Within the first 30 seconds of Rep. Keith Ellison’s appearance on Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday, he called the Fox News host “the worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen.” A minute in, Ellison accused Hannity of violating “every journalistic ethic I have ever heard of.” Before two minutes were up, Ellison had called Hannity “a shill for the Republican Party,” and then Hannity had told him to “keep ranting.” He did. For four more minutes. It was just like watching cable news talking heads hollering over each other, but the one doing the bulk of the ranting was a U.S. congressman.
At one point, Hannity tried break in for a question, and Ellison told him, “We’ll let you get a word in,” but then he didn’t really. After six minutes of sometimes childlike bickering (“You’re are a broken record.” “You’re a broken record!”) Hannity kicked Ellison off, calling him a “total waste of time.”
Maybe the debate with Ellison was a waste of time for a discussion about the sequester, but it sure wasn’t for Hannity, whose show is already getting all kinds of Twitter pickup and media attention thanks to the clip. Ever since Piers Morgan won the Internet for hosting Alex Jones, cable programmers have been looking to recapture that kind of magic. It looks like Hannity might have just done so.