Fox News host Sean Hannity defended Friday the sharp rhetoric President Trump and conservative allies have used to criticize CNN after a suspect — Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. — was arrested for his suspected role in mailing out a dozen bombs to prominent Democrats, some of which made their way to CNN's offices in New York.
On his radio show, Hannity said such talk, rather, is an exercise in free speech.
"You know, if you say 'CNN sucks' or 'CNN is fake new' that is not a cry or an advocation of violence in any way, shape, matter, or form. It's a feeling people have when they see abusively biased news coverage," Hannity said.
He added later that media criticism is "fair game," including when networks have "political agendas," as a "warranted" and "healthy exercise of freedom of speech.”
According to clips posted to his website, Hannity called out one media personality in particular, CNN’s John Avlon, who suggested a suspicious package sent to actor Robert De Niro could be tied to Hannity's condemnation of the vocal Trump critic.
Hannity noted that Avlon "conveniently" forget to mention De Niro's own charged rhetoric, including when he screamed "Fuck Trump" at the Tony Awards.
"The 'destroy Trump' media has completely ignored the Left’s vile calls for violence since the president’s inauguration: from Madonna fantasizing about blowing up the White House to leading Democrats begging their supporters to confront Trump aides at restaurants and gasoline stations," Hannity said.
Hannity also stressed that he has said "over and over" that all Americans, including former President Barack Obama, whom he routinely criticizes, should be protected.