Fox News publicly rebuked Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro after the network on-air hosts joined President Trump speaking on stage at a Missouri campaign rally Monday evening. Bill Shine, who was at the time executive vice president for programming at Fox News and who is now the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, said in a statement, "When senior executives in NY were made aware of this, we changed our plans for tonight's show".
White House reporter Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted: "Still can't get over Hannity denying he would be on stage the whole day, getting brought up by Trump, and then pointing to actual news reporters and calling them fake".
Fox did not broadcast Mr Hannity's rally appearance despite promising to cover the entire event.
"Either Fox News lied all day about their direct collaboration with the Trump campaign, or the network simply doesn't have any control over Sean Hannity", said Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, which has urged an advertiser boycott of Hannity in the past.
"FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events", a statement from the network read. Then, when Trump called him up, Hannity quickly went from "covering the final rally for [his] show" to becoming part of the show.
The latest incident wasnt the first time Fox News has had to chide Hannity for his closeness to the president.
'This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed'.
Trump paused his stump speech for roughly five minutes after being alerted to a medical emergency in the crowd of thousands. "We're driving them insane". The Fox News executive who was quoted explaining in a newspaper report why Hannity's appearance was disallowed was Bill Shine - now Trump's communications director. In the past, Hannity has said that he's a talk show host, not a journalist. And you do have, honestly, I see some - you have some very fine people back there.
When he was featured in a 2016 Trump campaign video, Fox told him to never do it again.
As shameless as that kind of partisan cheerleading is for a channel with "news" in its title, I would not be writing this column if that was all Hannity and Fox News did Monday.
In Indiana, Trump invited White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and counselor Kellyanne Conway on stage to speak along with his daughter Ivanka Trump.
Fox News draws a distinction between its opinion and news sides of the house.
Fox News would not comment on how the situation was 'addressed, ' or provide any information about Hannity's actions beyond its initial public comment.