US Government Bans Ethereum Mixer Tornado Cash, Platform Added to OFAC’s SDN List

US Government Bans Ethereum Mixer Tornado Cash, Platform Added to OFAC’s SDN List

US Government Bans Ethereum Mixer Tornado Cash, Platform Added to OFAC's SDN List

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department’s watchdog the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) banned the ethereum mixing application Tornado Cash. OFAC has cited that the mixer has helped North Korean hackers such as the hacking syndicate known as Lazarus Group.

OFAC Sanctions Tornado Cash Mixing App

  • OFAC has officially banned the Tornado Cash and Tornado Cash Classic websites alongside all of the digital currency addresses allegedly associated with the site.
  • “The following entity has been added to OFAC’s SDN list: Tornado Cash,” OFAC’s Cyber-related Designation report says.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s watchdog mentioned dozens of addresses that have held usd coin (USDC) or ethereum (ETH).
  • With OFAC has adding Tornado Cash and the ETH addresses allegedly tied to the platform, it means that all U.S. persons and business entities are strictly prohibited from using the mixer.
  • Since 2020, the U.S. has enacted legislation that can penalize any U.S. persons or entities that violate the Specially Designated Nationals list. Anyone who breaks the rule can face prison time and anywhere between $90,000 to $308,000 per violation.
  • The news follows the recent Debridge Finance announcement when the project’s co-founder Alex Smirnov said Debridge’s team was attacked by the infamous North Korean hacking syndicate Lazarus Group.
  • Additionally, in mid-April 2022, the former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for a presentation that gave North Korea ““technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.”
  • OFAC has already added a few crypto addresses to the SDN list back in April. The U.S. watchdog also assumed that the recent Ronin bridge attack (Axie Infinity) was connected to the hackers from Lazarus Group.

What do you think about OFAC banning the ethereum mixing application Tornado Cash? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,700 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Bernie Sanders Sparks New Meme with Capitol Hill Steps Photo

Bernie Sanders Sparks New Meme with Capitol Hill Steps Photo

Bernie Sanders
Sparks New Meme w/ Capitol Steps Pic …
Amid Vote-A-Rama in D.C.!!!

8/7/2022 3:12 PM PT

Bernie Sanders is firing up the meme machine again — this time by posing in the thick of summer and looking dog-tired while hard at work … a shot that’s worth a thousand words.

The Vermont senator was photographed Sunday laying out on the Capitol Hill steps, where he appeared to be kind of exhausted after a marathon day of work known as Vote-a-Rama … where congressmen and women are going through hours of debate/votes on legislation.

Big Vote-a-rama energy with @SenSanders on the steps of the Senate, as the Senate enters hour 13. pic.twitter.com/IA4XBGkvlO

— Kent Nishimura (西村賢一) (@kentnish) August 7, 2022

According to the photog, reporter Kent Nishimura, the Senate was entering its 13th hour of the overnight marathon when this pic was taken … and as you can imagine, it’s catching fire.

For starters, some say this makes a great album cover … if BS was into music. Others say he very much resembles the ‘School of Rock’ cartoon, Bill, from the famed sketch, “I’m Just a Bill,” where the rolled-up paper character is also lying down on the Capitol steps.

In other words … it’s just a great (and hilarious) photo, perhaps equally meme-able as his other famous photo from 2021 when he was captured nestled up in a sweater and mittens during Biden’s inauguration … which also set the internet ablaze with jokes up the wazoo.

This seems to be the summer version … and funny enough, it’s kind of the exact opposite vibe as his mitten meme. Bernie out here trying to beat the heat and letting it all hang out.

BTW, there’s actually some serious business going on indoors … including votes on amendments to Biden‘s Inflation Reduction Act — a major spending package addressing climate change/taxes — which Bernie was actually against without some major tweaks.

His proposed amendments, however, were rejected in roll call votes, and the bill ultimately passed. It now heads to the House, where it’s also expected to pass.

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Welcome Back to the Muscogee Reservation Universe

Welcome Back to the Muscogee Reservation Universe

Season One of Reservation Dogs exploded onto the American television scene with a story that was unlike anything before it. An Indigenous producing team of Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, armed with a talented collective of Indigenous writers, directors, and actors, created eight episodes of brilliant and original storytelling. The show garnered many awards in its first season: two Independent Spirit Awards, an AFI award, and a Peabody Award, just to name a few. Along the way, it managed to make fans out of prestigious filmmakers like Barry Jenkins and Guillermo del Toro.

Now Season Two is here and the gang is back, but they’re all moving in different directions. Season Two picks up right after the tornado hits the rez at the end of Season One apparently twisting everyone in new directions. Elora Danan has decided to head to California with her arch enemy Jackie, the leader of the NDN mafia. Bear, for his part, is lost; not only is he having “daddy issues,” as Willie Jack points out, but he also feels deserted by his best friend Elora. Willie Jack is all but certain that the bad luck funk infecting her friends is the result of a curse she placed on Jackie; now, she’s on a mission to reverse the curse. Happy-go-lucky Cheese is perhaps the only consistent thread from last season to this one, content with finding simple moments of pleasure at the bottom of a Sonic drink.

The beauty of the Reservation Dogs universe lies within its simple approach to Indigenous culture and storytelling. The show is not overly precious with its characters and their predicaments, the way a non-Indigenous writer or director might be. There is no underlying need for white redemption for the all ills America has dealt to Indigenous people, nor any poverty porn, either. These Indigenous creators are simply telling stories about the world they’re from. The Indigenous characters in Reservation Dogs are human and flawed; they steal hot chip trucks, they steal pick-up trucks, they just plain steal. They don’t have all the answers, either. The characters may not know all of the traditional aspects of their Indigenous culture on demand (at least in the way your average American might assume they would). They are young and still learning—some are older and still learning. To reference a popular and frankly trite phrase, they don’t “walk in two worlds”; rather, they bring their Indigeneity into this world in all its complexity, and it may not look the way Hollywood told you it would. They do all of this unapologetically.

These Indigenous creators are simply telling stories about the world they’re from.

The first of the four episodes made available to critics in Season Two begins with Willie Jack addressing the fifth and deceased Reservation Dog, Daniel, via his picture on the kitchen wall, catching us up on what’s happened to everybody while we were away. Everything’s all “fucked up,” as Willie Jack would say. Each of the main and ancillary characters are touched upon, but the main story concerns Elora and Jackie, who are on the run to California (or running away, depending on your perspective). They’re terrible at it. One need only look at the car they’re using to head west, a beat-up rez rocket belonging to Elora’s grandmother, to know that they will not get far. Meanwhile, Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer), after scaring away the tornado at the end of Season One, is now convinced that he’s a holy man on a sacred journey under the “guidance” of William Knifeman, or “Spirit.” Spirit’s guidance may or may not be the best; he dishes on obscure Crazy Horse knowledge while noshing on Uncle Brownie’s Sonic tater tots. Spirit’s Crazy Horse anecdotes mostly sound made up, but Uncle Brownie takes in this “wisdom” because it’s all he’s got. Knowing the messenger, he also knows to take it with a grain of salt. Skeptical and laughing, Uncle Brownie tells Spirit, “You’re one of those backwards spirits.” Bear deals with Willie Jack’s obsession with reversing the curse on Jackie, but he has his own demons to address. Meanwhile, Elora and Jackie take their Indian car adventure about as far as can be expected, which isn’t far. The jury’s out on whether they are good for each other.

reservation dogs    “the curse”     season 2, episode 1 airs august 3 — pictured l r elva guerra as jackie, devery jacobs as elora danan  cr shane brownfx

Jackie and Elora don’t get far in their beat-up rez rocket.

Shane Brown / FX

The second episode finds Elora and Jackie still literally on the run, taking refuge in a grassy field near the large home of a lonely divorcée (Megan Mullally). Mullally rides up on a Polaris Ranger Diesel four-wheeler (presumably because walking is out of the question on such a big Oklahoma property) to offer them a warm home and a hot meal. Freshly showered and adorned in Oklahoma State University gear, the girls regroup to determine their next move. Meanwhile, Uncle Brownie and Bucky (Wes Studi) have teamed up to help Willie Jack, Bear, and Cheese rid themselves of the bad medicine from Willie Jack’s curse on Jackie. It’s pretty amazing to see Gary Farmer and Wes Studi in the same scene. These two Indigenous veteran actors play off each other very well in a hilarious prayer to fend off the curse. The idea is to help the Reservation Dogs, but in actuality, Uncle Brownie and Bucky have old beef that needs to be indirectly addressed. The result is an Indigenous prayer showdown for the ages. In his search for meaning, Bear finally comes to the realization that he simply needs a job—right after he’s confronted by the very people he’s stolen from before. With a surprisingly astute assist from Spirit, he mans up to face his past mistakes and makes it a point to address his future.

Bear finds this future on top of a house, taking part in that old Oklahoma rural employment pastime: roofing. Appropriately titled “Roofing,” Episode Three brings a new director into the Reservation Dogs lineup: Erica Tremblay, who deftly handles a very male-centric episode about Bear trying to learn how to be a man without a father. His mother, Rita, catches him trying to beat up his new tool belt before leaving for his new roofing job, “I just bought that for you! It’s brand new! It’s a nice one!” She doesn’t understand Bear’s journey; he’s trying to be a man without his father’s guidance, and he doesn’t want to be taken advantage of or mocked at his new job. Much like the belt, he needs to show a rough exterior. He inevitably gets hazed anyway because that’s just what happens, but learns new lessons in the process. Perhaps no one really has all the answers. A lot of the dialogue occurs on top of a roof in this episode, and visually, it’s a strong aesthetic choice. It lends an otherworldly element to the episode; a roof is where people can truly speak freely.

reservation dogs    “run”     season 2, episode 2 airs august 3 —pictured l r wes studi as bucky, gary farmer as uncle brownie, paulina alexis as willie jack, lane factor as cheese cr shane brownfx

Veteran Indigenous actors Wes Studi and Gary Farmer share a scene as Bucky and Uncle Brownie.

Shane Brown / FX

In the fourth and strongest episode, “Mabel,” an elder lies on her deathbed and reunites the core Reservation Dogs. When Elora’s grandma is ill, it brings the community together much like the tornado episode did in Season One. It’s a serious episode laden with awkward moments that force characters to face the past and evaluate what the future may bring. Family and community alike come together at Mabel’s house, where they make frybread and sofke, a traditional Muscogee dish. Coffee is poured and chairs are brought out to welcome visitors. It’s that melancholic mixture of people who are happy to see each other under unfortunate circumstances. Spotted among the cast in the house are staff writer and producer Migizi Pensoneau, as well as former Sundance Indigenous program director Bird Runningwater.

The ability to successfully navigate a variety of tones is the show’s secret sauce.

Bear and Cheese arrive and immediately hug Elora. In his haste, Cheese tells Elora, “Sorry sister, she’s in a better place,” to which Elora replies, “She’s not dead yet, Cheese.” Uncle Brownie arrives with a “traditional” four pack of Sonic Sodas. Tribal Cop/ Lighthorseman Big is a welcome sight; he brings a large vegetable and his always-hungry appetite for love. He spots Rita’s spitfire cousin who’s been away from home for awhile; never one to pass up an opportunity, he quickly goes into flirtation mode. Jackie, who has tainted the Reservation Dog alliance, arrives with her aunt, much to the chagrin of Bear and Willie Jack. During the community meal, Elora calls for a prayer from Cheese. Cheese, mid-bite and always one to rise to the occasion, but not really sure of the correct prayer to give for such an occasion, improvises a prayer on the spot with what he sincerely does know: “We know our friend here Elora is having a hard time right now as her grandma transcends into that place in the great beyond, in a galaxy, far… far… away…” At the end of the episode, there’s a very powerful scene with a surprising twist of humor—humor that only an Indigenous creative team could bring. I won’t dare ruin it. I’ll just say that it’s a perfect example of Indigenous humor, and the special ability of the Reservation Dogs creative team to channel it. The ability to successfully navigate a variety of tones, often in the same scene, is the show’s secret sauce.

