Sen. Ben Sasse challenges ‘outrage merchant’ Sean Hannity to a one-on-one debate

Sen. Ben Sasse challenges ‘outrage merchant’ Sean Hannity to a one-on-one debate
Image source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) challenged Fox News host Sean Hannity to a debate about the role media has played in dividing America, after Hannity responded to criticisms the senator levied in his new book, according to Mediaite.

Sasse’s book is titled, “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal.” a significant chunk of the book is dedicated to describing how Hannity’s style of hosting has exacerbated political differences in the country.

“If you write a book about the outrage merchants that are dividing America and you fail to mention Sean Hannity because he’s in your party, you aren’t being honest,” Sasse tweeted to Hannity. “I invite you to come out from behind the safety of your cable news desk and join me at a neutral forum to debate the role of media — Left and Right — in dividing us.

“Honest conversation isn’t where the quick-hit $ and ratings are — but it’d be good for America,” Sasse concluded.

What did Sasse write about Hannity?

Sasse used about 20 pages from his new book to explain how Hannity is a particularly relevant example of what’s wrong with mainstream media in 2018.

“Hannity tells a lot of angry, isolated people what they want to hear,” Sasse wrote. “And he has the delivery down to an art form. We’d all be better off, as would our communities, if we understood the game he and his colleagues — on both sides of the spectrum — are playing.”

Sasse also wrote that Hannity is not interested necessarily in conservatism as much as he is interested in provoking outrage among his audience.

“He explained the core objective of his two different programs to the New York Times,” Sasse wrote. “It’s not to promote a particular conservative agenda, or to encourage American patriotism, or even to offer coherent arguments against liberalism. His core cause is to rage.”

Hannity responded on his website with a post titled “BEN GOES BERSERK,” in which he pointed out that despite what Sasse wrote, he is on record agreeing with Hannity numerous times over the years.

“Sasse conveniently forgets to inform his readers of countless interviews and conversations where he vehemently agreed with Hannity’s ‘rage’ when politically convenient for the Nebraska lawmaker,” the article reads.

UPDATE, 9:55 p.m. CDT: Sean Hannity has responded to Sasse’s challenge in the following series of tweets: