It’s hard to tell whether Sean Hannity’s nightly comment program is news or entertainment. He often rants about “Calamity Joe” or other topics, but he’s also engaged in substantive conversations with guests who share his political views. Recently, Hannity and Sean Penn conducted a live in-studio interview, during which the two discussed the situation in Ukraine. Hannity asked Penn how he’d feel if he were in the country right now, while Penn told Hannity privately that the US needs to help Ukraine.
A spokesperson for CNN said that attempts to equate the two shows are absurd. Hannity has long maintained that his show is a talk-show, and while it includes journalistic elements, it’s rarely classified as news. It’s also unlikely that Hannity would be allowed to call his show “fake news” or a “satire show,” because his content isn’t considered to be news.
While most Democrats distrust Fox News, they don’t necessarily tune out its broadcasts. About a quarter of Democrats get their political news from Fox. Compared to the liberal or left-wing networks, conservative Democrats are much more likely to watch Fox. However, it’s difficult to know who watches the show more frequently. Many Democrats, especially those who are liberal, tend to tune out Fox entirely, but they don’t necessarily consider it news.
Many Fox News viewers don’t realize that the show is not news, but commentary on the topic. Despite this, Hannity’s show has grown to be the most watched talk show in primetime. The show’s popularity has grown to the extent that Fox News has become the most popular cable news network and the largest network for the 25-54 demographic. And while this is certainly good news for the network, what happens if the show isn’t news at all?