So as I sat in a television studio in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ready to beam in on Thursday night’s Sean Hannity show, I checked my notes.
The topic was to be the media and President Trump’s visit to El Paso. The format was, first, a Hannity monologue, then the segue to the opening El Paso segment, where I would be paired with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump White House aide and now host of The Sebastian Gorka Show.
In the world of cable news, completely normal.
Then, through my earpiece, I hear Sean’s inimitable voice opening the show — and was quickly amazed. He decidedly was not talking El Paso.
His opening was about the brand-new release by Judicial Watch of just-obtained Justice Department documents that quite vividly illustrated what a Fox News account would later headline as follows: “FBI kept using Steele dossier for FISA applications despite documenting ex-spy's bias, documents show”
This, I knew in a blink, was blockbuster news. Judicial Watch had finally gotten its hands on what in bureaucratic language are called “302s” — summaries of FBI interviews. In this case the 302s were with Russia Hoax Justice Department official Bruce Ohr — he both the Obama-era Associate Deputy Attorney General (who inexplicably is still in some now-demoted post at Justice) and the husband of Nellie Ohr.
Mrs. Ohr, it had earlier been discovered, was an employee of the shady Fusion GPS firm that played a key role in the creation and financing of the infamous “Steele dossier” — a decided work of fiction that falsely attributed all kinds of imagined sins and nefarious deeds to Donald Trump and his supposed dalliance with Russians. And was then used to obtain FISA warrants — a decided case of using a fraudulent document to open an FBI investigation targeting the Trump campaign.
It was quickly apparent that my segment was going to be gone with the wind and, sure enough, it was cancelled. No problem with me. I have been intently following what has evolved over the last two-plus years into what effectively amounted to a soft-coup attempt by Deep State bureaucrats.
As often happens in the world of cable news, what only hours earlier was Topic A — the whole El Paso/Dayton tragedy in this case — had quickly been replaced by Topic Z, another topic entirely that was thrust into the spotlight because of new revelations.
There, all of a sudden, was Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, whose constant legal badgering for once confidential government documents through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests had finally unearthed this treasure trove of new information.
There too was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who informed viewers that this new and startling information was “…just the tip of the iceberg. I know personally there's a lot more out there.” Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump lawyer, was summoned out of a pre-scheduled event for a phone interview. And there, as always for the last couple of years, were The Hill’s John Solomon and Fox contributor and investigative reporter Sara Carter, two relentless journalists who have been unearthing one troublesome fact after another about the Obama administration’s Deep State shenanigans.
As I left the studio, there was a simple and, to me at least, obvious thought. Where in the world was the rest of the media on this story? The fact of the matter is that for the last two-plus years it has been Sean Hannity and his ensemble cast of investigative journalists and others who, alone, have been doing all the digging for the truth.
The next day — as this is written — I did a quick check of other “mainstream media outlets” and their coverage of the Judicial Watch scoop.
There was, that I could see, nary a word on MSNBC. Silence as well from The New York Times. CNN had a small story well down on its front page — and when I double-checked an hour later it was gone, findable only with an earlier link I had made. The Washington Post did a version of the same. There was a small story on the Judicial Watch findings if one scrolled down The Post site far enough that was quickly displaced.
The contrast here could not be greater.
The Leftist State Media — or as Hannity calls them the Hate Trump Media — obsessed over the phony Trump-Russia collusion story. They sold their respective audiences on the certainty that the goods were there to get Donald Trump impeached. Only to discover that the Mueller Report came up empty. And with that, catastrophe for the Leftist State Media.
The New York Post headlined the story this way: “CNN’s ratings drop coincides with release of Mueller report”
The Post story began (click “expand”):
CNN’s prime-time ratings plunged 26% in April — the cable news network’s worst month for total viewers since October 2015, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The network suffered a 41 percent slide in viewers aged 25 to 54 — the demographic most coveted by advertisers. And not one of its prime-time shows finished in the top five for news.
CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” which airs during the network’s highest-rated hour, finished in 26th place.
The ratings slide coincides with special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, which found no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign — a boon for Trump supporters and a letdown for people who want him impeached.
MSNBC had the same problem. Meanwhile, Hannity and Fox News, diligently doing all that investigative work on the Deep State soft coup, replete with factual detail after detail after detail, got this headline in Variety post-Mueller: “Fox News’ Primetime Ratings Surge After Mueller Probe Wraps”
The Variety story began (click “expand”):
Sean Hannity always nabs one of the biggest slices of viewership in cable TV. Suddenly, his 9 p.m. hour on Fox News Channel is attracting even more people than usual.
For four days, Fox News’ primetime lineup has seen distinct rises in the average number of viewers tuning in, while rivals MSNBC and CNN have seen drops. The dynamic emerges after U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivered a summary to Congress saying Special Counsel Robert Mueller had determined no efforts of collusion took place between the campaign to elect Donald Trump U.S. President and Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election.
…Fox News is enjoying a distinct advantage over its competitors.
This advantage and trust from viewers were vividly evident Thursday night as Hannity quickly headlined the news of the Judicial Watch scoop. It was a major breaking news story.
The fact that Fox News and Hannity were out there alone headlining this story, detailed chapter and verse in facts — while their competition was either minimizing the story or ignoring it altogether — says everything one needs to say about the state of the Leftist State Media.
As Hannity himself has been saying over the years, when it comes to the “mainstream” media — journalism is dead. To borrow from Charles Dickens’ opening lines in his classic A Christmas Carol that talk about about Scrooge’s late partner, Jacob Marley: “Mainstream media ‘journalism’ was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. ….Mainstream media journalism was as dead as a doornail.”
And all one had to do this week to confirm that was compare the way Hannity and Fox dealt with the major news unearthed by Judicial Watch.