Fox News host and perennial booster of President Donald Trump Sean Hannity is engaged in another angry Twitter spat with a fellow media figure, this time with recently-hired conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens.
Mediaite.com reported Friday that Hannity and Stephens have locked horns over Stephens' recent op-ed column decrying the decision by the conservative Media Research Center to award Hannity with a William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence.
Stephens lauded Buckley as an intellectual luminary and "conservative wit," then went on to call Hannity the manifestation of "the Idiot stage of the conservative cycle," riffing on Warren Buffet's aphorism of the "the natural progression of the three I's," which maintains that movements are picked up first by innovators, copied by imitators and then ruined by idiots.
Hannity angrily retorted on Twitter that he doesn't care what Stephens thinks, then barraged the former Wall Street Journal opinion page editor with tweets.
"For the first time in my life I partly agree with @BretStephensNYT I do not deserve the WFB award. I also never deserved the 2 Marconis," he said.
"Nor do I deserve the Radio Hall of Fame, Free speech awards from Talkers or the R&R tall host of the year awards I have won. Nor do I care," he went on.
The conservative talker then went all "Friday Night Lights" about his role as a toady to the Trump administration and harasser of grieving families, casting it as a noble struggle between good and evil.
"To my audience that has given me the honor of 30 years on radio 22 years on Fox, I thank you. You mattter, Faith, family Country matter," he said. "As long as you honor me with these opportunities I will continue to fight hard for the things I truly believe in. Not what WFB, Media, NYT’s Believes in. I’m not Buckley, Rush, Mark, or anybody else. I’m myself. I will fight for limited Govt, lower taxes, less regulation, Energy independence, school choice, balanced budgets, secure borders, defeating Isis and radical Islam. And will battle a corrupt media."
He went on, "So @BretStephensNYT I’ll say to you and the @nytimes (Fake News) I do not care what u think. God bless America. Can ANYONE think of just ONE memorable thing @BretStephensNYT has written? WFB was on my show numerous times, would WFB trust the @nytimes ? https://t.co/r0NnuDidUZ."
He then dinged the Times by saying, "Agree They are too busy firing everyone as they fall apart."
This week, Hannity's employer Fox News suspended two men over allegations of sexual harassment, Fox Sports general manager Jamie Horowitz and conservative commentator Charles Payne.
Hannity has been one of Trump's biggest media boosters, frequently hosting the former reality TV star on his show and reliably lobbing softball questions at the president.
Even other conservatives are getting annoyed with Hannity's reflexive praise and defense of everything Trump says and does. Ann Coulter mocked Hannity on her personal blog as having "the zeal of a late convert" in his obsequiousness toward the president. "Bless his heart," she said dismissively.