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Telling It Like It Is

Sean Hannity has led Fox News to the No. 1 slot on television with his unflinching conservative beliefs
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
100 Years of Fuente—Celebrating a Family Dynasty, January/February 2012

(continued from page 2)

Growing up blue-collar, he worked steadily from the time he was old enough to handle the rigors of a newspaper route: “I learned from my parents that you worked hard,” he says. “That was the best thing that ever happened in my life—it contributed to my work ethic. I always had my own money and always knew the value of a dollar.”

He also learned the value of a newspaper. Delivering everything from the Long Island Press to the New York Daily News, Hannity would start his early-morning route by first sitting down and poring over the paper for the news of the day. It’s a habit that dies hard; these days, after he gets his kids off to school in the morning, he settles in to read that day’s newspapers as part of his preparation for his upcoming radio and TV shows.

“I read the Daily News, the New York Post—I stopped reading the New York Times—the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and then my next stop is the Drudge Report,” he says. “I still love the feel of a newspaper.” In high school, Hannity was a three-sport athlete, standing out in hockey and as a pitcher in baseball—and having enough time, as he puts it, to be “a troublemaker.” What sort of trouble?

Hannity smiles, then demurs: “My kids will read this,” he says. Then, thinking about it, he decides there is one thing he’ll mention: cigars. He’d sneak cheap ones in the high school bathroom, he says; these days, his tastes are more mature. “I don’t play golf a lot, but before I ever hit a ball it’s time to smoke a cigar,” he says. “I like strong cigars—I particularly like Ashtons in the maduro wrapper. I enjoy a Davidoff once in a while, or a Cohiba. Someone gave me a number of Padrón 1964 Anniversaries—that’s a pretty strong cigar, but I liked it. And I enjoy the end much more than the beginning.”

Hannity owns four humidors, including one in his office at Fox. He keeps two at a friend’s house “so my kids don’t know. That’s where I do a lot of my smoking.”

Says Elise Sabbeth, Hannity’s assistant, “I’ve been on many a trip to the cigar store for him, for cigars and for distilled water for his humidor. That’s when he decided to keep me.”

Adds Hannity, “Really, I don’t have a lot of free time—but on a nice summer night, when we have friends over, I’ll have one. I do hide it from my kids because I don’t want them to say, someday, ‘Dad, why can’t I smoke? You do.’ ” He laughs, then adds, “Actually, that’s total hypocrisy. But then, I hide the rest of my youth from my kids, too.”

Such as? Hannity smiles—but he’s not saying. “Put it this way: I give myself a pass for every dumb, stupid thing I did until I was 23 and found Jesus,” he says. And if his kids, at some point in the future, got into similar trouble? “I’d kill ’em,” he says with mock severity, adding, “That’s why they’re not going to see this story.”

His children, in fact, occupy most of the time he has when he’s not working. He’s built his work schedule so that he has the flexibility to spend time with them in the morning before school—and his radio studio is close enough to his Long Island home that he can be home with them in the afternoons, before he heads for Manhattan to do his TV show each night.

“Most of my spare time is spent shagging tennis balls for my kids or doing something else with them,” he says.

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Comments   7 comment(s)

Bill Carrington — New Jersey, U.S.A.,  —  March 22, 2012 3:52pm ET

Hearing this clown likes cigars almost made me sick. March 22, 2012 9:48pm ET

Wonderful article on Hannity. Being friends with Brad Paisley only makes me like him more!

Donny Payne March 23, 2012 12:43am ET

Seeing Bill's comment made me sick

Gary G. — Southern California,  —  March 23, 2012 9:23am ET

Great article on Sean, and I'd say that about some Democrats too. What makes me sick are those that get sick over differences of opinion.

John Rohrer — Las Vegas, NV., USA,  —  March 23, 2012 10:15am ET

Sean Hannity is a patriot to the Unites States, the Constitution, and the betterment of our Republic. He's unafraid to speak the truth unlike his counterparts in the so called main stream media. Give that man a cigar!

RT Elkin — Coram, NY, 11727,  —  March 25, 2012 6:23pm ET

Hannity speaks perfectly: his diatribes are absolutely unmarked by any semblance of factual content whatsoever. I have it on god note from a former staffer of his that he lights his stogies by placing the foot in his right ear, & holding a lighter to his left — the interior vortex of hot air is more than enough to suck the flame into his skull and provide him with a perfect light every time.

Stephen Allen — Lake Stevens, Washington, USA,  —  March 28, 2012 12:12am ET

I would welcome a chance to smoke a cigar with the man, and I would let him know how much damage he has done to this country. He speaks the truth about as often as I smoke grape flavored cigars (never)!

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