Barstool Sports personality Francis Ellis has opened up about how people reacted to his viral hot mic moment criticizing Fox News after having appeared on it repeatedly as a guest.
Chatting to his co-workers after a podcast episode in December, Ellis slammed the network for “trafficking in hate,” a day after making a QAnon reference on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime.” The full audio was posted online by the podcast’s producers and then quickly taken down.
This week, Ellis talked about the aftermath of the slip-up with Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini on her podcast “Token CEO.”
“Later that night,” he told Nardini, “I got a text from [Barstool personality] John Rich saying, ‘Hey, man, I don’t know how this happened. But we put up ‘The Rundown’ and it included all like 20 minutes of you talking about Fox News.’”
“I thought he was fucking with me,” Ellis said.
He wasn’t. And soon, it was everywhere, and Ellis was fielding requests for comment and attacks from “both sides” of the political aisle, he said.
“The left took this thing ― the left outlets ― and spun it as ... ‘Here’s someone from within the ranks speaking against the establishment. And even though he spoke truth, and said they’re terrible, he still admits that he’d accept a job,’” Ellis said. “And then the right was like, ‘Fuck this guy,’ you know, ‘he blasts the network that’s given him such a big opportunity and yet he still says that he’d accept a job.’”
Ellis said there was a lot of hate directed at his wife, whom he’d invoked in the leaked audio. In the clip, he said he had spoken to his wife about his most recent appearance on Fox News “because I was disappointed in myself,” and “she was like, ‘Let’s be honest, like, do you want to be working with these fucking people?’”
At another point in the December clip, Ellis suggested he’d consider accepting a job at Fox News if he was offered one. In this week’s interview, Ellis insisted that was a joke.
“I think anyone with an ear would know that,” he told Nardini.
Watch the interview below.