At the tail end of what can only be described as a surreal hour-long interview with New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio on Wednesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity implored the rest of the 2020 field to come on his show, promising them: “It’s not so bad!”
Bad, maybe not. Strange, definitely!
The New York mayor, who is both deeply unpopular in his city and flailing in Democratic polls, seemed absolutely thrilled to be on the Fox News primetime program. Beaming throughout, de Blasio couldn’t appear any happier than when he was arguing with the pro-Trump host over any number of hot-button issues, such as climate change or taxes.
Early on in the marathon clash, de Blasio set the stage for how the rest of the interview was going to go down. With Hannity trying to corner the mayor on the issue of health care for undocumented immigrants, de Blasio simply accused the conservative talker of playing a “charade.” This wound up being a tactic de Blasio used more than once.
With Hannity still hammering away at immigration, de Blasio again yelled that it was a “charade,” this time telling Hannity that this is what Fox News does.
“Oh, my network!” Hannity exclaimed. “By the way, there are people on my network who don’t like a single thing I say! What are you talking about!?”
“I agree you’re not a monolith,” the mayor replied. “But too much of the time what Fox and News Corp do is try and take people’s minds off the fact they are being screwed economically by the one percent.”
And so it went. Back and forth the two would go, at times seemingly having the time of their lives. Hannity, who has rarely interviewed anyone outside the Trumpworld bubble over the past few years, constantly bounced between combativeness and chumminess. The mayor, meanwhile, just appeared elated that he was getting this much TV time to himself.
At one point, during a conversation about New York police recently getting doused by water—which Hannity ominously described as “unidentified liquid”—the Fox News star took a few moments to recount the time that he said he nearly became a police officer.
Telling de Blasio that the NYPD are his heroes and “extended family,” Hannity claimed that he applied to be a New York City police officer.
“I got a 99 on the test—I even passed the psychological,” he added. “And the physical!”
“Standards were lower back then,” de Blasio quipped, prompting Hannity to applaud the mayor for his very good “jackass comment.”
After a further discussion about school diets that somehow segued into Hannity bragging about his 90-minute-a-day mixed martial arts workouts, the Fox News veteran wrapped up the night with his plea to Democrats.
“By the way, I have a message for all you 2020 candidates,” he said. “It wasn’t that bad. Come on the program, we will give you a fair shake and you can reach more people than any other show on cable.”