A Minute With: Sean Hannity on 'disconcerting' election, matchmaking

Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:07am EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sean Hannity, the longtime Fox News Channel anchor and strong voice for American conservatives, is used to taking criticism from all comers, but it was his own unhappiness with his flabby self last year that pushed him to take up a new fight - that of "street" martial artist.

"It's a tough, tough workout," the 52-year-old said of his regimen of jiu-jitsu, blade and firearm training. "It's also really great self-defense ... I'm building muscles that I've never had before."

Hannity, whose eponymous weeknight show averages 1.7 million viewers and ranks in the top five of cable news programs, spoke to Reuters about the upcoming U.S. midterm elections, problems the Republican party faces and playing matchmaker to staffers.

Q: You notably started as a small-market radio host. What first turned you on to politics and news?

A: I've absorbed it since I was a kid and delivered newspapers, reading the newspaper. My parents were screaming at me to put the paper down and get out and go deliver them.

I still get the hard papers every day. I have on my lap right now the New York Daily News, the New York Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, although I won't admit that publicly.

Q: Actors fear being type-cast, but you've made your career working a brand of conservative ...

A: I think that ship has sailed. I am a conservative. That's who I am. It's in my DNA. I believe that if we would govern conservatively, meaning limited government, balanced budgets, greater freedom, that people took greater responsibility for their lives, etc. I think society would be better off if we were energy independent, if we secure our borders, free market capitalism in the healthcare system, not a top-down heavy system.   Continued...

Fox News Channel anchor Sean Hannity poses for photographs as he sits on the set of his show "Hannity" at the Fox News Channel's studios in New York City, October 28, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar