Steve Bannon accused Fox News host Sean Hannity of playing right into the hands of the liberal mainstream media for asking former President Donald Trump if he would be a “dictator” during a second term in office.
The “War Room” host was incensed that Hannity chose to repeat accusations by Trump critics that the Republican would shred the U.S. Constitution and throw his political opponents in jail if reelected. The president’s reaction, which drew cheers from the audience, should have been enough to tell Hannity that he was on thin ice, Bannon said.
“Sean Hannity actually thought he was helping Trump… Trump gives a full heckle and here’s what I love, the audience gets it. They’re laughing, and by the way Sean they’re laughing at you. They’re laughing at the stupid, ridiculous question. Of course Trump’s not a dictator. It’s absurd,” said Bannon. “Even to ask that question that Morning Joe and those guys can cut the clips up shows you’re an idiot.”
Calling Hannity a “sunshine patriot” who carries water for Fox founder Rupert Murdoch, Bannon was unsparing in his assessment that Fox is “TV for stupid people” and that his colleagues in the conservative media sphere are not trafficking in the “information warfare” that he claims is necessary to push back on the negative narratives against his former boss.
“Let me be blunt: It’s disgusting when you ask that question. But then Trump heckles you? That’s a heckle, bro. And when the audience has a belly laugh and they’re laughing at you, you come back and ask it again? How dumb are you?” he added.
President Trump on Wednesday night appeared for a televised town hall that contrasted against his GOP opponents vying for oxygen in the media during the final Republican presidential debate of the season. From quips about his Republican rivals and President Joe Biden to scathing takedowns of the Democratic prosecutors going after him, President Trump delivered a must-watch performance that outshined all comers trying to take him on.
Although the former president and Hannity have been longtime friends, conservative activists question anyone left at Fox News since the firing of Tucker Carlson earlier this year. The popular host has sparred with other presidential contenders like Vivek Ramaswamy, a staunch supporter of Trump, and quietly refrained from defending Carlson in the months since his ouster. Wednesday night’s town hall was the second hosted by Hannity that has seen him booed by his own audience.