The first season of Reservation Dogs (along with Rutherford Falls and now Dark Winds) marked a breakthrough for Indigenous representation in American television. I wondered if the second season could continue the high level of excellence that the first season created and sustained. The first four episodes certainly continue to build and explore toward something even more interesting, which is not easy to do. I’ve heard this season is even longer than the last by at least 2 episodes. In the trailer, I caught a glimpse of what looks like a 49 song scene (a post powwow celebration) that I personally really look forward to later this season. Will this show continue to garner more awards and will the public stay engaged in this breakthrough series after the first season high? Can Harjo and company scale even greater heights in this special Muscogee Reservation Universe (the MRU)? From what I’ve seen, yes, yes they can. One need look no further than what Guillermo del Toro said in his recent tweet, after the perceived Reservation Dogs Emmy snub this year: “Nominated or not, RESERVATION DOGS is one of the best things on the tube. Look for it, please!!” I concur.

This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

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Bridget walks the dog into Guilty Gear Strive tomorrow

Bridget walks the dog into Guilty Gear Strive tomorrow

Guilty Gear Strive Bridget

Don’t move, you can really get hurt

One bit of criticism I have for Evo 2022 is just how late it’s allowing these tournaments to go. Day 2 went on for so long that it technically ended on Day 3. With another post-midnight finish in the works for the final day of the show, the folks at Arc System Works gave everyone a break by bringing their big announcement for Guilty Gear Strive to the Evo stage before the Top 8 tournament started. And what an announcement it was. Not only is Bridget coming to the game as part of Guilty Gear Strive‘s second season of DLC, but Bridget will be playable starting tomorrow, August 8.

Armed with a yo-yo and mechanized teddy, Bridget debuted in Guilty Gear X2 and has been a fan favorite ever since. A poll conducted by Arc System Works in 2013 named Bridget the most popular character in the franchise. So it was only a matter of time before Bridget was added to Strive.

With the reveal of Bridget, Arc System Works also reminded fans of its roadmap for the second season of DLC. A second fighter is scheduled to release this year as part of the season pass with the third and fourth characters hitting in 2023 alongside two new battle stages. New fighters are always great, but I love when developers make sure to include new arenas as part of DLC season passes.

In addition to the big Bridget news, it was also revealed that Guilty Gear Strive has sold one million copies.

CJ Andriessen

Just what the internet needs: yet another white guy writing about video games.

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New Villains Unveiled by Latest Trailer of Bungou Stray Dogs Season 4

New Villains Unveiled by Latest Trailer of Bungou Stray Dogs Season 4

It’s been three years since we last saw Dazai’s comic suicide attempts, and I sorely miss them. Now that season 4 of Bungou Stray Dogs has been announced, I’m dying to see him bicker with Chuuya.

Of course, how can I forget Atsushi and Akutagawa, the sweet and spicy duo? These two might unwillingly have to get paired again for the next obstacle course.

Season 4 of Bungou Stray Dogs will be released in January 2023, and a specific date will be revealed later. Crunchyroll will stream the upcoming season, and a new promotional video was also debuted at the recent Crunchyroll Expo.

TVアニメ「文豪ストレイドッグス」第4シーズン PV第1弾

TV anime “Bungo Stray Dogs” 4th season PV 1st

The video shows the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia fighting together against a greater evil. Both the organizations have opposite interests, which means that their enemy is a strong one.

This new enemy is Hunting Dogs, a military unit that seeks to eliminate ability users. These hypocrites employ people with special powers to seek out their targets. (The irony)

Of course, what is Bungo Stray Dogs without awesome visuals to accompany every announcement? The latest visuals portray the main characters as well as the new villains from the Hunting Dogs unit.

