RNC chair Steele promotes Hannity’s book after years of Hannity campaigning for Steele
In a recent email sent out by the Republican National Committee, RNC chairman Michael Steele promoted Sean Hannity’s latest book, Conservative Victory, telling recipients, “I cannot recommend it enough.” Hannity himself has a long history of using his media perch at Fox News to promote Steele’s political career.
Steele uses RNC mailer to promote Hannity’s new book
Steele: “Sean’s words left me energized for November.” In a March 28 entry to Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog, Steve Benen wrote:
Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, recently fired from AEI for telling Republicans what they didn’t want to hear, noted the other day, “Republicans originally thought that Fox [News] worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”
I thought of this quote when I saw the latest email sent to Republicans this morning by the Republican National Committee. This is the body of the message in its entirety. (thanks to reader C.R.)
I wanted to let you know that I just finished reading Sean Hannity’s new book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda. As they so often do, Sean’s words left me energized for November and even more committed to making the gains necessary to bring the Obama agenda to a halt.
In the book, Sean does more than just tell us why we need to defeat the Obama Agenda. He also gives us a blueprint for getting it done. I cannot recommend it enough — and I’m confident that, like me, you will be ready for the upcoming elections with a renewed commitment.
Chairman, Republican National Committee
Just to be clear, this wasn’t a personal endorsement from Steele. The email was sent to Republican donors, through the RNC, as part of an official RNC message. The email notes that it was “paid for by the Republican National Committee.”
Isn’t this a little odd? The RNC is using its list to urge Republicans to buy a book from an independent media personality?
I’ve seen appeals that tell donors if they pony up a few bucks, they can get a book as a premium, but that’s not what this is. Indeed, Steele’s message doesn’t even ask for a donation for the party. Rather, the RNC simply wants Republicans to go buy a Fox News host’s book.
When it comes to the network and the party, it appears one is an adjunct of the other, though the roles are less than clear.
Hannity uses media perch to promote Steele
Hannity endorsed Steele’s run for RNC chairman: “I think you’re the person for the job.” During an interview with Steele on the November 13, 2008, edition of Hannity & Colmes [accessed via Nexis], Hannity said that he was “supporting” Steele’s candidacy for RNC chairman, adding, “I think you have the vision.” Hannity went on to say: “Michael, whatever I can do to help you, I think you’re the person for the job.” After Steele was elected RNC chairman on January 30, 2009, he appeared on Hannity’s Fox News program in what Hannity touted as Steele’s “first interview since becoming the head of the Republican Party.”
In 2006 run for Senate, Hannity praised Steele’s “incredible” campaign and “positive” message. In 2006, Steele ran for U.S. Senate in Maryland against Democrat Ben Cardin. During an interview with Steele on the November 3, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes [accessed via Nexis], prior to the election, Hannity said to Steele: “I’ve watched this race really closely. And you have run a really incredible campaign. Very positive, on message, more than anybody else that I’ve heard of.” Hannity also said he was “bothered” by how Steele had been “treated” during the campaign.
Hannity hosted Steele to promote his book. The January 4 edition of Hannity featured an interview with Steele and “an exclusive first look at” Steele’s book, Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, and its “12 crucial steps that he thinks can defeat the Obama agenda.” Steele said that Republican “candidates that are looking to run have to be — have to be anchored in these principles,” to which Hannity replied, “I’m agreeing with what you’re saying.”
Hannity provided platform for Steele to defend himself during feud with Rush Limbaugh. On the February 28, 2009, edition of CNN’s D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, Steele responded to Limbaugh’s comment that he wanted Obama to “fail” by saying: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, he has this incendiary — yes, it’s ugly.” On the March 3, 2009, edition of Hannity, Hannity noted Steele’s apology to Limbaugh: “[Steele] said he misspoke; that was not what he meant, that Rush has been a force for great conservative values over the years. And apparently they spoke, and they’re good.” On the March 4, 2009, broadcast of his Fox News show, Hannity interviewed Steele, who said of his Limbaugh comments, “If you go back and listen to that exchange, there was no attack on Rush.”
Steele has guest-hosted for Hannity. According a search of the Nexis database, Steele was a guest host on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes on July 2, 2008, October 10, 2008, and November 21, 2008.