Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday hinted at underlying tensions between the network’s more moderate and right-wing hosts, calling out “resistance” employees who refuse to bow to President Donald Trump with favorable coverage.
“We’re hardly a channel in agreement,” Hannity said during his prime-time broadcast. “We have a few resistance people on this channel, if we’re going to be honest.”
“I mean total resistance. Not half-resistance,” he added.
Hannity’s dig was the latest sign of strife at the outlet amid a fast-moving impeachment inquiry into the president, who is accused of soliciting Ukrainian assistance in the 2020 election.
As news anchors like Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith have spent their daytime slots challenging Trump’s abuses of power, opinion hosts like Hannity and Tucker Carlson have filled up ratings-boosting evening programming railing against the probe and rallying around the president.
Last month, the infighting broke out in plain sight, as Smith and Carlson traded jabs on air after Trump ally Joe diGenova, a frequent network guest, called Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano “a fool” during Carlson’s show.
Defending Napolitano, who has warned that Trump’s Ukraine scandal is “far more serious” than former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Smith rebuked diGenova’s insult as “repugnant,” emphasizing that it was launched “in our work home.”
Hours later, Carlson aired Smith’s remarks, questioning his objectivity and stating, “unlike maybe some dayside hosts, I’m not very partisan.”
“It doesn’t seem honest to me when a host, any host on any channel, including this one, pretends that the answer is obvious,” he said. “That’s not news, is it? That’s opinion.”