Has Fox News host Sean Hannity handed over too much free airtime to Donald Trump?
A story at Think Progress accuses Hannity of being “less of an interviewer than a member of Trump’s campaign staff,” and suggests Hannity “has managed to interview Trump for hours without ever coming even close to making news.”
Hannity responded to the report on his radio show, calling the story a “hit piece” and saying “I’m not a journalist, I’m a talk show host. I can’t think of any question that has come up, that I have wanted to ask these candidates, that was relevant to ask these candidates, that I haven’t asked them. I’ve asked them everything.”
The Think Progress story implied that of those candidates, Trump was getting the lion’s share of Hannity’s time:
Trump has appeared on Hannity an astonishing 41 times since he announced his campaign last June, often for the entire hour. (On five occasions, Hannity replayed extensive excerpts from previous appearances by Trump.) In other words, you can watch Hannity interview Trump about once a week.
Hannity says, however, Think Progress didn’t get its numbers right, and released a list of how many times each of the Republican candidates have appeared on his show since they announced their campaigns. Trump isn’t even at the top of that list, which is led by Ted Cruz:
Time on ‘Hannity’ TV Show since each candidate announced:
Texas Senator Ted Cruz: 34 appearances
Businessman and Entrepreneur Donald Trump: 32 appearances
Governor John Kasich of Ohio: 20 appearances
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul: 20 appearances
Florida Senator Marco Rubio: 19 appearances
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie: 17 appearances
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina: 15 appearances
Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush: 14 appearances
Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee: 14 appearances
Dr. Ben Carson: 13 appearances
Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker: 6 appearances
Former Governor of Texas Rick Perry: 4 appearances
Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal: 3 appearances
Former Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum: 3 appearances
Senator Lindsey Graham: 1 appearance
Former Governor of New York George Pataki: 0 appearances
On Hannity’s radio show, Trump drops to third place.