Well this is interesting.
Our friends at Breitbart have a story that is in fact the latest chapter in the tangle between Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. And in this round Politico is in the fray.
Now, Breitbart is exclusively reporting this new round (here). In the way of full disclosure, I was asked by Politico to write this piece on Paul Ryan and Jack Kemp, as both Ryan and I worked for Kemp (at different times.)
This disagreement comes over a request from Politico to Hannity for a statement for a Politico story on Savage. Hannity complied, then was told the statement would be edited. Suffice to say, conservatives have famously had a bad experience with their remarks being edited in the non-conservative media. Barry Goldwater went to his grave furious over his treatment by CBS, to cite one famous episode. The network had told the Senator back there in 1963 that they wanted to tape him for a special on his conservative views. The title, he was told, would be The Conservative Revival. Reluctantly, wary of what he called the network’s “liberal views,” Goldwater trusted and said yes to, as he described it later, “gentlemen” whom he believed to be “men of their word.” The special appeared, title changed to Thunder on the Right, suggesting Goldwater was an “accomplice” of the John Birch Society, allied to the extremist Minutemen etc. etc… all of which was not true. Goldwater was neither a Bircher or a supporter of the group, and he wrote years later that he had been deliberately told an untruth, his remarks selectively edited.
Years afterwards, when Ronald Reagan was president, CBS asked for a 45-minute interview on Reagan. Goldwater cooperated. As might be expected, Goldwater had nothing but positive things to say of his old friend Reagan. The report aired, and with a snip of the editorial scissors there was Goldwater attacking the President over his handling of “minority issues.” Goldwater was furious, calling reporter Phil Jones whom he “chewed out.” Shortly followed an angry letter from Goldwater to CBS brass.
What does this have to do with Sean Hannity and Politico? Safe to say it is gospel in the world of conservatives that when mainstream or liberal outlets have a statement from conservative figure X — a Hannity, Limbaugh. Levin, Goldwater, Reagan, etc. etc. etc. — the editorial scissors are about to be wielded. And not fairly.
This is, in fact, one of the reasons for publications like Breitbart and yes, obviously, The American Spectator. Did we mention talk radio? And, not to put too fine a point on it, the fair and balanced FOX News.
Follow that Breitbart link for the full story. And yes, below is Sean Hannity’s statement on Michael Savage. In full and unedited.
Statement by Sean Hannity on Michael Savage:
The poor guy is just an angry, depressed, and jealous human being who has been hanging around the backwaters of broadcasting for too many years.
Now in his 70’s, it’s sad to see that he is so angry, envious, and obsessed with fellow broadcasters. Perhaps his anger and conflict comes from his skinny dipping days in Fiji with his liberal poet friend Allen Ginsberg, or from having to admit his support of Jerry Brown.
I have never been happier in my broadcast career. I am extremely grateful for my friendship with many prominent local and national hosts all over the country. as well as my over 500 station partners.
Cumulus airs Savage, not on all of their stations, only 2 hours on heritage stations; or on delay. They clearly do not have confidence in him, and his ability to generate revenue.
His show will not grow beyond Cumulus. Revenue will suffer, as he has shown he is incapable of any self control, i.e. when he intentionally made comments about kids’ autism, or comments on MSNBC; and Cumulus has a horrific record when it comes to launching new syndicated shows.
Despite all the spin and propaganda it was my decision to fire Cumulus at the end of my contract and partner with Premiere and other great radio stations around the country. It was extremely difficult working with Cumulus… and to watch them literally destroy many heritage talk stations… such as KGO, WLS, KABC, and many others… and fire some of the best and brightest managers and PD’s in the industry. My show will be growing in terms of audience and revenue as we build new stations, and move to live clears on many great established stations.
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