Donald Trump broke the conservative media
Sean Hannity, sitting comfortably in his air-conditioned New York studios on a hot August afternoon, was on a fiery rant.
“Honestly, I am tempted to just say I don’t support any of you people ever,” he barked.
The Fox News host and conservative personality was fed up with Republican leaders in Washington — and he wasn’t hiding it from the millions of listeners tuned into his radio program.
“If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like [House Speaker] Paul Ryan and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and John McCain and John Kasich and Ted Cruz — if he won’t endorse — and Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping,” Hannity exclaimed, later threatening to endorse Ryan’s far-right primary challenger.
The bombastic diatribe against the so-called GOP establishment was nothing new from Hannity. For years, he had cast himself as an outside crusader defending conservative values and principles from a liberal president and, even worse, cowardly Republicans who would allegedly bow to that president’s demands.
But in 2016, the criticism from Hannity and a vocal faction of the conservative news media reached a fever pitch. The occasional needling of Republicans morphed into full-blown, searing criticism. Even figures like Ryan and Cruz, considered by most to have iron-clad conservative credentials, were no longer safe.
In fact, throughout the election season, it has appeared that Republicans have fielded more attacks from their supposed friends on the right than their political opponents on the left. It’s an incidental twist, considering how Republicans helped foster the growth of the conservative news media in order to avoid the skewering of mainstream journalists.
Instead, it appears their plan of using friendly pundits to tap directly into the vein of red-blooded Americans sympathetic to their political views has backfired. That has boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump, who last week named Steve Bannon, the former chair of the Trump-friendly Breitbart News, as his campaign’s CEO. – READ MORE