On his Monday broadcast, Sean Hannity said on-air that his public support of Joy Reid back in 2018 when her job at MSNBC seemed to be in serious danger influenced MSNBC management to keep her at the network. He added that Reid sent him a “thank you” letter in response.
Hannity brought this up during his live interview with former CNN contributor Rick Santorum, the former senator and conservative commentator who was recently fired by CNN in light of racist comments he made about Native Americans during a speaking engagement.
“I don’t believe in boycotts, senator,” Hannity told Santorum. “I have never supported one. I never will. I don’t want Bill Maher fired. I — as a matter of fact, I defended him and did not want him fired from ABC at the time.”
Then he brought up Reid, an MSNBC weekend morning host at the time who encountered problems in 2017-2018 after 12-year-old blog posts of her’s came to light, where she expresses anti-gay sentiments. (Reid first apologized for the posts, then later claimed they were “manipulated”). Her future at MSNBC was reportedly in doubt, but Hannity came out publicly to defend her in June 2018, doing so in a post on his blog.
“When Joy Reid was in trouble, I was called by an NBC executive that said ‘your public comments played a big role in us being able to keep her,’ meaning her job,” Hannity said. “She wrote me a nice note. I said, ‘People can make mistakes and move on.’ But not anymore, Now, it’s old, if you say something, you can even revise and extend your remarks, apologize, explain in more detail what you meant, nobody wants to hear it. And I’m sick of it, to be honest.”
Santorum responded to Hannity: “I could not agree with you more, Sean. In many, many cases throughout my entire career people have been called to be fired for saying this and fired for saying this and I have defended their right in saying people have a right to their opinion. And by the way, CNN has a right to fire me if they don’t like what I’m saying or what they are doing. I have no animus. I appreciate the opportunity that they gave me, but it shows that the left is intolerant. They are worried — I’m sure that their viewership which is very left was going to pay a price, and the intolerance of the left is the issue in the ‘cancel culture’ that is flowing from it. And I hear from a lot of liberals, in fact many CNN contributors who talk to me afterwards who were very, very concerned about the ‘cancel culture’ that is now hitting them at CNN.”