Sean Hannity isn't in the driver's seat, but Steve Bannon is

Hannity's curious actions this week may have been driven by Breitbart dictum

Published November 17, 2017 7:40AM (EST)

Steve Bannon (Getty/Scott Olson)
Steve Bannon (Getty/Scott Olson)

The Alabama senate race isn't just about keeping Republican control over a Senate seat in a deep-read state. It's partially about the soul of the conservative media landscape. And a recent story demonstrates that Breitbart is the dominant player.

After this week's revelations about Roy Moore — one woman came forward to say that she was assaulted by Moore decades ago, while the candidate continued to avoid answering questions on the subject — conservative radio host Sean Hannity was left in a bind. The Moore backer gave him an ultimatum: "remove any doubt" within 24 hours, or have his support withdrawn. After a bizarre press statement and an open letter addressed directly to Hannity, the Fox News host backed off his threat. So it seemed like Hannity was the one who was demanding accountability.

That might not have been what actually happened. According to CNN, Steve Bannon — Breitbart's founder and conservative soul — told Hannity to back off his demands:

An intervention by Steve Bannon might have moved Sean Hannity off of his initial stance questioning inconsistencies in Roy Moore’s stories. Bannon called Hannity following his Tuesday night ultimatum and urged the host to dial back the harsh criticism, a source familiar with the conversation confirmed. On Wednesday night's show, Hannity said it's up to the voters to decide...

Breitbart's support of Roy Moore is stronger than its support of the Republican Party, and the outlet is ready to blow up what was as surefire GOP win in order to push its movement.

In a profile this week in Politico, Breitbart's editor-in-chief, Alex Marlow, admitted that his outlet was firmly in Roy Moore's camp. The only question is who, in addition to the Republican Party, they're ready to torch if someone gets in their way.

By Jeremy Binckes

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Alabama Senate Race Conservative Media Media Roy Moore Sean Hannity Steve Bannon