Some new cast members will also join the anime, and they have been sorted right here:

Character Cast Other Works
Genichirō Fukuchi Akio Ohtsuka Black Jack (Black Jack)
Teruko Ōkura Makoto Koichi Mao Tsukuda (Farewell, My Dear Cramer)
Nikolai G Takehito Koyasu Zeke Yeager (Attack on Titan )
Mushitarō Oguri Takeshi Kusao Trunks (Dragon Ball Z)

Bungo Stray Dogs is a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated shonen market. Its comic timing, action scenes, and characters have never failed to get us immersed in the story, and I expect no less from season 4.

Watch Bungou Stray Dogs on:

About Bungou Stray Dogs

Bungou Stray Dogs is a manga series by Kafka Asagiri and illustrated by Sango Harukawa. It has also received an anime adaptation.

The story follows Atsushi, a weretiger, who later joins the Armed Detective Agency, where people with special abilities help keep peace in the area.

The agency faces peril from time to time and must rise up against all odds.

Source: Official Website

Originally Written By Epic Dope

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Aaheli Pradhan

Aaheli Pradhan

A grandma by heart who loves to knit, sketch, and swing in parks. Binge-reads a massive amount of manga from psychological to shounen-ai. Either awkward or salty, there’s no in-between.

Connect with me:

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UN’s nuclear watchdog warns on Ukraine plant; Russia shells ‘dozens’ of towns

UN’s nuclear watchdog warns on Ukraine plant; Russia shells ‘dozens’ of towns

(Reuters) -The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency raised grave concern about shelling at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, as its military said Russian forces had attacked dozens of front-line towns.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what President Vladimir Putin termed a “special military operation”, the conflict has settled into a war of attrition fought largely in Ukraine’s east and south.

But the fighting over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the south, captured by Russian forces in the opening stage of the war but still run by Ukrainian technicians, has raised the prospect of a wider disaster.

“I’m extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.

Both sides have accused each other of engaging in “nuclear terrorism”.

Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom blamed Russia for the damage while Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant.

The United States has accused Russia of using it as a “nuclear shield” while Russia’s defence ministry said damage to the plant had only been avoided thanks to the “skilful, competent and effective actions” of its units.

Grossi, who leads the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, urged all sides to exercise the “utmost restraint”.

Shells hit a high-voltage power line on Friday at the facility, prompting its operators to disconnect a reactor despite no radioactive leak being detected.

While the world’s attention was focussed on the nuclear plant, the war was grinding on in the east and south.

Russia is trying to gain control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbas region in the east, comprised of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea to the south in 2014.

Ukraine’s military said late on Saturday that Russian forces had shelled dozens of front-line towns and were trying to attack in six different areas in the Donetsk region, all of which failed to gain any territory and were held back by Ukrainian forces.

Reuters could not verify either side’s assertions about battlefield developments.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday said that over the past week its forces had “achieved powerful results” in destroying Russia’s logistics supplies and rear bases.

“Every strike on the enemy’s ammunition depots, on their command posts, and on accumulations of Russian equipment saves the lives of all of us, the lives of Ukrainian military and civilians,” he said in a late-night video address.

More ships

British military intelligence said earlier that Russian forces were almost certainly amassing in the south, anticipating a counter-offensive or in preparation for an assault, and the war was about to enter a new phase, with most fighting shifting to a nearly 350 km (217 mile) front from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River.

Ukraine’s forces were focusing on hitting bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in its southern regions, including the strategically important railroad spur that links Kherson to Russian-occupied Crimea, it said.

In a positive development, Ukraine is starting to resume grain exports, easing fears of a global food crisis, in an effort overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel are working.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said a second caravan of four ships with Ukrainian agriculture products sailed from Black Sea ports. The first four ships left Ukraine last week under the agreement.

Before the invasion, Russia and Ukraine together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

Zelenskiy welcomed the resumption of exports though he said risks remained.

“The threat of Russian provocations and terrorist acts remains. Everyone should be aware of this,” he said.

“But if our partners fulfil their part of the commitment and guarantee the security of supplies, this will really solve the global food crisis.”

Following uproar over a human rights report by the group Amnesty International, which accused Ukraine’s armed forces of endangering civilians by basing troops in residential areas during the invasion, the head of its Ukraine office quit saying she had opposed its publication.

