One overlooked consequence of Donald Trump’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week is the toll it’s taking on his most faithful supporters. While Trump’s staff was said to be “suicidal,” Fox News’ Sean Hannity has found a more Trump-ian coping mechanism: lashing out at his detractors on Twitter.
On Thursday and Friday, Hannity offered a sneak peek of how Republicans would continue tearing their party apart during a Hillary Clinton administration, when he declared he would personally blame Establishment figures like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell if Trump loses. He also launched a Twitter rant against The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, who wrote a column imploring Republicans to vote Clinton — and called Hannity “Fox News’s dumbest anchor.”
On Sunday he turned his attention to CNN media critic Brian Stelter, who said conservatives like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly “both failed their audiences” when they bolstered Trump’s claim that the election is “rigged” against him.
Specifically, Stelter called out Hannity for citing as proof of voter fraud a 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer report that found in 2012, Mitt Romney did not receive a single vote in 59 of Philadelphia’s 1,687 voting districts. Stelter noted that those districts are almost entirely African-American, and there are precincts in Utah where Obama received no votes, so this is not convincing evidence. (The Inquirer actually couldn’t track down any Republican voters in those districts.) Hannity’s response:
Stelter noted that Hannity clearly did not do his prep by watching the segment in which he addressed the questions about the 59 Philadelphia districts. So Hannity directed Stelter to some irrefutable evidence of 2012 voter fraud … the 59 Philadelphia districts.
Stelter told Politico, “Hannity is conveniently ignoring the point of my commentary, which is that it’s dangerous for a talk show host to promote conspiracy theories about election-rigging.”
Dangerous? What’s dangerous is the fact that in 59 Philadelphia districts not a single vote was cast for Romney in 2012. But of course, Stelter doesn’t want to talk about that.