David Zurawik

Trump and the dangers of living in the Fox bubble with Sean Hannity

Donald Trump might think he's playing it safe and smart by doing interviews only on Fox and mainly with Sean Hannity. But Sarah Palin tried that in 2008 and it blew up on her in a big way.

In revisiting some of my blog posts from 2008 on Hannity, I found one in which I described an interview he did with Palin, the GOP candidate, in September of that year. During the session, he served up softball after softball question and never followed up.


I described the interview as political theater.

In that piece I said: "Even on the friendly confines of the Fox News Channel with Hannity serving up heaping helpings of home cooking, she couldn't get it right. Her handlers might want to re-think letting her face as skilled an interviewer and journalist as Katie Couric on CBS."


(You can read the full post here.)

I wrote that one week before Palin's infamous session with Couric, which all but guaranteed the governor of Alaska would never be taken seriously on a national level again.

Life inside the safety of the Fox bubble is a dangerous thing for a candidate when she or he has to face the real world of national politics. We saw that last week during the debate when Trump kept asking why no one was calling up Hannity, who would confirm that Trump had allegedly told him he was against invading Iraq before the invasion happened.

Only on Bizarro Planet or inside the Fox bubble would Hannity be considered a credible source. To any serious journalistic outlet, he's a Republican Party apparatchik, a partisan operative, a political hack. But Trump doesn't know that in the alt-right universe he inhabits, so he sounded strange and silly demanding journalists call Hannity for verification of his otherwise debunked claim.

I talked about some of that on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday with host Brian Stelter and Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan. Check out the video and let me know what you think.