On the same day a number of prominent Democrats were sent bombs in the mail, Fox News didn’t take a break from telling viewers the problem was violent left-wing rhetoric.
On Wednesday, it was discovered that explosive devices had been mailed to former President Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and CNN, which had received a bomb addressed to former CIA director John Brennan.
But throughout Fox News’ prime-time lineup on Wednesday, there was little sympathy for the targets of the bomb threats.
Instead, the network’s prime-time hosts admonished Democrats and media outlets like CNN for employing rhetoric that Fox hosts said incited violence against conservatives.
While Sean Hannity emphasized that he did not condone violence against political opponents, during his show on Wednesday he singled out many of the targets of the mail bombs for criticism.
Hannity slammed “fake news CNN” and aired clips of two bomb recipients, former attorney general Eric Holder and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). In the clips, Holder and Waters criticized Republicans in a way that Hannity previously argued incites violence.
“The rhetoric from the left is constantly demonizing their political opponents,” Hannity said. “They need a big fat mirror themselves tonight to look at how they say things.”
Hannity argued that Clinton’s condemnation of the mailed bombs was hypocritical because she recently said, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.”
“Now she’s singing a different tune after actual criminal acts against Democrats,” Hannity said. “It’s only if it happens against Democrats. I’m beginning to catch on here.”
Throughout the evening, Fox’s hosts knocked Democrats and pundits on cable news channels for saying President Trump’s rhetorical attacks on the press and Democrats may have influenced the suspect or suspects behind the bombs. (The suspect responsible for the bombs has not been identified, and while any motive and ideological background remains somewhat unclear, the bombs targeted exclusively Democrats and a former government official in a Democratic administration.)
A chyron on Laura Ingraham’s show read “Liberals Already Playing Blame Game.” Host Tucker Carlson said Democrats and cable news pundits were rushing to fault Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, pushing “to assign blame when we don’t know who is to blame is corrosive.”
“The implication on the other channels I was watching this afternoon is that the president sent these,” Carlson said.
On Fox Business Network’s top rated show, the topics threatened to veer into conspiratorial territory.
Recurring guest Dan Bongino said on Lou Dobbs’ show that the coverage of the pipe bombs was “abhorrent” and suggested that “there’s something very suspicious” about the fact that some of the names on the bomb packages were misspelled.
Dobbs did not attempt to shoot down the suggestion of a potential conspiracy.
Instead, he included a graphic with a list of supposed “acts of violence and harassment against Trump supporters.” He also dedicated a segment to criticizing CNN’s Jeff Zucker, who released a statement on Wednesday criticizing Trump’s frequent rhetorical attacks on the media.
“He was so outraged today and so careless with his words, but then again he’s probably taught everyone at the network what to do with language,” Dobbs said.