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Playboy Interview: Sean Hannity
  • June 19, 2013 : 07:06
  • comments

Fox News host Sean Hannity is a believer. He believes in God, country and the once and future Bush dynasty. In his opinion, global warming is a crock, kids today are oversexed and President Obama’s radical agenda is destroying our nation. Despite any upticks the stock market may experience, the economy is not improving, Hannity says (“It’s a bubble!”). And no, allowing same-sex marriage, taxing the rich and giving government handouts will not save America.

Hannity—the man and the brand—holds to the far right even as fellow conservatives like Rush Limbaugh bitterly proclaim that liberalism has won in America. As long as debate rages over illegal immigration, government spending, gun control, abortion, political correctness, the Kardashians, you name it, Hannity will wag a finger and stand his ground.

Hannity was born on December 30, 1961, the grandson of four Irish immigrants, and grew up with three older sisters in Franklin Square on New York’s Long Island. He was a Catholic school bad boy, he says, and dropped out of two universities (NYU and Adelphi) after realizing his opinions had a place on radio. From the start, he was controversial. In 1989 Hannity was fired from his first radio job at a college station in Santa Barbara for casting doubts about the AIDS epidemic. He publicized his dismissal in radio trade ads, promoting himself as “the most talked about college radio host in America.” Fox News head Roger Ailes heard Hannity on the air in Atlanta a few years later and paired him opposite liberal political commentator Alan Colmes. The resulting live TV show, Hannity & Colmes, ran for 12 years on Fox News before Hannity went solo in the same time slot. In many ways, radio remains Hannity’s first love, and he broadcasts The Sean Hannity Show, syndicated on more than 500 stations, most days from Long Island, where he lives with his wife of 20 years, Jill, and their two young children.

Contributing Editor David Hochman spent time with Hannity at Fox News headquarters in New York City. He says Hannity was jovial and charming even as the debate got lively. “The ultimate question everyone has about Hannity,” Hochman says, “is, Does he really believe what he says, or is it all just an act? After spending hours with the guy and really getting into his head, I can say with utmost confidence, what you see with Hannity is what you get.”

HANNITY: Fire away. Ask me anything you want.

PLAYBOY: Excellent, so——

HANNITY: You might not get an answer, but you can try.

PLAYBOY: Let’s start with an easy one. What is it precisely about liberals that bothers you so much?

HANNITY: Liberalism is failing the country. This to me is fundamental. It’s a philosophical difference. Do I have friends who are liberal? Yeah. Do I like to debate liberal guests on my show? Absolutely. But look what’s happening in Cyprus, in Greece, in Spain, in Ireland and other places. These countries are going down the road America is now choosing to go down, which is socialism, in my view. Very high taxes. Promises that the government will take care of every need an individual has. These promises ultimately can’t be fulfilled. You can’t manage the cost of it all. The president tried to sell Obama­care at $900 billion. Now the latest estimate is $2.8 trillion, and a recent report by the Government Accountability Office says over the long term it could add $6.2 trillion to our debt. That is what I would describe as unsustainable.

The other thing is energy. There is an answer to America’s problems right now. We are so stupid we don’t tap into our own energy resources. We have more oil than Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia combined. We have oil shale; we’ve got fracking available. We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. The Democratic Socialist Party in America is so beholden to environmentalists, we don’t even tap into our own resources. It’s just another example of how this president can’t meet the promises he made to the people.

PLAYBOY: Obama’s supporters would say he’s done quite a bit. He passed health care reform. He passed the stimulus. He passed Wall Street reform. He eliminated Osama bin Laden. He turned around the U.S. auto industry.

HANNITY: Do you know GM still owes the taxpayers $50 billion that we’ll never get back? 

PLAYBOY: He recapitalized banks. He began to end the war in Afghanistan. He ended the war in Iraq. He boosted fuel-efficiency standards and advocated for alternative energy.

HANNITY: Whoa. With what? Solyndra? Obama squandered half a billion dollars in stimulus money, and the company went bankrupt. We were paying money that went to build electric cars in Finland. I can give you the whole long laundry list, a lot of wasted government dollars. How many net new jobs did we create under Obama?

