Seems if Fox News hosts aren’t tweet-screaming at CNN’s Brian Stelter, they’re blocking him entirely. Fox’s Sean Hannity took the former approach during Stelter’s Reliable Sources program this morning, while Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo just kept shunning.
The Stelter-Hannity skirmish – or at least the latest iteration of it – reached the ALL CAPS phase today after Hannity learned that Stelter had invited Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, onto this morning’s show.
Carusone has led the call for an advertising boycott against Hannity, a months-long effort that took on some renewed energy last week after Hannity waded into the Roy Moore mud pit. Last weekend there was a boiling point with coffeemaker company Keurig and other Hannity advertisers (or non-advertisers) keeping their distance.
So Hannity was none too pleased over the Reliable Sources booking, and before the show aired tweeted that Carusone is a RACIST, BIGOT, ANTI-SEMITE and VICTIM SHAME(r) and why does Stelter SUPPORT THIS?
Asked about Hannity’s accusations, Carusone told Stelter, “Well, this in particular is rather hurtful because I am gay and my boyfriend – and now husband, for a while we weren’t allowed to get married – of 14 years is Jewish and so right on its face this is sort of a ridiculous jab to come at me in the most personal way. We see that reflected all the time with not just Sean Hannity but the right-wing as a whole. They always go after people’s strengths or characteristics that is, they think, a sore spot. I think it’s a reflection of who they are.”
Carusone also explained his motives for the boycott:
Hannity tweeted a response to the segment, CNN and Media Matters for America.
Hannity’s Fox colleague Geraldo Rivera couldn’t resist either:
Stelter’s other apparent Fox foe, Maria Bartiromo, took a quieter approach this weekend, seeming to block Stelter (among others) for twitter-challenging her woefully inaccurate on-air statement Friday that President Donald Trump has “no allegations” against him from women claiming sexual harassment.
“Just to be clear, there are no allegations against the President,” Bartiromo told Chris Lu, former deputy Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration.
When Lu brought up the dozen-plus women who have made exactly those allegations, Bartiromo, referencing the now famous Al Franken photo, explained that Trump “said during the campaign that wasn’t true. In fact, didn’t he say also that, you know, all of this will come to light and there will be a lawsuit? I mean… we’re talking about a situation where we have a picture with the guy’s hands on her breasts. You can’t compare the two, Chris.”
When Stelter tweeted that Bartiromo’s comment was “really strange,” he found himself twitterer non grata.
“I’ve always had a cordial relationship with @MariaBartiromo. I can only assume that this tweeted observation is why she suddenly blocked me…”
Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson commiserated. “She blocked me too!,” Carlson tweeted to Stelter. “The truth is just so tough. Hypocrite”.