For the past couple of days Twitter has been the stage of an epic battle between the top dog at Fox News, Sean Hannity, and a formidable political intellectual and social scientist – oops – I mean comedian Jimmy Kimmel. And even a late night jokester has proven to be too much of challenge for Hannity’s severely limited cognitive abilities. Kimmel took the whole thing as good, not-so-clean fun. But Hannity had a cerebral spasm that threatened to burst a blood vessel in his ample forehead.
The feud began when Kimmel made a lighthearted joke about First Lady Melania Trump’s accent when reading to kids at a White House Easter event. Kimmel merely repeated her pronunciation of “dis and dat.” Dat’s it. It was hardly a sharp elbowed political jab. But it drove Hannity to distraction wherein he literally couldn’t think of anything else. Much of his day on Friday was consumed with manic tweets attacking Kimmel as a “despicable,” “perverted,” “racist asshole.” He took to calling Kimmel “Harvey Weinstein, Jr.” in a callous trivialization of a real perpetrator of sexual assault. Most of the Twitter battle can be seen here.
Later that evening, Hannity spent most of his Friday program ranting about Kimmel and vowing to destroy him. Hannity criticizes Kimmel for “losing his mind for five minutes on his show,” just before devoting almost the whole hour of his own show to Kimmel bashing. And after getting so freaked out over Kimmel’s joke directed at a First Lady, Hannity attacks Michelle Obama. His tantrum also included baseless accusations that Kimmel relentlessly bashed all Republicans 24/7 and “kissed Obama’s ass.” Actually, Kimmel has been fairly apolitical until the recent difficulties he had with his sick newborn. It was after his advocacy of healthcare reforms that the right started attacking him. And Hannity promises to escalate this one-sided war. On his program he said that…
“I am going after Jimmy Kimmel tonight. We’re gonna pound him with his own words. […] I’m throwing down the gauntlet. I’m not gonna stop. They are gonna stop by the time it’s done. […] For me this is it. I’ll just stay on this, and I’ll roll tape of Jimmy Kimmel every night for the rest of my career.”
Well, that at least would be more entertaining than having to watch Hannity. But his sanctimonious sermonizing about some Kimmel bits that Hannity dug up from the two decade old Comedy Central program “The Man Show” don’t really help him much. Mainly because it casts Hannity as the sexually obsessed pervert who finds salaciousness in what everyone else sees as just raunchy comedy. And Hannity shouldn’t be throwing stones. He’s the guy who sees secretly placed images of sperm in President Obama’s portrait. He charged CNN president Jeff Zucker with being the “scandal-plagued” “king of porn.” He’s had his own run-in with allegations of sexual harassment. And then there was the time he propositioned a “really hot looking chick in the third row” of his audience and asked if she would “Wanna meet me later?”
Remember, Kimmel’s joke had nothing to do with sex. It was about Melania’s accent. But Hannity turned the whole affair into a sleaze-fest. Because that’s what’s on his diseased mind. Every year he does a week of programs about Spring Break where he castigates America’s youth while running endless footage of bikini-clad girls.
And let’s not forget that he’s on a network that has a distinct problem with misogyny. The network’s CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired for multiple incidents of sexual harassment. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was tossed out after the discovery of tens millions of dollars paid to secure the silence of his victims. Fox also jettisoned its president, Bill Shine; host Eric Bolling; Fox Sports President, Jamie Horowitz; and VP of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes, all for similarly abhorrent misconduct. Most recently the wives of Fox hosts Jesse Watters and Pete Hegseth filed for divorce due to their public infidelities.
One thing is clear: Sean Hannity is working at just the right network for his brand of perversion. It’s a network that has canonized serial predator Donald Trump and supported the senate candidacy of pedophile Roy Moore. Fox News is a breeding ground for perverts. They hire and promote men who blatantly demean and abuse women. The environment was described accurately by former Fox News host and victim Andrea Tantaros in her lawsuit as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” Hannity must be loving it. But he probably isn’t too happy about being beaten regularly by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. And that may be the real reason he is jumping on Kimmel. It’s a desperate and lame attempt to goose his ratings. And it isn’t going to work any better than his Pizza-Gate episodes.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.