Hannity's Tie To Cohen Is A Conflict Of Interest But Will Fox Act?

The host has a relationship with the president's attorney. Will Fox News realize this could look bad for them or will they ignore the conflict of interest?


On Monday, when it was finally announced that President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, also represented Fox News host Sean Hannity, it was clear that the channel could soon be facing certain challenges if it decided to keep Hannity as a host.

As The New York Magazine reports, there is no bigger Trump cheerleader in the cable news channel than Hannity himself. Especially ever since the president was accused of having an affair with an adult film star.

Media pundits and Hollywood producers alike pointed out on Twitter that a conflict of interest is evident when a television anchor is so supportive of the president's attorney while holding a secret relationship with him. So will Fox News act accordingly?




Cohen quickly entered the national spotlight when it was reported that Trump allegedly attempted to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels from talking about her affair with the president and the lawyer brokered the deal between the two.

But even after Cohen’s office and home were raided by the FBI, Hannity, who already had a professional relationship with the attorney, never disclosed that fact while reporting on the raid. Unfortunately, the conflict of interest appears to have never crossed the host's mind, as Hannity pushed his own theory regarding Cohen to the public without thinking twice.

To the host, the FBI is after Cohen not because he was part of a scheme to quiet Daniels. Instead, he told his viewers, the whole thing is part of an intricate plot to bring the president down.

But after the cat was out of the bag, he realized that he could no longer pretend there wasn't a problem in him having deals with Cohen.

In order to try to play down the potential risks of conflicts of interest, Hannity took to his radio show to first deny the accusations and then to launch a self-preservation campaign.

At first, he said that he might have given the attorney a few bucks, then later, he said that his conversations with Cohen did not revolve around a third party, like what happened to Trump.  And that he never retained Cohen or pay him for a service. Instead, he said, all the legal advice he asked Cohen involved real estate.





But regardless of what the host claimed, he still appears to have had a close relationship, if not merely a professional one, with the president’s personal attorney. As such, it makes us wonder if his extensive and positive coverage of both the president and his attorney couldn’t be seen as conflicting once you understand that he as a news personality has influence over the viewership.

If he’s a serious journalist who puts his reputation first (something we find unlikely), this scandal could considerably hurt him. But what’s worse, is that this could potentially hurt the image of Fox News by having a host continue to report on the Trump presidency while having a relationship with his attorney.

So while it’s clear that a conflict of interest exists, we are still not sure if Fox News will listen to critics and give Hannity the boot. 

Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters, Jeenah Moon, Mike Segar

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