News and Commentary

The Surprising Story Of How Sean Hannity Saved An MSNBC Host’s Job
Sean Hannity, host at Fox News, broadcasts from the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. Vice President Pence will make the case for a second term for himself and President Trump today capping a night at the Republican National Convention designed to emphasize the military, law enforcement and public displays of patriotism. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Viewers could make a strong case that Joy Reid of MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” is the most extreme left-wing host on cable news, but when cancel culture tried to force her off the air, an unexpected personality came to her defense: conservative radio and TV personality Sean Hannity.

The Fox News host revealed for the first time on Monday night that NBC said he played “a big role” in their decision not to fire the left-wing firebrand for controversial posts on her now-defunct blog.

In 2018, journalists found several blogs Reid had written a dozen years earlier saying that she opposed same-sex marriage and admitting she was “probably” homophobic. Reid promoted a 9/11 truther “documentary” produced by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones titled “Loose Change,” which claims the U.S. government carried out the attack. And The Daily Wire also discovered numerous anti-Israeli posts.

Reid originally claimed that “an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog” and “corrupted the site.” Her attorney told the media that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had opened an investigation into her claims of a hacked blog in April.

But Internet Archive told BuzzFeed News in April 2018 that “we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions.”

Reid abandoned her allegations of hacking just days later, inviting questions about whether she made a false statement to the FBI.

In June 2018, Sean Hannity defended Reid on his blog. “It’s good to see Joy (who is no fan of mine) starting to take responsibility for her past remarks,” he wrote. “Her apology should be accepted, and she should be given a chance to make it right, and not fired.”

He called for an end to online stampedes designed to “crush, fire them, and destroy hosts you may disagree with.”

“I am a believer in the freedom of speech for all Americans,” he said. “And as someone who believes in forgiveness, I have to say, we have all fallen short.”

MSNBC released a statement saying that her controversial blogs were “not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years. Joy has apologized publicly and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true.”

Hannity said the network cited his comments in their personnel decision. “When Joy Reid was in trouble, I was called by an NBC executive that said that ‘your public comments played a big role in us being able to keep her,’ meaning her job,” Hannity said on Monday. “She wrote me a nice note.”

The reveal came as Hannity interviewed former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), who was fired from his role as CNN’s last remaining conservative commentator last weekend.

“I said, ‘People can make mistakes and move on.’ But not anymore,” Hannity told Santorum.

Hannity took a similar stand when ABC canceled Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” in 2006 after the comedian said terrorist acts were not cowardly, but some U.S. military actions were. “I defended him and did not want him fired from ABC at the time,” Hannity said.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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