Fox News host Sean Hannity is returning to Atlanta, where he had his first major radio job, to mark the 15th anniversary of both Fox News and his top-rated show tonight.
“Hannity” will broadcast live from Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Billed as a 15th anniversary celebration — both Fox News and “Hannity & Colmes” (its
original iteration) debuted on Oct. 7, 1996 — it marks a triumphant return to Atlanta by Hannity, who went directly from his first major market radio job at Atlanta’s WGST-AM (640) to Fox News.
He will sit down with local Atlanta guests, including presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, radio host Neal Boortz, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Tony Barnhart.
“Some of the best years of my life were spent there,” Hannity told the Journal Constitution
in a wide-ranging interview about his career. The public event is also a mischievous and not-so-subtle “So there!” directed at CNN, which overlooks the park and essentially invented 24-hour cable news back in 1980, the Atlanta paper reported.
In the interview, Hannity credits Roger Ailes for his big break and for making Fox News the nation’s top-rated cable news channel. Ailes plucked Hannity from Atlanta’s WGST and turned him into the conservative force he is today, the story notes.
But that’s not why Hannity calls the Fox chairman and CEO a “visionary.”
Ailes, a onetime consultant to the Nixon and Reagan presidential campaigns, recognized that “there was biased reporting all over the media,” according to Hannity.
“He saw a vacuum and a need, an overwhelmingly liberal media and he said, ‘That’s going to change.’ ”
Hannity says it’s too early to decide who he wants the Republican nominee to be.
“I think we are seeing a presidency literally crumble before our eyes,” Hannity told Access Atlanta. “His policies have been an utter disaster! His model has failed. He’s Jimmy Carter on steroids!
“My role [in the 2012 race] is I would like to see him defeated and be a one-term president. As a conservative commentator, I would like to see that happen.”
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