Back in April, Fox News host Sean Hannity told NYT’s Jim Rutenberg, “I never claimed to be a journalist,” in response to criticism over the newsworthiness of his interviews with Trump.
Hannity was just, as he said in a video, “a talk show host,” a creature altogether different from those in a profession whose job it is to collect facts, determine their accuracy and report the truth.
Perhaps this is why, despite a memo sent Tuesday afternoon by Dana Blanton, Fox News vp of public opinion research, telling producers and politics staff that online opinion polls “do not meet [Fox News’] editorial standards,” Sean Hannity touted just those polls on his show Tuesday night.
“If you listen to the elites and the punditry class that are on television and radio, they almost universally—they think Hillary Clinton won that debate. But. Millions of you, Americans voting online thought Trump won the debate. Let’s take a look at a few of them,” he says before showing the results of those online polls, devoid of the context helpfully provided earlier by Blanton in her memo: “As most of the publications themselves clearly state,” she wrote, “the sample obviously can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate.”
Hannity was not done. “Now to be fair, the Clinton News Network, CNN, they did have Hillary winning, just to be fair, and as you can see, there are many, many others. But the question is this: how could the mainstream media try to say otherwise?”
Perhaps because they were following standards similar to those Blanton outlined. That CNN poll Hannity mentioned was scientifically rigorous, unlike the “many, many” online polls Hannity used for his argument.
But as Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy notes in his report, those standards don’t seem to apply to Hannity:
A representative for Fox News noted both Hannity and Kilmeade are hosts in the network’s lineup of opinion programming. The representative also pointed out that Hannity has publicly disclosed that he has endorsed Trump.