PLAYBOY: Depending on which source you believe, it’s anywhere from 325,000 to 1.2 million.

HANNITY: At the end of last year, we had 8.3 million fewer Americans in the labor force than we had before he took office. We have people on unemployment who have been there so long we no longer count them. When you look at real unemployment in the country, fewer Americans were working at the end of Obama’s first four years than actually were working when he started. Next question.

PLAYBOY: It’s generally agreed that the Republican Party is a mess. It’s divided, there’s no real leadership or clear direction, and last year’s election was an enormous blow to the right.

HANNITY: First of all, I’m a registered Conservative. I’m not a Republican, though people often mistake me for one. Listen, it’s going to shake out fine. You know, after any election, whenever there’s a loss, there are always people predicting doom and gloom and disaster. There’s a certain purging process people go through. Democrats have been through it. The contractions, the hand-wringing—it’s natural. It’s part of the process.

PLAYBOY: Can the GOP save itself?

HANNITY: It can, and it’ll do it by focusing on some very simple ideals. The Republicans have no message discipline. Obama has incredible message discipline. His message right now is “Republicans want to poison the air and water. Republicans want kids with autism and Down syndrome and the elderly to fend for themselves.” He’s brilliant at fear-mongering, at demagoguery. He is always on the attack, always politicizing everything. Meanwhile, he keeps spending and borrowing us into a trillion dollars in debt.

The Republicans should be the party that wants balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility. It should be the party that believes you don’t spend more than you take in. We’re not going to borrow 46 cents of every dollar to run the government. Social Security and Medicare are headed for bankruptcy. The Republicans should be the party of energy independence and of getting the country on its feet. Instead, we’ve spent all this money, and we have nothing to show for it. We’re robbing our kids blind, because it’s their money we’re taking, and they’re going to spend their lifetimes paying it back.

PLAYBOY: What about the massive budget deficit this administration inherited?

HANNITY: No president has ever given us a trillion-dollar deficit, and certainly no president has given us $6 trillion in debt in four years the way Obama has. Not even close. He inherited a $10 trillion debt, not $16.5 trillion.

Look, we can fulfill the promises that we made to the Greatest Generation right now. We’ve got to reform entitlements, and we need a better plan for health care. I don’t know why people put so much faith in government—the same government that said we’re going to have Social Security benefits waiting for us and then raided the lockbox. The lockbox is empty! They’ve squandered the money. So I don’t have a lot of faith in government or bureaucrats. I like the concept of limited government and greater freedom. With greater freedom comes greater responsibility to the American people. We’re not going to get there by spending ourselves into oblivion.

PLAYBOY: If nothing else, the debt-ceiling fight in Congress has shown the world how completely dysfunctional and divided our government is.

HANNITY: Absolutely. The system is dysfunctional. It doesn’t work. And the president has a big role in that. Obama is in a constant state of combativeness. I mean, he won fair and square, but I would have hoped that after the election we would have seen him say, “John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, we’ve got to get together because this is a mess. The country hates us.” And he’s not doing that. I think everything he does is to get Pelosi back as Speaker for 2014.

PLAYBOY: Would we be living in a golden age now if Mitt Romney had won the presidency instead?

HANNITY: No, but I think you would have had somebody with the experience and the background and, frankly, not as driven by ideology as this president is. Obama’s an ideologue. Now, this being Playboy, you probably won’t agree with me on this, but I think the president is pretty radical in his views. For instance, the disengagement almost bordering on stupidity of giving [Egyptian president] Mohamed Morsi 1.5 billion taxpayer dollars—the guy’s a 9/11 Truther, a guy who refers to the Israelis as apes and pigs, a guy who was part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Obama is not managing the country well. We’re talking about liberal socialism, high debt, high deficits. Twenty million more Americans are on food stamps. One in six Americans is in poverty. There’s $17 trillion in debt. Obama said $9 trillion in debt. These are the issues that are going to affect the country for years to come.

PLAYBOY: Let’s move on. Fox News’s ratings are down, and your show in particular has taken a hit this year.

HANNITY: No, actually, our ratings are back up.

PLAYBOY: Your ratings were down 35 percent in February.

HANNITY: Well, from the year before, which was an election year.

PLAYBOY: Rachel Maddow has beaten you in your time slot.

HANNITY: Never! Not once!

PLAYBOY: She has in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic.

HANNITY: But overall, we’re at double her ratings. You’ve got to be careful how you make these comparisons.

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read more: entertainment, Celebrities, interview, playboy interview, issue july 2013


  • theabby
    On April 4, 2011,Sean Hannity devoted an episode of his Fox News show to an hour-long special on what he claimed was the media's "liberal bias." However, several of the quotes he used as examples of this purported bias were deceptively cropped to leave out crucial context.
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
  • StewartIII
    A couple of demo wins by Maddow don't mean squat. Hannity crushes Maddow, and FOX News destroys MSNBC. What planet does playboy live on?:TV Ratings: MSNBC Falls Below HLN in May, Rachel Maddow Hits Lowshttp://www.hollywoodreporter.c...
  • SocraticGadfly
    I call hypocrisy alert. Hannity talks about "oversexed" kids in a .... Playboy interview???
  • Kurt
    Exactly what I expected: deflection, no proof, and insults. LBJ voted against anti-lynching legislation, gutted civil-rights reform in Congress, and denounced Republican-backed civil-rights action as “the n****r bill.” I don't need to read a 4-volume biography to know that. Way to go!
  • StewartIII
    To be fair to Hannity, I can't judge him based on a 3 second clip of him. Maybe he was talk about political reverse psychology, what do I know. The Obama administration does have a well-known history of intimidating insurance companies. But from what I've heard and seen MSNBC is the one with the well-known "shtick" of unfairly editing videos to make conservatives/republicans look bad. If FOX News is bad then MSNBC must be Satan himself. From Maddow to Roberts to Bashir to Mitchell to Scarborough. From top to bottom MSNBC has editing problems, they have an editing controversy once a month, if not more. You may believe what's posted on YouTube by strangers and people with radical agendas but I prefer sites that have credibility and accountability: Mediaite, NewsBusters, Johnny Dollar's Place, TV Newser, etc.. You can go on hating Hannity as much as you want, but for me life is too short to be wasting time watching programs/people I don't like or trust. You may be right about Hannity, but there's a solution for that: Don't watch him, and don't give him any of your time or attention. Simple. And by the way, I'm a libertarian, not a conservative:MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Gleefully Admits To Using Edited Video To Smear GOP Forced To Apologize After Misleading Edit Of Biden Benghazi Speech And Panel Go Off On MSNBC For Edited Heckling Video: NBC Is An ‘Extension Of The White House’ Sloppily Edits Lawmaker To Attack GOP’s ‘Systematic’ ‘Demonization’ Of The Poor
  • StewartIII
    When has Hannity ever lied about Obama, I would love to see your proof that he has? And this country was divided long before Hannity came along. If Hannity is helping divide this country, then so is Maddow and her last employer Air America (out of business) and current employer MSNBC. And Hannity is not a journalist, and neither is Maddow. Just because someone has a news show that doesn't make them a journalist. They're just conservative and liberal news analysis hosts/commentators:Pew: MSNBC Most Opinionated Cable News Channel makes fools of her viewers, part 2!
  • Mickey Warhol
    Mickey Warhol
    On a surreptitious plane one day, there was an apple. It interviewed Sean H in the guys of an obesely strung playboy bunny and then blew a hole in teh fusilage and then his butt wrench snaped off as well into the sea air
  • aquaviva
    It's so Interesting that the obsession with race, gender, sexual preference, and the politicization of everything in life is all from the Left - in this case the Playboy interviewer. Lefties really misunderstand conservatives and conservatism. It's far more Libertarian than they realize.
  • Konrad Hütter
    Konrad Hütter
    There are a lot of spunky groin politics in this guys pancreatic notch
  • theabby
    Never confuse high ratings with quality programming. Three's Company was on top of the charts for months, week after week, month after month.
  • averii
    "the obsession with race, gender, sexual preference, and the politicization of everything in life is all from the Left" says the party of Caucasian men.
  • Minky Lesaqar
    Minky Lesaqar
    This guys as recumbent as a philly cheese steak on red hash. He shot at it and never came back from the quail boomer
  • Kurt
    Sweet Youtube defense. What's really cool is that facts are facts, no matter what you believe. So saying that F&F and Benghazi do not exist does not make it so. Sorry.
  • Kurt
    How is that hypocritical?
  • Kurt
    So where is your challenge? Again, nothing but farts in the wind from you people.
  • Ibinaround2
    BASIC cable at that. They are on the cheapest tier, along with the other entertainment shows...
  • ChicagoPatriot
    Sean Hannity has black guests on not but because they are black, he has them on because they are conservatives.Injecting race in to it on the part of the interviewer is racism.
  • Kurt
    I don't think ironic means what you think it means.
  • Rita Smith Whitaker
    Rita Smith Whitaker
    It didn't surprise me when Hannity's answer to who he liked in Hollywood was, The passion Of Christ and a few other movies of Mel Gibson. That says it all.
  • ComradeAnon
    Did Hannity pay to get this published? How is this any different than the other a$$ wipe he puts out every day. NOTHING he said was factual in any way, shape, or form. Here is one of many articles on the compete BS contained in this article:
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
  • Jerry Pecks
    Jerry Pecks
    Nice job, Playboy! You showed Hannity for the off-balanced, divisive, nitwit that he is! Congrats on a job well done!
  • provasek
    Obama never lived in Kenya --- he lived in Indonesia for a few years when his mother was teaching English and microfinancing to poor village women as part of a Peace Corps project, and young Obama NEVER attended a Muslim school, but rather Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School. The deliberate LIES that Fox News and talk radio spread to crank up anger among older, less educated whites does guarantee them a loyal audience but at the cost of creating a huge group of heavily armed people who sincerely believe in this fictional America of the White House illegally occupied by a foreign Muslium terrorist, with an intense hatred of white people, who is building concentration camps for white people...and Republicans in office openly talk about secession (a new Civil War) or that if Democrats keep winning elections, "patriots" may have to consider "2nd Amendment remedies" A very dangerous political strategy
  • Guest
    Hannity states, "Do I like to debate liberal guests on my show?"If by debate, he means shouting his unfounded, misinformed opinions over his guests when he doesn't agree with them, well then, yes he likes to "debate...."
  • Kurt
    Interesting how you just say that with nothing to back up your claim...wait, actually, it's not so interesting. Typical, yes.
  • Blubber Puss 88
    Blubber Puss 88
    All I can see is whale gullet slipper boys, for miles and miles!!!
  • theabby
    Hannity states, "Do I like to debate liberal guests on my show?"If by debate, he means shouting his unfounded, misinformed opinions over his guests when he doesn't agree with them, well then, yes he likes to "debate...."
  • Richard Horgan
    Richard Horgan
    Although many other Playboy trails lead to Pauly Shore, I was definitely not expecting him to turn up here as a "huge" Hannity fan. Great interview.
  • Kurt
    "I'll have those n*****s voting Democratic for 200 years." - LBJ, bastion of civil rights, Democrat
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
    So sick and perverted, thinking that telling lies about our president is patriotic or ethical. You want to know why our country is so divided? Whackjobs like Sean Hannity are the biggest reason. Thanks to Playboy printing this interview, but can you please do an interview with a real journalist, someone with integrity, like Rachel Maddow?
  • theabby
    Hannity is a liar of epic proportions. Top ten Hannity lies: (drumroll)10.Hyped RNC’s Doctored Audio of Supreme Court Arguments. Hannity uncritically aired a Republican National Committee (RNC) ad that used audio from Supreme Court oral arguments to attack health care reform — but the audio used in the ad was dishonestly edited. [Media Matters, 3/30/12]9.Distorted CBO Data to Attack Obama. Hannity claimed that a January 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showed that if Obama were to win a second term, taxes would “go up 30 percent.” In fact, the report only stated that taxes would increase at such a rate if all the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire. [Media Matters, 2/2/12]8. Falsely Claimed a White House Adviser “Advocated Compulsory Abortion.” Hannity claimed that White House science and technology adviser John Holdren “advocated compulsory abortion” and sterilization. PolitiFact had previously rated a similar claim — made months earlier by Fox News’ Glenn Beck — “pants on fire” false. [Media Matters, 9/9/09]7. Falsely Claimed Obama Called the Death of Four Americans “Just a Bump in the Road.” Hannity claimed that Obama referred to the death of four Americans in the September 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi as “just a bump in the road.” In fact, Obama was referring to the difficulties Arab countries were facing in transitioning from autocratic rule to democracy. [Media Matters, 9/25/12]6. Spread False Report That Egypt Was Considering Necrophilia Bill. Hannity hyped a thinly sourced report from an Egyptian newspaper to claim that the Egyptian government was considering a law that would allow a husband to have sex with his dead wife. The Christian Science Monitor called the story “utter hooey,” and multiple sources later debunked the claim. [Media Matters, 4/30/12; Huffington Post, 4/26/12]5. Hannity’s Special on “Liberal Bias” Featured Wildly Distorted and Out-of-Context Quotes. Hannity’s “Behind the Bias” special, in which he purported to investigate the “bias” of “the mainstream media,” featured multiple deceptively cropped quotes. For example, he played a clip purporting to show that Katie Couric called President Ronald Reagan “an airhead”; in fact, Couric was citing a conclusion from a biography of Reagan. [Media Matters, 4/24/11]4.Cast Doubt on Scientific Consensus About Climate Change. Even though the overwhelming majority of scientists agree that global warming is occurring and is likely caused or exacerbated by human activity, Hannity has repeatedly denied or cast doubt on the existence of climate change. [Media Matters, 12/4/09, 1/13/10, 8/27/10, 11/19/10, 6/24/11]3.Fueled Myth That Obama Is a Muslim. During a segment in March 2011 in which he fueled the smear that Obama was not born in the U.S., Hannity claimed that Obama “went to a Muslim school.” In March 2012, while claiming that he was “not doubting [Obama's] faith,” Hannity said, “[L]ook, he did write about his early years, that he did study the Quran, that one of the most beautiful moments in life was prayer at sunset. So, I mean, he does have that background.” [Media Matters, 3/24/11, 3/21/12]2. Fed the Birther Movement. Hannity repeatedly fed the long-standing smear that Obama was not born in the United States, even after Obama released his birth certificate and multiple fact-checkers debunked the smear. Hannity denied that Obama had shown his birth certificate and once falsely claimed that Obama “grew up in Kenya.” [Media Matters, 3/28/11, 4/20/12]1.Ignored Overwhelming Evidence to Repeatedly Claim Obama’s Policies Have Not Helped Improve the Economy. Hannity has repeatedly claimed that President Obama’s policies have not improved the economy. In fact, numerous economists and independent analysts have noted that many of Obama’s policy achievements, such as the stimulus, have benefited the economy: GDP is growing rather than contracting as it was at the end of 2008, and the economy has added millions of jobs. [Media Matters, 1/13/10, 7/14/11, 2/2/12]
  • Don't trust the MSM
    Don't trust the MSM
    The questions seem pretty hostile. Bet they wouldn't be to Chris Matthews...
  • Geppetto
    A man incapable of speaking without lying. Even Pinocchio would bow his head in shame at the level of duplicitous hypocrisy.
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
    Fox has the lock on conservatives. Everyone who considers himself conservative watches Fox. Liberals and middle grounders are spread out among all the other news networks. Of COURSE Fox has the highest ratings. They are also the most lying dishonest network in cable news.
  • dude
    The "perception among many is that Fox News is out of it"? What "perception"? The reporter's? They lead in the ratings week after week, month after month.
  • Right is Wrong
    Right is Wrong
    I suggest you read Robert Caro's LBJ biography A Path To Power as it is obvious you know nothing about the man you're quoting. But then that is par for the course for miseducated fools that consider Hannity an intellectual. You know nothing Kurt Snow.
  • StewartIII
    MSNBC as a whole has a history of doing that, still to this day. So Hannity isn't the only one guilty of that, if he's guilty at all. And Hannity is a well-known conservative commentator, not a journalist, so his biases are already out in the open:MSNBC Sloppily Edits Lawmaker To Attack GOP’s ‘Systematic’ ‘Demonization’ Of The Poor
  • Waaaaaahhhhmbulance Driver
    Waaaaaahhhhmbulance Driver
    Actual facts back him up, something rarely found on Faux News. Typical dismissal of anything that would challenge your bubble world.
  • Me
    I have a response to the interview with Sean Hannity who is the center of the idiot spotlight, who thinks global warming is a hoax. When his house is underwater, maybe he'll start to wake up. Until then, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…
  • Marc Scheel
    Marc Scheel
    I was disappointed that the only letters Playboy printed regarding the interview of Sean Hannity were negative. I have taken the magazine for over 40 years and I support the content of the interview. Not all of the readers are liberals. As a conservative, I thought Sean stated his case and answered well, even if others disagree. As Neil Boortz calls him, Sean "Baby Jesus", is a great guy and speak for we conservatives. He also listens to the other side, sometimes too much for me, but that is fair. Kudos to Sean and continued success.
  • Spencer Jacobson
    Spencer Jacobson
    ha ha they do? It sounded like each was having a good time during the interview with each other. I guess you think everyone that disagrees with you is "hostile" that's kinda sad.
  • Reality is Hard
    Reality is Hard
    So that means Rihanna and Katy Perry are the greatest singers ever? I mean, they top the charts week after week, month after month.
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
    My favorite Hannity lie can be found on youtube under "moron sean hannity..." Obama was talking about the ethical lapses of insuance companies, saying, "Now, insurance company executives dont do this because theyre bad people, they do it because its profitable." Hannity then came on and.said Obama just called insurance company executives bad people. A simple youtube search turns up many clips of Hannity lying,without even including the standard Fox lies about Fast and Furious, the Benghazi "coverup", the IRS "enemies list", and.any other Fox lie.du jour. For all the genuinely knowledgeable people out there, can you imagine that our country could have ever gotten this polarized and divided without a propaganda news network feeding a steady stream of lies to everybody (everybody who considers himself a conservative watches Fox, and believes it) in one political party?
  • Ckmeagher
    Troubling to read SH spewing lots of misinformation... still, I get the appeal. He makes it sound so simple, doesn't he?
  • Ostrich Wrangler
    Ostrich Wrangler
    MSM? That means the most popular stuff right? So we shouldn't trust Hannity or Rush or Fox News? Apologies if these gotcha questions hurt the pea in your skull. You may return your head to the sandpit.
  • Dennis Harrell
    Dennis Harrell
    Facts CAN be established. Its not like we have to give equal credence to every lie coming from the propaganda right. When Hannity tells a lie, we know it. A simple youtube search of "Sean Hannity lying" turns up lots of lies. The very premise that all the major news networks in the world are lying, taking orders from the White House, and that only Fox is telling the truth is laughable and downright insane. Fast and Furious, the Benghazi "coverup", and the IRS "hitlist" are all proven lies propagated by Fox "news".
  • cinesimon
    With old people. On cable.
  • theabby
    HANNITY: Everybody in her life told her not to marry me. Even the minister who married us pulled her aside and said, “Don’t marry this guy.”She should have listened to them!
  • StewartIII
    So let me get this straight. Your proof that Hannity is a liar is a video posted by an Obama supporter (strike 1), of FOX News-hater ex-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann (strike 2), showing an edited video of Hannity (strike 3)? Well, there you go. Sorry, but 3 strikes and you're out.
  • Guest
    It's a completely legitimate question to ask a die hard, extreme, right wing, nut job.
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