Tapper vs. Hannity: It’s pretty much open warfare between Fox News and CNN
It’s been open warfare for awhile now, granted, but it’s *really* open lately. The newest skirmish is over this soundbite of Tapper covering the NYC terror attack:
“Allahu akbar,” i.e. God is great, is something you might hear at the birth of a child or when a jihadi is blowing up children on a city sidewalk. Nothing untrue about that. Tapper even takes a small step that some reporters wouldn’t by acknowledging that “too often” you hear it in the latter context. But he works for CNN and he criticizes Trump relentlessly so naturally this became an opportunity to falsely claim that he was saying “Allahu akbar” itself is beautiful. “Fake Jake” a closet Muslim? Taqiyya Tapper? Fox News hit him for it no fewer than three times yesterday, first in a segment on “The Five” introduced by Jason Chaffetz. When Chaffetz got called out for the distortion on social media, he walked it back:
Hannity hit him again in a segment on last night’s program, taunting him about his ratings…
…and then Sebastian Gorka, a guest on Hannity’s show later in the hour, went further by accusing Tapper of having said “Allahu akbar” was a “beautiful phrase.” Which he hadn’t.
Meanwhile, Tapper pitched a fit on Twitter:
Whew. What’s going on here? Why Fox’s sudden interest in a bad-faith swipe at one of CNN’s big names? The answer, I bet, lies with the story written by CNN’s Oliver Darcy that was published on Tuesday, alleging that the “news side” of Fox was appalled and humiliated by the network’s spinning for Trump on Russiagate in primetime, chiefly by Hannity. Darcy’s been running unflattering stories about turmoil inside Fox for awhile, most recently this piece about Chris Wallace grumbling at attacks on journalists by his Fox colleagues. He’s been on Hannity’s case specifically about his Seth Rich coverage too, the heat from which appears to have led Hannity to drop the subject (for now, at least). But Tuesday’s piece, pitting anonymous Fox journalists against Fox opinion hosts on something as sensitive to the Trump White House as Mueller and Russiagate, may have triggered a sense inside the network that retaliation was in order. Tapper’s “Allahu akbar” soundbite became a target of opportunity, payback for CNN for Darcy’s coverage.
But it’s not all on Darcy. Remember, Hannity and Tapper have been taking potshots at each other for awhile now, a natural conflict given that each has an active presence on Twitter and is seemingly poles apart from the other in his views on Trump. Hannity used a segment on his show in July to encourage viewers to call out “fake news Jake Tapper” for an aggressive interview he did with Anthony Scaramucci. It backfired but it’s a reminder that the hostility isn’t new. Where does it go now? An attack on Hannity on Tapper’s show today? (Likely.) A counterattack on Tapper on Hannity’s own show tonight? (Quite probable.) This war is good for both networks, I’d imagine. Let the missiles fly.
Update: On second thought, maybe a reply to Hannity by Tapper on today’s show isn’t in the cards.