From what we know so far, conservative talker Sean Hannity had a limited business relationship with Michael Cohen, who is also President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, and who just had his offices, home, and hotel room raided by the FBI. Because Hannity is a commentator with four hours to fill every day, he has a lot to say about the raid.
But now that a partisan judge (to say the least — the swamp is deep, my friends) has forced Cohen to reveal that Hannity is a client, everyone in the establishment media (read those with much lower ratings than Hannity) have the knives out because Hannity did not reveal this potential conflict of interest.
So desperate are they to bloody Hannity, the media have just done a very good thing with the creation of what we will call the “Sean Hannity Standard,” a standard that demands commentators and reporters disclose any and all potential conflicts-of-interest pertaining to the story or person they are reporting on.
What a wonderful idea!
Over at the far-left Politico, Michael Calderone writes, that Hannity “should have disclosed that he’s a client of Cohen’s.”
What a wonderful idea!
Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, told Politico, “commentators should still be expected to maintain independence from subjects they covering and disclose relevant ties.”
What a wonderful idea!
CNN, Media Matters, MSNBC… Everyone agrees with this wonderful idea!
And I could not agree more.
It is long past time for the media to pour sunshine on any and all potential conflicts-of-interest.
And the timing could not be more perfect. Good grief, less than 24 hours before the creation of the “Sean Hannity Standard,” former-President Bill Clinton’s very own press secretary George Stephanopoulos interviewed James Comey, the disgraced former chief of the FBI, about his decision not to prosecute Bill Clinton’s wife Hillary over her countless email crimes.
Naturally, neither ABC or Stephanopoulos bothered to disclose this.
But thanks to the “Sean Hannity Standard” this will never happen again.
What’s more, how many so-called journalists who downplayed reported on Hillary Clinton’s scandals are friendly with Bill and Hillary, or members of their inner circle?
Now that we are entering the era of the “Sean Hannity Standard,” we will finally be enlightened with full disclosures from every political journalist/commentator about their personal relationships with Democrat politicians and their respective handlers.
I am especially eager to hear from Andrea Mitchell, Maggie Haberman, and Joe Scarborough.
How many dinners, dinner parties, coffees, baby showers, wedding showers?
How many lunches, drinks, cocktail parties?
If you recall, Comey allowed Cheryl Mills to pretend to be Hillary’s attorney when the FBI questioned Hillary about her rogue email server (it was all a show — Comey had already written Hillary’s exoneration). At long last we are about to find out how many of those who reported on this particular story are palsy walsy with Hillary’s attorney. With former Attorney General Loretta Lynch! With Comey!
DC is an incestuous pit. What a relief, then, that we will now be told in advance if a commentator or reporter has ever shared a lawyer, literary rep, children’s prep school, public relations firm, investment manager, or agent, with the public figures they report on.
Jake Tapper’s wife was a regional field manager for the abortion mill Planned Parenthood.
Chuck Todd’s wife is a Democrat activist.
CNN regularly reports on Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Thank heaven the public will now be informed that CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s 14-year-old son was awarded stock options potentially worth millions from Booker.
Claire Shipman, a senior national correspondent at ABC News, is married to no other than Jay Carney, who was Obama’s White House Press Secretary.
CBS News president David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, a top foreign policy adviser to Obama — the man behind the Benghazi cover-up and the disastrous Iran deal.
Barack Obama attended the wedding of Marth Raddadtz, a senior correspondent at ABC news who moderated the 2012 vice presidential debate.
How exciting that these glaring conflicts-of-interest will no longer remain hidden.
What’s more, if attorney-client privilege is no longer sacred under the “Sean Hannity Standard,” that can only mean that we will finally say goodbye to confidential and unnamed sources. Not all of them. Just those with a conflict-of-interest, those whose leaks further their own agenda — which pretty much means all of them.
Welcome to a whole new era of transparency in journalism.