How McCarthy’s Unprecedented Leadership Battle Is a Reflection of Fox News and the Right-Wing Media | CNN Business
It’s Tucker Carlson vs. Sean Hannity in the Republican Party.
The divisions within the GOP, laid bare on national television by the dramatic battle between Kevin McCarthy and a rebel faction for the House presidency, reflect a long-brewing rift in the U.S. media. right and that is surprisingly clear on Fox News in prime time.
Certain corners of the right-wing media universe, represented by the Carlsons of the world, revel in the chaos. Carlson made that clear on his broadcasts this week, effectively cheering on the Never Kevin camp in the House and arguing that what we’re seeing on TV: a crippled GOP that can’t elect a Speaker of the House after six votes, it’s healthy.
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“If you prefer democracy to oligarchy, if you prefer real debates about issues that really matter, that’s pretty refreshing to see,” Carlson said of the public squabbles taking place in the House, which will be back in session at noon. Thursday.
Then there are the personalities and outlets most aligned with Hannity, who has spoken out against the insurgency facing McCarthy and argued on behalf of the California congressman.
To be clear, Hannity has not directly bashed the Republicans who led the rebellion against McCarthy. It has mostly been played politely. And he has tried to minimize the friction, insisting that it is not a crisis. But Hannity has represented the wing of the right-wing media — and the larger GOP — that would like Republicans to come together and not be consumed by the mess.
“Should the Republicans have worked this all out privately, long before yesterday? Yes, absolutely. And behind the scenes I talked to a lot of them and urged them to work it out,” Hannity said Wednesday night . “Looks like they didn’t listen to my advice.”
After those comments, Hannity invited Rep. Lauren Boebert for an interview that turned quite combative. The Fox News host repeatedly pressed the far-right congresswoman about what the rebel group plans to do, given that they are clearly a small minority of the GOP. Hannity sometimes pointed out that Boebert was being evasive and not answering his simple questions.
“I asked you a simple question, Congressman. I feel like I’m getting an answer from a liberal,” an exasperated Hannity said toward the conclusion of the interview, in which Boebert continued to repeatedly talk about him.
Of course, while Hannity, McCarthy and others might be frustrated with the rebels now, they all played a role in strengthening their power in recent years. What is the irony that cuts straight to the heart of the matter.
Just as the Republican Party laid the groundwork over the years for the rise of Donald Trump, people like Hannity have laid the groundwork for the rise of people like Carlson. They have heeded their opinions, refused to call out their nonsense, and have chosen to attack entities like the media rather than confront the mess in their own backyard.
Now they’re reaping what they sowed: a party made up of a growing number of erratic figures who don’t mind—and perhaps even prefer—watching the world burn.