CNN Host Criticizes Fox, Hannity For Allowing Trump To Predict ‘Rigged’ Race

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CNN’s Brian Stelter went after a pair of Fox News hosts for failing to challenge Donald Trump’s prediction that the presidential election will be “rigged,” saying it was “irresponsible” to let these unfounded conspiracies stand.

The “Reliable Sources” host devoted part of his Sunday show to critiquing the “conspiratorial” Sean Hannity for ending an interview right after the Republican nominee warned that the election would “be taken away from us.”

“Hannity should have asked more questions. Interviewers, even the ones that support the person they’re interviewing, have an obligation to probe further and push back when a candidate says something dangerous,” Stelter said. “And this is dangerous. Suggesting an election is going to be stolen, this is Third World dictatorship stuff.”

Trump has been hitting this line hard over the past week. He told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio last Monday that he had heard “more and more” that the results of the 2016 race wouldn’t be handled fairly, and told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that recent rulings striking down voter ID laws had “scary” implications for November. O’Reilly did not challenge Trump’s claims, either.

Stelter accused Hannity of “just handing Trump the mic” and threatening the foundation of American democracy by implying that the results of national elections cannot be trusted.

“The conservative media is vital but Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly both failed their audience this week,” Stelter said.

Hannity noted on air that Mitt Romney did not receive a single vote in some districts in Philadelphia and Cleveland in 2012. Addressing the point, Stelter said that there were other districts in which President Barack Obama did not receive any votes.

These results speak to the high degree of residential segregation in some U.S. cities. According to a 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer report, Romney received no votes in 59 Philly districts that were almost exclusively African American.

Still, Hannity pushed back at Stelter’s segment on Twitter, arguing he was in the tank for Clinton.

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