Fox News host Sean Hannity launched into a lengthy diatribe against critics of conservative media on Thursday night in response to a Business Insider story on the “conservative media industrial complex” and its role in the rise of Donald Trump.
He continued: “The big point you miss is in almost every primary exit poll, 65% of REPUBLICANS said they felt betrayed by DC Republicans. My fault? Rush [Limbaugh]?”
Hannity was referring to the notion that American conservatives feel more detached than ever from the Republican Party, arguing that right-leaning commentators like himself are the voice of conservatives – not Republican politicians, who he suggested are beholden to establishment ideals like political correctness and bipartisanship.
“Did the Republicans promise to repeal and replace Obamacare? When they had the majority did they use their enumerated power of the purse?” Hannity tweeted.
He then defended conservative media behemoths like internet mogul Matt Drudge and talk-show host Mark Levin: “When John Boehner was speaker why did the Republican majority allow the debt to go up nearly 5 Trillion? Drudge’s fault? Mine? Rush? Levin?”
Many conservatives have lamented the extent to which figures like Hannity, Drudge, and Limbaugh have been able to turn the Republican base away from the party, as Business Insider has chronicled. Some think the party itself is partly to blame for failing to nip the conspiratorial rhetoric in the bud.
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The GOP “has appeased it, they’ve sucked up to it, they’ve been afraid of going up against it,” Charlie Sykes, an influential conservative radio host in Wisconsin, told Business Insider recently. “I think that you have seen that played out this year. Has there been any willingness on the part of any mainstream conservative to call out this alt-right media? I’m not seeing it.”
“There is no autopsy this year that does not include dealing with the right-wing media,” Sykes added. “There is none.”
Like Sykes, Hannity and his peers have also argued that Republican politicians have no one to blame but themselves for the alt-right media’s popularity – but only because they have not kept the policy promises on which they were elected.
“The 2014 election was largely about ‘stopping Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive Amnesty,'” Hannity tweeted. “R’s said just give us the senate. And? If R’s in DC refuse to keep THEIR promises, refuse to fight or take a stand on principle, then why should anybody support them?”
Hannity went on to say that it wasn’t the conservative media that created the opening for Trump’s rise, but DC Republicans – by “breaking promises, being weak, and lacking vision. Now THEY are sabotaging HIS EFFORT.Republican or Democrat means nothing, Americans have been mistreated. That’s my focus, unless people like YOU silence me, Rush, Drudge, and Levin.”