… Or lack thereof. From Politico:
Just hours after the raid on the office of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Hannity inveighed that special counsel Robert Mueller had “declared war against the president of the United States.” But Hannity didn’t disclose that he, too, had received legal advice from Cohen. Hannity’s relationship with the embattled attorney was revealed during Monday’s hearing over materials gathered during the raid — and only after a judge pressed Cohen’s attorney on the identity of a previously unnamed third client.
The omission raised questions about whether Hannity had violated journalistic ethics — or whether he was a journalist at all.
Hannity has shifted in recent years on that point. “I never claimed to be a journalist,” Hannity told The New York Times in 2016 when asked about his informal advising of then-candidate Trump. The next year, Hannity referred to himself in a Times magazine profile as an “opinion journalist” or “advocacy journalist.” He said last month that his show “breaks news daily” in response to colleague Shep Smith characterizing Fox News’ prime-time lineup as entertainment.
Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, said you don’t “move out of the realm of ethics when we move into the realm of opinion.” She said commentators should still be expected to maintain independence from subjects they are covering and disclose relevant ties.
“This is not a small matter,” she said. “We’re talking about one of the most important new stories of this time and he did not disclose his connection to it while commenting on it. His audience deserves to know when he has connections that may be affecting that commentary.”
Bartzen Culver added: “An organization needs to have standards for the people who do its reporting or commenting.”
This is absolutely true. Ultimately, the fault lies with Fox News which — if it has journalistic standards — certainly doesn’t care to enforce them. I’ve seen other opinion journalists on other networks — Rachel Maddow for example — report the conflict of interests that she (or MSNBC) has.
UPDATE: Fox responds —
FOX NEWS statement on Hannity: “While FOX News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.”
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) April 17, 2018
Yeah, they don’t seem too concerned about holding up journalistic standards.