*An on-air call from conservative radio host Sean Hannity to the Obamacare hotline on Monday got a kind but talkative operator fired, and so to make up for it, he decided to pay the women’s expected $25,000 yearly salary, reports The Atlantic Monthly.
It’s a win win for Hannity, the website noted, as he got inside scoop on Obamacare and a chance to come off as a big-hearted man of the people for paying the woman’s salary.
It all started on Monday when Erline Davis, a mother of two and an operator working for the insurance exchange hotline, happened to answer Hannity’s cold call, during which he asked about the problems with the Healthcare.gov rollout and the hotline. In their 10 minutes of conversation on the radio, Hannity touched on all the problems with Obamacare, and got some information out of Davis:
HANNITY: Have you ever got anybody that really likes it yet?
OPERATOR: Umm, no, not really.
Mediaite wrote on Monday that Hannity “asked her questions that could possibly put her job on the line.” Indeed, Davis came on Hannity’s show again on Thursday to say that, in fact, she had been fired for speaking to the press after that interview.
Hannity said he felt pretty guilty for causing her firing: “First of all, I’m very sorry that you had to go through that. Especially because you were really nice, you were very kind, you were very honest, and I don’t want you to have to pay a price just for taking our phone call and their being punitive in some way, so I want to help you out here.”
Hannity, who just re-signed his radio contract, (the last one was worth $100 million over five years), said he talked to his accountant, who told him that he could legally gift Davis $25,000. “That’s a year’s salary tax free. So you don’t have to pay taxes on that money,” Hannity said. “Check with your accountant though, or check with your financial guy or whoever you talk to, whoever does your taxes, H&R, whatever.”
Davis was certainly happy. “I thank God for you and your crew and everybody that’s listening,” she said. “This is really a blessing, I wasn’t expecting all of this.”
Hannity also offered to help her get a job, but almost scuttled her hopes at the same time. “It seems unfair to me. Do you feel that they treated you unfairly? I kind of do,” Hannity said.
This time, smartly, Davis avoided the question.
Below, listen to Hannity’s original call, followed by Davis’ appearance on his FOX show to discuss her firing.