Business Class: Sean Hannity — Own your opinions

By Randall Kenneth Jones
Originally published in the Naples Daily News
Monday, June 23, 2014

Opinions are like—ahem—noses; everybody has one.

Conservative talk show host and opinion purveyor Sean Hannity is the first to admit: “I make my living off the First Amendment.” Hannity serves as host of FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” (weekdays 10-11PM/ET). Based in New York, he joined the network in 1996. Additionally, “The Sean Hannity Show,” syndicated to more than 500 radio stations nationwide, boasts a loyal audience of 13.5 million.

What gets Sean Hannity worked up? (Part One): “I like passionate debate. All discussion is good because we learn from it.” The result: enthusiasm, wordplay, dialogue.

What gets Sean Hannity worked up? (Part Two): lack of preparation. The result: interrogation, confrontation, hullabaloo.

With the understanding that “passionate debate” is instrumental to growth and development on a variety of professional fronts, wouldn’t the real tragedy be if these discussions never took place?

Despite Hannity’s goal that his words not be taken personally—people do and controversy ensues.

Search “Hannity” online and the third-party opinions are as varied as a list of the Kardashians’ self-described talents. So wide-ranging, in fact, one wonders how many have taken the time to tune in to his actual programs. After all, many have been guilty of surrendering their minds to hearsay on both sides of the political fence.

In a world where the mouth often engages before the ears have completed their due-diligence, this may come as no surprise.

For his part, Hannity places a premium on listening. “I’m not in a position of reading people’s minds,” he says.

Clearly, Hannity’s content targets conservative America; however, he suggests a wider appeal: “I’m all about solutions. A big part of the mission of my show is to teach—to provide news and information you won’t find elsewhere.” With his eye on education, Hannity recently committed significant on-air time to Sharia Law, freedom concerts, conservative solutions and North Dakota jobs.

Though some occasionally show pride in their blue-collar roots, Hannity maintains an ongoing relationship with his working-class background. As a young man, he was employed as a dishwasher, construction worker, waiter and bartender. However, his takeaway: “One of the best things you can do in life is struggle—those days are seared in my memory. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

To Sean Hannity—as opposed to “is greater than”—the whole may be the sum of its parts.

He adds, “I was happy poor and I’m happy now. I don’t think about whether or not I’m successful. I read, I prepare, I keep my head down and I work.”

Sean Hannity photo 2 courtesy of Fox NewsAlthough Hannity insists that “all opinions need to be heard,” he dismisses the proliferation of self-proclaimed authorities popping up daily on the World Wide (Weirdo) Web. “I don’t read comments from anonymous people sitting around in their underwear pounding on a computer. It’s much easier to demonize somebody from afar.”

A certain amount of respect should always be extended to those who have the courage to stand behind their convictions. You may not always agree with what Hannity has to say, but his face, name and reputation are inextricably linked to his belief system.

Sean Hannity owns his opinions.

If only “PitBullMom7,” “Mysteryman1956,” “Listen2meFL” and countless others typing away in their underwear would do the same., publicist, business humoristprofessional-courtesy advocate, branded-content writer, creative-development consultant, and entertaining motivational speaker Randall Kenneth Jones is the creator of and the president of MindZoo, a marketing communications firm in Naples, Florida.

Photos: TOP and #2, Sean Hannity (photos courtesy of Fox News. Used by permission); BOTTOM — Randall Kenneth Jones.