CNN media critic Brian Stelter went after Fox News’ Sean Hannity for being a mouthpiece of the Donald Trump campaign, Raw Story reports. Hannity in return called Stelter, “unpatriotic.”
Stelter criticized Trump’s use of the word, “rigged,” to describe the coverage/outcome of the presidential election in November.
“This is a really troubling first for a presidential candidate,” Stelter said. “He’s saying he’s worried the election in November is going to be rigged against him.”
Stelter said those in the media have a responsibility to, “ensure everyone of the integrity of the voting system.”
Stelter called Hannity’s treatment of Trump in a recent interview, “how not to interview a candidate.
“That’s it?” Stelter asked after watching the adoring interview. “If there were ever a time to challenge a candidate, that’s the time! Don’t feed me baloney about Hannity’s show being only an hour-long and that he might have run out of time. This interview was on tape.”
“Interviewers, even ones that support the person they are interviewing, have an obligation to probe further and push back when a candidate says something dangerous, and this is dangerous,” he said. “Suggesting an election is going to be stolen? This is third world dictatorship stuff.”
“The conservative media is vital here but Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity both failed their audiences this week,” he observed. “Both men interviewed Trump. In both cases, Trump suggested there was something fishy about the voting in 2012.”
Hannity backed a Trump claim by saying there were precincts in 2012 in which zero votes were reported for GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
“Yes, Hannity, you are being conspiratorial,” Stelter responded. “A Google search would show that there are also precincts in other states like in Utah, where Obama did not get a single vote.”
“Hannity is not a journalist,” Stelter said. “But he has a megaphone and he’s using his megaphone irresponsibly. If a Democratic candidate were saying this stuff, saying the election could be rigged, then every word of this essay would apply to him or her.”
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