Somewhere between Washington and New York lives FNC’s Sean Hannity‘s Twitter alias, who goes by the handle, SHannitysHair. Hair, the name I usually call him, showed up for CPAC last week and was, in some respects, the bell of the ball. He signed in as Theron Cal, a racist white hater, as a joke and a way to hide his real identity. He somehow secured a media badge, a mysterious feat, but not so surprising at the exquisitely disorganized CPAC where wifi working was a fantasy.
Speaking of which, somehow when a Twitter personality shows up in real life, it can have an elusive, surreal quality. Like is this even real? On Thursday night, Hair and I exchanged several pleasant Direct Messages on Twitter and we agreed to meet the next day inside the hotel. When Friday came it took him several hours to return a message. I panicked, thinking, is this guy even real? Online you imprint everything you think a person is, what they look like, sound like, and everything you want a person to be. In real life? There was BigGov’s Andrew Breitbart complimenting him for his tweets. Who “he” is remains a mystery — he never shares his real identity. “I’m surprised at how well known I am,” he said. “Coming to CPAC this week, I met Breitbart yesterday and Dana Loesch and they were very much aware of me. And the fact that little old me, they’re aware of me? Breitbart even said, ‘I love your tweets.’ To me, that’s a thrill.”
To be sure, Hair felt overwhelmed by all who wanted to meet him in the flesh. “I’m freaking nobody,” he told me, reiterating his sentiment. “I guess on Twitter I’m somebody.” In the end, he gave us the “exclusive” interview on Bloggers Row — others were vying for it. We can’t show you what he looks like because he wouldn’t allow us to photograph him. Suffice it say, he’s not the 20-something we thought he might be. His hair is thick and silver. His demeanor is exceedingly normal.
Even so, Hannity in real life hasn’t always been jazzed about this guy — who claims to be an ordinary, conservative, married, father and employee who has taken a fancy to Hannity’s hair. In fact, at one point, when Hannity wasn’t manning his own Twitter account, whoever was blocked Hair. But three weeks ago that all changed. Now that Hannity is tweeting for himself, Hair is unblocked and on the loose. His Twitter count holds steady at 5,100 followers. We sat down with him to comb for more details.
When and how did you start tweeting by the handle SHannitysHair? About a year and a half ago. I have my own personal Twitter account it and used it to talk mainly about sports. When I inserted politics into the discussion, people started attacking me. I learned whoa, I might not want to talk politics on this account. We might agree on sports, but politics is a whole other animal. So I started Sean Hannity’s Hair. I just wanted to come up with a unique handle. At the the time, Blagojavich was in the news and I was very close to creating Blago’s hair. I knew he wouldn’t have staying power so I chose Hannity’s Hair. I am a huge fan of his, always have been. It’s rare that I ever disagree with anything he says. We’re about the same age, actually. He’s a few months older than me and we just have a lot of things in common. I also consider myself a Reagan conservative.
Why the hair thing? He has unique hair. He often gets teased about whether it’s real or not. If hairs could tweet…it’s clearly one of the things he has been teased about, whether his hair is real or not. So I figured why not?
The Hair hasn’t always been received well. Tell me about that…
Several folks at Fox News have welcomed me with open arms, very nice, gracious, just thought the whole idea of Sean Hannity’s Hair was funny. I guess the radio team wasn’t really sure about my intentions and initially blocked me from Sean’s account. Which was somewhat disappointing since we’re on the same team. Up until when Sean started tweeting himself about 3 weeks ago. A third party sent Sean a tweet to unblock me and he did it immediately.
Were you surprised? Not surprised, just thankful. We’re on the same team. We all have the same goal in mind. I am delighted I am no longer blocked. I really admire Sean. He’s the example of what America’s all about. He worked to get where he is today. He’s done every manual labor job you can think of — washing dishes, painting, construction. Nobody handed him anything. He worked and deserves everything he’s got. And that’s what I am trying to teach my two kids. Nothing gets handed to you, nor should it.
What do you do in real life? Let me see how to phrase this, I don’t want to reveal too much. I am a consultant in the insurance industry. I’m along the 95 corridor between Washington and New York.
How do you tweet so much? It’s a delicate balance. I am the master of managing my time well…
Read more on Hair’s views on journalists like WaPo‘s liberal blogger-activist Ezra Klein.. My employer might not know my Twitter roles. I have a job where I’m in an office. I’m on conference calls, I’m doing emails, talking to people. It takes nothing to send out a quick tweet. I have a very demanding job. I tweet anywhere from 20 to 75. Really depends on how busy I am in my real job or family activities.
Does your family know? They know. They think it’s a kick. My boys know. They don’t really get the Twitter thing. They’re young teens. My wife just shakes her head. In fact, there’s a mrshannityshair. That’s a delicate balance [with my wife]. There’s certain times I get the look. If we’re ever out with her parents at dinner I’ll try to sneak it under the table, you know, live dinner tweeting. I’ll get that look…there’s no one who knows me as well as my wife. I actually turn the phone off if I have to. My family knows and a couple close friends know my identity. They all say I am going to be on the Great American panel someday.
You want that? No. I don’t need any glory, just need to get the message out there.
I understand Sean has given you shout-outs. He mentioned me when Mark Levin’s book came out recently. His favorite radio caller, Velma, has mentioned me several times. She seems like a very nice lady, although we disagree politically. She was looking to get more followers, and Sean gave her a shout-out which got her up to 500, 600 followers. I gave her a shout-out, which got my followers to follow her. In a recent radio program Sean mentioned to her that he was proud of her. She said, thank you and Sean Hannity’s Hair for getting me there. And Sean chuckled upon mention of me.
I see that you sometimes fight on Twitter. You seem to play the role of arch defender. I tell it like it is. I do get in fights when I’m getting attacked. I’ll start off nice. A recent example was somebody said something very mean to a follower of mine, a female follower. Dropping f bombs, calling her a c-word, way over the top.I just went back nicely and said that was not very nice, you should apologized. He refused. And I said because your mama didn’t raise you that way. And I was coming to her defense. And he said, ‘My mom didn’t raise me, she left us when I was five.’ That’s when I came in with the hammer. I said, ‘If your father was anything like you, I don’t blame her.’ That was the end of the story. He knew he was defeated.
What are you future goals with this? I have no goals. I’m not into having x number of followers. It’s an outlet, a hobby. The real reason I’m doing this is I’m sick and tired of the mainstream media spoonfeeding what I read. Ezra Klein feels that his role is to influence the outcome of elections and how people think? No. Just report the facts, whether you believe them or not. Maybe I’m old school, but I should not know a reporter’s politics. But don’t come off with …I’m just reporting. That drives me nuts. I have a small audience in comparison to real media, but the attitude of many in the mainstream media drives me nuts. I really wish they would just do their jobs.
Do you think you’ll ever meet Sean? I was invited up there by his hair stylist, Sindy, who was one of my early Twitter followers. She’s at the Fox News studio. I’ll jokingly tweet her [to say] easy on the hairspray! When she ‘s off I‘ll say, ‘Who did my hair tonight? It looks awful!’