The Amnesty report drew fierce criticism from the Ukrainian government with Zelenskiy leading denunciations, accusing the group of “trying to shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.

An Amnesty spokesperson said it was sorry to see the head of its Ukraine office leave and the group was preparing a further statement on the contentious report.

Ukrainian officials say they take every possible measure to evacuate civilians from front-line areas. Russia denies targeting civilians in what it describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaus; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Ad tracking by online gambling industry comes under scrutiny

Ad tracking by online gambling industry comes under scrutiny

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How ‘Loyal Dog’ Sean Hannity Went From King of Fox News to Has-Been

How ‘Loyal Dog’ Sean Hannity Went From King of Fox News to Has-Been

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

During the Trump administration, Sean Hannity was on top of the world. With the ouster of his longtime Fox News colleague and nemesis Bill O’Reilly in April 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations, Hannity quickly rose from second fiddle to the most-watched host in cable news. And he stayed there for years.

Not only was the veteran Fox News host pulling in nearly four million viewers every night while cheerleading for Donald Trump, but he was also widely considered the then-president’s shadow chief of staff. When Trump wasn’t calling into his show for an “exclusive” interview, Hannity was ringing the president late at night and serving as an informal adviser.

But toward the end of Trump’s term, Tucker Carlson—who essentially replaced O’Reilly in primetime—supplanted Hannity as the top dog at Fox News. Conservative cable viewers seemed far more interested in Carlson’s brand of taking Trumpism’s far-right nationalism, fervent anti-immigrant rhetoric, and COVID trutherism and running with it over Hannity’s increasingly stale Trump boosterism (and insatiable Hillary Clinton obsession).

And the longer Hannity—now the longest-running cable news host in history—has traversed a post-Trump world, the further he’s tumbled down the ratings mountaintop.

Hannity Proposed Hunter Biden Pardon to ‘Smooth Over’ Jan. 6

“We are the envy of every other network in having to compete with ourselves after beating everything else in cable, but no other host in the industry has the longevity and staying power of Sean Hannity,” wrote a network spokesperson. “FOX News Media is beyond proud that his number one show at 9PM is an integral part of our primetime lineup and a pivotal part of our success for 26 years.”

Having already risen to a solid third place in Fox News viewership by the 2020 election, the late-afternoon panel show The Five—featuring popular Fox News veterans Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Watters—eventually passed Hannity for second place in August 2021, and hasn’t looked back since. In fact, the culture war-driven gabfest has even overtaken Tucker Carlson Tonight as the most-watched show in all of cable news. (Carlson’s show, however, regularly draws more viewers in the coveted 25-54 advertising demographic.)

In the aftermath of Fox News’ brief ratings slump following Trump’s election loss, the network shook up its weekday lineup and leaned harder into overt right-wing commentary. This resulted in booting 7 p.m. “straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum to mid-afternoon and replacing her hour with a nightly opinion talk show.

Eventually, after a year of filling the time slot with a rotating series of hosts, the network rewarded Watters with the hour this past January. Known for his ambush interviews and penchant for courting controversy, the one-time O’Reilly lackey’s star has quickly risen at Fox. Like Gutfeld, who also recently launched a popular weeknight talk show, Watters hosted a highly rated weekend program for several years.

Jesse Watters Primetime was an immediate hit with the right-wing cable giant’s audience, instantly dominating its time slot and quickly becoming one of the top five shows on cable.

By the spring, the early evening program passed Hannity’s primetime offering in total audience, drawing an average of 2.92 million viewers to Hannity’s 2.89 million in April, though Hannity did maintain a slim lead over Watters in the key demographic.

Hannity’s show was able to claw its way to a third-place finish for the second quarter of the year, pulling in an average of 2.73 million total viewers to Watters’ 2.69 million, while beating Jesse Watters Primetime in the advertising demographic by nearly 50,000 viewers. But June and July, separately, told a different story. Watters once again edged out Hannity in total viewership in June while closing the gap in the 25-54 demographic. The following month, Watters expanded his lead in overall audience by more than 100,000 viewers and came within 13,000 of Hannity in the key advertising demographic.

