It’s not exactly breaking news that over the past 16 months, a number of media-conservatives have turned their back on the conservative principles they once preached ad nauseam. After years (in some cases, decades) of demanding conservative purity within the Republican party, they decided to re-brand themselves as high-pressure salespeople for the Trump campaign.
The move required an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy, being that Trump’s big-government ideas and autocratic understanding of the presidency flew right in the face of the doctrines these individuals had invested in so heavily, for so long. But the payoff has been big.
Trump sycophantism may be embarrassing for many of us to watch, but one can’t deny that it’s been lucrative. Those in the media who have shamelessly bowed to the orange altar have seen a sharp uptick in television ratings and radio listenership. An endorsement tweet or a short blurb has made best-sellers out of books that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten much traction. Websites wallpapered with Trump’s face above fawning, propagandist headlines have produced record ad-revenue.
The top salesman for the Trump campaign, of course, has been Sean Hannity. Channeling the late, great Billy Mays, Hannity has turned his prime-time Fox News show into a nightly infomercial for the Republican nominee. When he hasn’t been walking Trump (a frequent guest) through an hour of canned, narrative-elevating questions in front of a audience of Trump supporters, he’s been either filling the show’s segments with official campaign surrogates, or presenting hour-long hit-pieces on Trump’s opposition.
Amusingly, Hannity adamantly rejects the notion that he’s been in the bag for Trump from almost the beginning of this election cycle. He scoffs at the idea that he’s served as a salesman — a denial that couldn’t be taken any less seriously if he were yelling it into a headset-microphone while holding up a ShamWow.
Regardless, the promotion (aka the election) is almost over, and like many promotions, this one’s finishing up with a blowout deal. Starting today, for a limited time, new subscribers to Sean Hannity’s newsletter will receive a free Donald Trump talking pen! What a great way to commemorate Hannity’s role in this election cycle!
In fact, I think that all of the conservative-media sell-outs should follow suit, and use these remaining few hours of the election to squeeze every last ounce of self-serving usefulness out of the Trump phenomenon. After all, an opportunity like this, that was deemed early on to be far more important than the future of conservatism and the country, may never return.