Here we go again. But this time there is a trail of emails belying the latest attacks on Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. This was the headline in Mediaite:
Holes Emerge in Cathy Areu’s Lawsuit Against Fox News Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity
Shortly thereafter the story was picked up by the New York Post, which ran this headline:
Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson accuser sent gushing emails after show appearance: report
The Mediaite story about the latest Cancel Culture assault said this:
Inconsistencies are emerging in claims made by Cathy Areu, a once-periodic Fox News guest, that she was harassed by some of the network’s biggest names — including prime time anchor Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. New emails obtained by Mediaite shed further light on the case.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday in the Southern District of New York, Areu claims she was harassed by Carlson, Hannity and other employees of the network, and that she was largely barred from appearing after she declined their advances. In an initial response the company said the claims were “completely false.”
Over the last several days, records of Areu’s appearances on the network and other publicly available information has undermined some of her claims. New emails between Areu and the network’s employees seem to add to those concerns.
To begin, there was this from Areu, a charge that specifically caught my attention. Mediaite reported it this way:
In the lawsuit, Areu claims, she was a “relatively regular” guest on Hannity’s prime-time show until March 8, 2018. “On that day, Mr. Hannity, on set and in front of the entire studio crew — and completely unsolicited — threw $100 on the set desk,” the suit claimed. “He then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks at Del Friscos. He repeatedly yelled, ‘who wants to take her on a date?’ ‘Take her on a date to Del Friscos.’ ”
According to the story, Areu was “mortified” by this supposed sexist behavior.
As it happens I myself have experienced a version of this supposedly mortifying Hannity behavior. I have been an occasional guest on Hannity’s TV show over the years. On one particular occasion last year, I was invited to the Fox New York studios to appear on a show that featured a panel of about a dozen people, men and women both. All were people who had appeared previously on his shows or those of other Fox hosts, and I knew many of them.
At the conclusion of the show Hannity did a version of what he is accused of doing by Areu. There was zero sexist about it. Sean Hannity is a perpetually upbeat human being, and always looking to make his guests comfortable. Not to mention he is always urging his guests to get to know one another by spending some socializing time out of the studio. In my case he was urging all of us to go to exactly the same restaurant mentioned to Areu, with a similar insistence on his picking up the tab. A group of us, men and women both, took him up on his offer. He did not join us. No one — say again no one — took offense. We went, had a great time, and took a picture of ourselves toasting him with drinks in hand, sending it to him with our thanks.
As I have learned first-hand over the years in socializing with him at various parties, this is typical Sean Hannity behavior. Which is to say, he has always been both a gentleman and generous. I have never — say again never — seen him display the slightest hint of the behavior ascribed to him by Areu. There was none. Zip, zero, nada — none. Not for nothing has Fox News issued a statement that said the accusations against Sean and Tucker (and also Fox media critic Howard Kurtz) were “false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit.”
This would be nothing more than eye-rolling nonsense if taken as a stand-alone. Areu’s complaint about not being asked on both shows betrays a stunning ignorance for a commentator about the workings of cable news shows. One is asked — or not asked — to appear on a show when the guest involved has a particular knowledge of the subject at hand. As any sentient observer of the last several months can understand, political or media commentators are not a sought-after commodity in the middle of a pandemic. Doctors and scientists have been quickly, repeatedly and understandably brought on to discuss the virus. Not being asked on this or that show is a sign of nothing more than that the host and his or her staff have to design a show based on that day or week’s hot news of the moment. To not be asked is hardly some sort of sexist retribution. It is normal and happens to male and female commentators alike.
But in fact, coming as this does in the middle of this metastasizing “cancel culture,” this Areu lawsuit backfires, drawing attention yet again to the repeated assaults on conservative media and conservatives in general, in or out of the media. In this case — and not for the first time — the targets are Sean and Tucker.
I have written previously in this space (here and here) about the far-left attacks on both Fox hosts, and also the attacks on a third, Laura Ingraham. But in fact, it is more than relevant that this kind of attack is hardly limited to just Sean and Tucker. Previous targets of the “cancel culture” have included Rush Limbaugh, Fox News itself, and, oh yes, yours truly. The list includes any number of conservatives in other areas than the media — academia being a prominent one. In fact, the Daily Caller in mid-2017 took the time and space to headline this:
This List Of Attacks Against Conservatives Is Mind Blowing
That list focused on violent attacks, of which there were many. The central fact here is the American Left is fundamentally intolerant of dissent from their worldview. Whether it’s riots in Portland or tearing down statues or demanding a college ban this or that conservative speaker or now targeting Hannity and Carlson (again), the driving force behind all is the same thing. That driving force is silencing dissent, using whatever weapon is at hand.
Long before I was writing in this space The American Spectator itself was targeted in the 1990s by the Clintons in a serious effort to shut the magazine down and silence its criticism and investigations into both Bill and Hillary. In the Obama years the Obama administration targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen, the Washington Free Beacon among others saying the Obama minions had “labeled him (Rosen) a ‘conspirator’ and sought legal authority to look through his emails.”
Well aside from the fact that the now-revealed Areu emails of the day are said to have blown “holes” (Mediaite) in these accusations (or, per the Post, revealed “inconsistencies”). Ironically, the lawsuit brings into focus yet again just how serious and widespread is the problem of the cancel culture across the nation and its determination to silence conservatives wherever they may be found, especially at Fox News.
So in this latest case?
Stand with Sean.
Stand with Tucker.
And stand for free speech.