Of course, while Hannity’s ratings dominance at Fox has long ended, he continues to routinely top his competitors at both CNN and MSNBC (especially now that Rachel Maddow is only broadcasting once a week). Additionally, Hannity’s show has gained overall viewership compared to this time last year, up seven percent in total audience.

The sustained ascendancy of Carlson, Gutfeld, and Watters—more “own the libs” culture warriors than card-carrying Trumpists—while Hannity, a member of Trump’s inner circle, continues to sink cannot be simply chalked up to a growing perception that the network is distancing itself from Trump’s cult of personality.

How Fox News Primetime Jacked Up Trump’s ‘Big Lie’

Even while Murdoch-owned editorial boards have assailed Trump over bombshell Jan. 6 revelations, and Fox News hasn’t interviewed the ex-president in months, Trump’s presence still overshadows everyone else’s at Fox. Furthermore, even though they are less directly involved in Trumpworld, Carlson, Gutfeld and Watters continue to run interference on the ex-president’s behalf, often singing his praises, or yukking it up with him at his Saudi-backed golf tournament.

Instead, the most likely explanation comes from Hannity’s inability to evolve with the changing right-wing media landscape—one that has long moved into darker ideological terrain after decades of loyally defending and touting the Republican Party above all else.

“The fundamental thing about Hannity is that he’s not an ideas guy. He’s a cheerleader,” explained Matthew Sheffield, a former right-wing media figure turned critic. Prior to launching Flux, an independent media outlet, Sheffield was a co-founder of NewsBusters, a right-wing watchdog regularly featured on Hannity’s show and across Fox programming. In recent years, Sheffield has become a vocal critic of conservative media, spending much of his energy now decrying how “damaging” it has been to the American public.

“[Hannity] is not a creative person. He just wants to have the same guests on all the time talking about the same things,” he continued. “And for the more angry, reactionary, Christian types, that’s just not enough for them anymore. They want more anger, more ambitiousness. And they certainly don’t want to hear what Lindsey Graham has to say.”

This analysis of Hannity’s fall from the top was echoed by Andrew Lawrence, deputy director of rapid response at liberal watchdog Media Matters for America.

“I think that the establishment of the Republican Party, their influence is kind of waning a little bit,” Lawrence said. “I think that they’re sort of following the lead of the ‘blood and soil’ base, which is where Tucker draws his influence from. And I think Fox News has kind of moved to that to try to appeal to that ‘blood and soil’ base more so than getting Republicans elected.”

Sheffield, meanwhile, noted that hosts like Carlson, Gutfeld, and Watters seem to understand better than Hannity that Fox’s hardcore viewership generally believes itself to be constantly besieged and aggrieved—that they are outnumbered, loathed, and excluded from an elite, largely liberal popular culture.

Is Greg Gutfeld Becoming the New King of Fox News?

“What Watters gives to them is that he tries to turn it on its head and make fun of the left. That’s most of what he’s doing,” Sheffield explained. “It hits a better emotional tone for them to be making snide remarks about Democrats rather than just trotting [establishment Republican lawmakers] out again.”

Lawrence similarly suggested that Watters et al better fit the network’s current business model largely revolving around “ginning up outrage cycles” and stoking culture-war controversy. Hannity, on the other hand, only seems to draw headlines for his attachment to Trump’s time in office. “His controversies come [when] it’s revealed during a congressional hearing that his texts to Trump said x, y, or z,” Lawrence remarked.

Another possible explanation for Hannity’s decline among Fox’s viewership, Sheffield said, is in his most frequent guests. While Sen. Graham, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Fox News punching bag Geraldo Rivera were once staples of the network’s overall programming, such guests are now viewed with a general suspicion from the ideological right.

“They hate these people. And if you look at those other shows, they’re not bringing these people on,” Sheffield asserted. “He’s like a loyal dog who will just keep coming back to the house, because it’s the only thing he knows.”

Lawrence was far more concise in his overall assessment of Hannity’s decline: “His show is just bad television at this point.”

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