Although some people at Fox News will, at times, criticize President Donald Trump when they believe it is warranted — including Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith and Judge Andrew Napolitano — the right-wing cable news outlet usually serves as a political safe space for the president. And one of Fox News’ most obsequious champions of Trump’s presidency has been Sean Hannity. But Trump took a subtle jab at Hannity during an interview on Wednesday night, telling the Fox News host that he is motivated by ratings more than genuine patriotism.
Earlier this week, Fox News broadcast the 2020 Trump’s campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida — and the following night, Hannity devoted most of his show to a phone interview with the president. One of the things Trump and Hannity discussed was the president’s nonstop use of Twitter, and Hannity mentioned that many people have said he uses that social media platform too often and needs to “turn off the switch.” The 73-year-old Trump responded that Twitter is a great communications tool for him because much of the mainstream media is hostile to his presidency.
Trump told Hannity, “If I don’t use social media — outside of you and a few other great people — I call them patriots, actually. But you’re not really patriots as much as you want ratings. I mean, you’re getting great ratings, in all fairness, Sean.”
Trump went on to say, “I view social media as a way of getting the word out. Look, when you have the lies and the frauds committed by the other networks — many of the other networks — you look at what’s going on, it’s disgraceful. This way, I get the word out…. It’s really a way of getting the truth out. The media’s just gone loco; they’ve lost all control.”
While Napolitano, Wallace or Smith aren’t afraid to give Trump some critical analysis from the right, Hannity has been a relentless cheerleader for the president. It’s no secret that throughout Trump’s presidency, Hannity has been fawning over him. But according to a November 15, 2018 report by the Daily Beast, Trump mocks Hannity’s fawning behind closed doors. Trump thrives on conflict, the Beast reported last year — and he finds Hannity’s endless fawning to be dull and unchallenging.