Speed Reads

Media criticism

CNN's Brian Stelter slams Sean Hannity, Fox News, for colluding with Trump's 'rigged' election warnings

On Sunday, CNN media critic Brian Stelter scolded Fox News pundits for giving Donald Trump a pass when he warned, without evidence or follow-up questions, that the 2016 election will be "rigged." Raging against a "rigged system" worked well for Trump in the Republican primaries, Stelter noted, and his crowds love his invectives against the "rigged" media. But warning that the election will be rigged is "a really troubling first for a presidential candidate," he said, and the media — especially the conservative media — abdicates its duty when it lets a candidate get away with saying something so "dangerous, and this is dangerous." "Suggesting an election is going to be stolen?" Stelter asked. "This is third world dictatorship stuff."

Stelter says that The Washington Post and The New York Times both ran informative articles contextualizing and fact-checking Trump's unsubstantiated claim, but Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity "both failed their audiences this week," especially Hannity. "Hannity is not a journalist," he said, but "he has a megaphone and he's using his megaphone irresponsibly." Hannity is even sowing his own doubts about the election, pointing to dozens of districts in Philadelphia and Ohio where Mitt Romney got zero votes in 2012, Stelter said, but "a Google search would show that there are also precincts in other states like in Utah, where Obama did not get a single vote." Trump is "trying to delegitimize our democratic process without proof," he concluded. "It is unpatriotic for any interviewer or any journalist to help him."

Sean Hannity did not take the critique kindly:

So Hannity obviously pays attention to his Twitter account, but it seems he did not actually watch the video.