be: “Little girl, this behavior is inappropriate and I’m telling your mother.”
I stand by that statement. But, like Tapper, I deleted the tweet because it appears Hannity was being roasted over a witch’s fire he didn’t deserve.
And the controversial newsman went one further today when he teased his radio show — with featured guest Roy Moore himself — with the following, which will likely shut down any further confusion: