Radio and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity made headlines when he spoke to an Obama care operator on his radio show on October 21, 2013, and asked her questions about Obama care to prove his point. After doing so, the operator was fired the next day and Hannity had her on his Fox TV show on October 24, 2013.
The Obama care operator was Earline Davis, from Panama City Florida who walked into Hannity’s buzz saw and honestly answered questions about the failure of the programs launch and what the operators were scripted to say when asked certain questions. It was obvious that Davis had no idea of what she was about to do and even admitted that she never heard of Hannity when he asked her. Although she said yes to being interviewed when asked and he did tell her she would be on the air, Hannity manipulated her and took advantage of her naivety to promote his agenda.
To her credit, Davis spoke the truth about her job and the healthcare debacle as Hannity patronized her during the conversation, repeating how nice and helpful she was being.
This was a new low for Hannity as he clearly took advantage of Davis and was an example of low rent journalism that gives the business a bad name. After doing the interview, whose sound bites were aired on many stations, Davis was called into the Human Resources office the next day and fired.
Hannity had Davis on his TV show on October 24, 2013, and tried to make things right and get ahead of what could have become a public relations disaster for him. Hannity is trying to find a job for Davis and ran a ticker at the bottom of the screen which stated “If you can offer Earline a job in FL. Please email jobs@Hannity.com.”
Hannity went on to say “I feel terrible about this for you. We calculated what your early income would be and I am going to give money to both you and your son and give you a year’s salary so you don’t have to worry during this interim while you’re waiting for a job and I hope that makes you happy to.”
Hannity than actually had the gall to ask her if she learned anything from this and tried to joke about how Health and Human Service’s Secretary Kathleen Sebelius still has her job and that Davis got fired for doing hers.
Sebelius should be fired, but Hannity’s surprise that Davis got fired is not credible, what did he really think was going to happen to her? The argument that Davis was not told or given training on how to handle the media is not without merit, it would hold water in a un-employment hearing but there is also a reasonable expectation from any employer that you don’t publically bash your employer, does common sense require special training?
Hannity and the Fox machine are in full spin mode, Hannity will use his fan base and contacts and Davis will end up with a better job and showered with money and gifts but at the end of the day the odor of his tactics still lingers in the air.