Sean Hannity has built a reputation as one of the most volatile TV hosts throughout his career. His propensity to call those who disagree with him on Twitter a “jackass” is no secret to his followers. Because of his mean demeanor on TV and in the social media sphere, controversy and hostility follow him around.
As such, his reputation as a conservative blowhard took a turn for the worse as CNN reported Thursday night that Sean Hannity once pointed a gun at liberal political analyst Juan Williams following an on-air debate back in October 2016.
According to three unnamed sources who claimed to have knowledge of the incident, Sean Hannity even turned on his gun’s laser sight, causing a red dot to wander on Williams’ body. Sources added that while Hannity was just showing off, the stunt clearly discomfited Juan Williams and other people on set.
The sources add that Hannity’s colleagues brought the incident to the attention of Fox News executives, though it appears that nothing came of it. But reports suggest that company politics might have allowed Hannity to avoid punishment for his offense, as sources said that the incident was brought to the attention of Bill Shine, the network’s co-president and long-standing Fox executive, who happens to be Hannity’s long time friend. The incident was later referred to legal and human resources departments to no avail.
Juan Williams, a political analyst for Fox News, slammed the reports on Twitter.
“This incident is being sensationalized – everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm’s way,” Williams said. “It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else and we continue to be great friends.”
(1/2) This incident is being sensationalized – everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm’s way.— Juan Williams (@TheJuanWilliams) March 17, 2017
(2/2) It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else and we continue to be great friends.— Juan Williams (@TheJuanWilliams) March 17, 2017
Fox News issued a statement to CNN to downplay the incident, pointing out that Hannity was trained in firearm safety and that no lives were put at risk during the incident.
“Sean Hannity has been trained in firearm safety since he was 11-years-old and has a license to carry a gun in five states, including New York,” a Fox News spokesperson said.”The situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger.
The Fox News spokesperson also issued a statement from Sean Hannity, as reported by CNN.
“While discussing the issue of firearms, I showed my good friend Juan Williams my unloaded firearm in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only,” the statement read. “Every precautionary procedure that I have been trained in since the age of 11 was followed. I’ve had a conceal carry permit in five states for all of my adult life. Any other interpretation of this is outright false reporting.”
Before long, Sean Hannity took to Twitter Thursday night to deny the allegations.
“Never pointed at anybody. Let’s be clear. Unloaded. Never pointed. I have been a gun safety advocate for years,” Hannity tweeted.
Never pointed at anybody. Let's be clear. Unloaded. Never pointed. I have been a gun safety advocate for years. https://t.co/11ArBIyjLs— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 17, 2017
Hannity also hit back at New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, who took to Twitter to insinuate that Hannity should have been fired and sent to jail for the incident.
“Really John? When it NEVER HAPPENED. See Juans statement. U can apologize in the Am,” he tweeted back.
Really John? When it NEVER HAPPENED. See Juans statement. U can apologize in the Am https://t.co/ww0KHQC4te— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 17, 2017
Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reports that Sean Hannity recently took up the cudgels for Donald Trump once again, this time suggesting that the federal judge in Hawaii who blocked the U.S. president’s rehashed travel ban may have shared marijuana and a “little blow” with former President Barack Obama.
“This judge who issued the travel ban ruling is an Obama law school classmate,” Hannity said on his radio show. “Maybe he should have recused himself from the case. Just a maybe? Were they best friends in Hawaii? Were they part of the Choom Gang, smoking pot and hanging out and doing a little bit of weed and maybe even a little blow?”
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]