Political partisans will probably never believe that a journalist with ties to the opposing party will give them a fair shake. That seems to be the underlying truth to many answers when we asked readers to weigh in on Fox News commentator Sean Hannity's decision not to disclose his relationship with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, or his benefiting from loans backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development while he sang the department's praises.
One Facebook commenter went so far as to say Hannity has never identified himself as a journalist:
But this was quickly fact checked by another Facebook commenter:
Several commenters engaged in the tried and true sport of what-aboutism — deflecting from an issue by raising similar issues in an opposing camp.
"Interesting articles. Thanks. I also wanted to hear about attorney client privilege and why all of Hannity's personal financials were released following an unrelated government raid," emailed Tyson Lewis. "Why was there no similar concern from the Sun Sentinel about George Stephanopolous and the Clinton's/Comey? Kinda weird juxtaposed, isn't it?"
It's unclear what issues the emailer had with Stephanopoulos. The former Clinton White House communications director is now with ABC News, and he had an issue with a shady real estate loan more than 20 years ago during his time in the White House. Allegations that he received a sweetheart deal were refuted by the bank from which he secured the loan.
But Lewis was not the only reader who pointed out that prominent journalists have ties to prominent Democrats.
As stated, Stephanopoulos is a former White House staffer in a Democratic administration. Brazile and Rhodes are both Democratic political figures. It's possible the commenter meant to highlight the relationship between Ben Rhodes and his brother, David Rhodes, the president of CBS News.
Todd, Amanpour, Cameron and Shipman are all married to prominent Democratic figures. Jarrett is the daughter of another, the Obama White House's Valerie Jarrett.
Mitchell is married to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was first appointed to the position by President Ronald Reagan.
This certainly seems to be an awful lot of national journalists married to Democrats, Andrea Mitchell excepted.
Then again, former CNN reporter and current head of news partnerships for Facebook Campbell Brown is married to Dan Senor, who served in the George W. Bush White House and on the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. Brown got so much flack for the relationship that she penned an entire column on it for Slate that basically came down to: Surprise, I get to have my own opinions.
Mike Allen, now of Axios and previously of Politico, is the son of Gary Allen, who served as a spokesperson for the John Birch Society and a speech writer for George Wallace during the Alabama governor's segregationist, third-party presidential run. One can assume Allen also has his own opinions. And one can give the same credit to all those journalists who married Democrats.
But is that really the same thing as what Hannity did? It doesn't seem that way.
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