As crazy as the headline sounds, this is what CNN Money’s Dylan Byers is reporting.
Byers is no fan of Sean Hannity. This becomes clear pretty quickly into his recent article about the Fox News host’s confrontational personality. However, it’s still surprising how far Byers will go to smear the conservative as a controversial loose cannon who could go off at any moment. In a piece that is mostly about Hannity’s off-color Twitter conversations, Byers tosses in a grenade for no apparent reason. Byers had just finished quoting Hannity as saying that he gets involved in conversations on Twitter as a means of entertainment, when Byers relays this story…
Still, Hannity’s version of entertainment can go too far. Last year, after ending one of his many spirited on-air arguments with liberal contributor Juan Williams, Hannity pulled out a gun and pointed it directly at Williams, according to three sources with knowledge of the incident. He even turned on the laser sight, causing a red dot to bob around on Williams’ body. (Hannity was just showing off, the sources said, but the unforeseen off-camera antic clearly disturbed Williams and others on set.)
Shocking, right? Yea, I thought so too.
I’m not sure why Byers thinks having fun on Twitter is anything like PULLING A GUN ON A COLLEAGUE but I guess he believes that Hannity was just having a bit of fun?
The problem with Byers’ version of events, which seem pretty hostile, is that everyone who witnessed the incident has a completely different story. The witnesses who spoke to Byers and the statements that were given, all say that the story is being blown out of proportion. In fact, to hear the people who were there talk about it, Hannity was simply showing Williams a gun.
Fox News gave CNN Money a statement saying that the even took place in October 2016 and that “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. The situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger.”
Fox News also passed along statements from Sean Hannity and Juan Williams themselves.
Sean Hannity: “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. 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.”
Juan Williams: “This incident is being sensationalized — everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm’s way. It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else and we continue to be great friends.”
So if all of these statements, including the story from Byers’ own sources, say that the situation was not the scary confrontation that Byers paints in his story… why does he even bring it up?
Answer: To smear Sean Hannity as some kind of violent and out of control egomaniac.
If you have any doubts read the rest of Byers’ story. After finishing with contradicting his own version of the gun story, Byers goes on to talk about Hannity’s involvement in martial arts. Apparently, being a karate enthusiast is now a sign of violent tendencies.
So there you have it.
CNN’s Dylan Byers spends a whole article smearing Sean Hannity as a bad person because a) he responds to his critics on Twitter, b) he has a gun and he showed it to Juan Williams once, and c) he likes karate.
This is what passes for journalism these days folks. CNN should pull the story and apologize to Hannity for his trouble.