Now that schadenfreude is the only joy most of us have left, we take it where we can get it. Take, for instance, the continued crumbling of the fortifications at Fox News, which, in the space of a year, has lost not only its CEO, but also the majority of its top-tier talent. Now—possibly sensing his rising power as the last “name” operating at the right-wing cable news network—smug scarecrow Sean Hannity is making noises about how unhappy he’ll be if the network turns its back on its current co-president.
Hannity went on Twitter tonight to address rumors that the company’s co-president, Bill Shine, might have lost the Murdoch family’s support in the wake of the toppling line of domino-esque lawsuits recently lodged against the company. (The latest being a class-action racial discrimination suit, as opposed to the usual sexual harassment complaints, which must feel like a nice change of pace.) New York magazine reported sources claiming that Shine asked the younger Murdochs to issue a statement of support for him, and was flatly turned down. (Shine denies that it ever happened.) Hannity—who, like so many Fox News diehards, frequently attempts to substitute loyalty for any and all other possible virtues—leapt to his old pal’s defense:
(The “Gabe” in question being New York editor Gabe Sherman, whose four-letter name Hannity quickly apologized for mangling with a bit of textual diaeresis.) Hannity then alleged that the calls were coming from inside the creaky collection of bad institutional practices, suggesting that the push against Shine was a plot from someone at Fox News itself.
Deadline reports that Hannity’s efforts on Shine’s behalf go beyond just Twitter, though, quoting an anonymous source that says Hannity knows exactly how much power he has at the network in the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s firing and Megyn Kelly’s departure. “If he threatens to leave, and he could,” the source says, “Then that really could be the end of the place as we know it.”