Politico Pressures Sean Hannity to Alter Comments About Michael Savage

January 27th, 2014 2:27 PM

When a news outlet asks someone for a comment about a piece being written involving him or her, you would think said outlet would have the decency of accurately quoting said individual.

Such wasn't the case Friday when Politico ran an article titled "Michael Savage, Sean Hannity Dial Up Radio Feud":

A simmering feud between radio stars Michael Savage and Sean Hannity has burst to the surface now that the two men are going head to head in prime drivetime — battling for listeners and advertisers in an already competitive market. [...]

“My competitor doesn’t have the capacity to go beyond the Democrat-Republican talking points,” Savage told POLITICO. “That’s all he’s ever done. That’s all he can do. He has no education. I’m just going to lay it on the line, I’m not going to mince words.”

“You could say, well, I’m a snob,” Savage said. “Well, ok, I’m proud of my doctorate, two master’s degrees, I’m proud of my 28 books, including many in health. And so, yeah, I’m proud of my academic achievements. I believe it’s embarrassing for people to act as experts, even in politics, if they don’t have a rigorous training in anything.”

Politico then informed readers that "Hannity attended New York University and Adelphi University, but left both before graduating so he could pursue a broadcasting career."

Interesting educational contrast Politico decided to make, as if that's a determining factor in success on the radio - or in journalism, for that matter.

Yet nowhere in Politico's piece were the relative ratings of each host addressed. Maybe that would have diminished the point about educational bona fides.

As Talkers magazine reported this month, Hannity has the second-largest talk radio audience in the nation at 13.25 million. By contrast, Savage has only 3.5 million.

I guess that was an inconvenient truth for Politico.

At least Politico gave Hannity some space for rebuttal:

“Here’s the bottom line,” Hannity told POLITICO. “I love everybody in this business. This guy is obsessed with me, I’m not obsessed with him. And, you know, I understand the Dickeys are bitter because I left,” referring to the heads of Cumulus.

Pretty tame compared to what Savage had to say about Hannity. Want to know why?

Because according to Hannity, Politico refused to run with his entire comment, and instead tried to manipulate him into altering his remarks. This led Hannity to withdraw.

Here's what Hannity really told Politico according to Breitbart:

The poor guy is just an angry, depressed, and jealous human being who has been hanging around the backwaters of broadcasting for too many years.

Now in his 70's, it’s sad to see that he is so angry, envious, and obsessed with fellow broadcasters. Perhaps his anger and conflict comes from his skinny dipping days in Fiji with his liberal poet friend Alan Ginsburg, or from having to admit his support of Jerry Brown.

I have never been happier in my broadcast career. I am extremely grateful for my friendship with many prominent local and national hosts all over the country. as well as my over 500 station partners.

Cumulus airs Savage, not on all of their stations, only 2 hours on heritage stations; or on delay. They clearly do not have confidence in him, and his ability to generate revenue.

His show will not grow beyond Cumulus. Revenue will suffer, as he has shown he is incapable of any self control, i.e. when he intentionally made comments about kids’ autism, or comments on MSNBC; and Cumulus has a horrific record when it comes to launching new syndicated shows.

Despite all the spin and propaganda it was my decision to fire Cumulus at the end of my contract and partner with Premiere and other great radio stations around the country. It was extremely difficult working with Cumulus… and to watch them literally destroy many heritage talk stations…such as KGO, WLS, KABC, and many others…and fire some of the best and brightest managers and PD's in the industry. My show will be growing in terms of audience and revenue as we build new stations, and move to live clears on many great established stations.

As NewsBusters reported in August, it certainly was Hannity that fired Cumulus, a fact that many in the Hannity-hating media such as the perilously liberal Huffington Post were forced to admit after claiming the separation was all Cumulus's decision.

So why did Politico choose not to publish Hannity's full comment as he desired? Or the ratings of the two radio hosts profiled in this piece to offer readers some context into this "feud?"

Might it be that between his huge radio audience as well as the one at Fox News, Hannity represents the bigger conservative target for Politico to take down, especially heading into a crucial midterm election year?