the national interest

Fox News: We Don’t Care About Sean Hannity’s Undisclosed Ties to Michael Cohen

Sean Hannity now officially free to harbor all the undisclosed ties he wants to figures he defends on his show. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday, Michael Cohen was forced to reveal the name of a client to whom he had granted attorney-client privilege. That client turned out to be Sean Hannity. This immediately presented a serious journalism ethics problem, since Hannity hosts a show on which he has repeatedly discussed Cohen without disclosing that Cohen has been representing him. (Hannity’s defense, that he has not paid Cohen, does not help matters at all, since it means Cohen has given him free legal advice, making Hannity’s interest in protecting him all the more pronounced.)

Today, Fox News finally gave its position on the problem. To wit, there is no problem. According to an official statement, “While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.”

The network has not provided any details about the Cohen-Hannity relationship, and apparently sees no need to do so. “Hannity journalism ethics problem” is a category error. Fox News viewers should probably assume that every talking head on the network has deep, undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Fox News Doesn’t Care About Hannity’s Secret Ties to Cohen