The Slatest

Fox News Twist: Sean Hannity Was Lying About His 24-Hour Roy Moore Deadline

Roy Moore, who was reportedly once banned from a mall because he made teenage girls uncomfortable, discusses family values in Washington on Oct. 13.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Update, 10:15 p.m.: Sean Hannity spent more than one hour building up to his announcement on whether or not he believed Roy Moore’s defense against more than a handful of allegations of sexual misconduct towards then-teenagers.

The Fox News host ultimatey did not call on Moore to withdraw from the Alabama Senate race, but did not declare one way or the other whether or not he believed Moore’s defense. Before announcing his decision, Hannity read in its entirety an open letter Moore had written to Hannity denying the sexual misconduct charges.

He then declared that the people of Alabama needed more time to get at the facts and that national media—himself included—should not determine the outcome of the race. So: It was a bluff! Roy Moore had more than 24 hours to “remove any doubt” of his innocence from Sean Hannity’s mind after all. How much time does he have?

Hannity, ultimately, suggested that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey postpone next month’s election. Apparently, a full month is also not enough time for Hannity, and upending a Democratic election is the only satisfactory next step. How much time would be enough time for Hannity? No new deadline was set on Wednesday.

Update, 8 p.m.: One hour!

Update, 7 p.m.: Two hours!

Update, 6 p.m.: Three hours!

Update, 5 p.m.: Four hours!

Update, 4 p.m.: Five hours!

Update, 3 p.m.: Six hours!

Update, 2 p.m.: Seven hours!

Update, 1 p.m.: Eight hours!

Original post, 12 p.m.: On Tuesday night at 9:59 p.m., Fox News host Sean Hannity issued an ultimatum to Alabama Senate candidate and credibly accused sex creep Roy Moore:

For me, the judge has 24 hours. He must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies that I just showed. You must remove any doubt. If you can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.

(The switches between third and second person are verbatim. You can click here to read my Slate colleague William Saletan’s catalog of the inconsistencies between Moore’s denials—one of which was issued in a wobbly appearance on Hannity’s radio show—and the mountain of public evidence against him.)

Assuming Hannity meant “24 hours” in the sense of “before Wednesday night’s show,” Moore has until 9 p.m. EST to win over the host. Hannity is one of Moore’s last remaining allies on the national scene—the Republican National Committee has pulled his funding, and per a report from the Daily Beast even Steve Bannon and the #MAGA dead-enders at Breitbart are considering abandoning him:

Late last week, the Breitbart chairman said, “I will put him in a grave myself,” if he determines that Moore was lying to him about the numerous accusations, a source close to Bannon relayed.

Nine hours!