Brian Stelter’s inside story about encounter with Sean Hannity is a big backfire

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CNN’s Brian Stelter may not be getting the reaction he was hoping for after an excerpt from his upcoming book was shared online.

The host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” appeared to have stepped on a rake in the retelling of an encounter he had with Fox News host Sean Hannity. The excerpt from the book, “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” was shared in a preview in Vanity Fair.

(Image: CNN screenshot)

Stelter and Hannity have sparred in the past, taking their jabs at each other from the air to social media. The Fox News host has nicknamed Stelter “Humpty Dumpty” and Stelter noted that in a passage in his book.

“But I struggled to square Hannity’s reputation with the man I saw on TV and occasionally in person,” Stelter wrote, explaining how the two ended up attending the same party at a Manhattan restaurant in 2019.

“Hannity greeted me by putting both his hands on my shoulders and exclaiming: “Humpty!” the excerpt read.

Hannity allegedly told Stelter he did not feel “bad about the name-calling” before he removed his hands from his shoulders and “moved towards the bar.”

Earlier this year, Hannity slammed Stelter in a series of tweets for his “incredible” arrogance and the fawning treatment of disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti.

“There’s a reason why crowds of thousands yell ‘CNN sucks.’ Because it DOES…,” Hannity tweeted in February.

“Now, that being said, I want to encourage you to keep doing exactly what you’re doing because it is a spectacular failure,” Hannity continued.”Don’t change a thing, Humpty. Keep going with your low ratings.”

Stelter obviously has an issue with Fox News and has even squared off against host Tucker Carlson. As seen from the Amazon description of his book, the CNN host believes “morally bankrupt” hosts “profit outrageously by promoting the President’s propaganda and radicalizing the American right.”

And Hannity is at the center of the problem:

At the center of the story lies Sean Hannity, a college dropout who, following the death of Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes, reigns supreme at the network that pays him $30 million a year. Stelter describes the raging tensions inside Fox between the Trump loyalists and the few remaining journalists.


The fact that Stelter chose to include the humiliating encounter with Hannity in his book puzzled many Twitter users who wondered how he could have thought it could get him some sympathy.

Some thought it was intended to show off that he was recognized by Hannity.

But, contrary to what Stelter was probably hoping to accomplish with the anecdote, many Twitter users just loved Hannity’s response.

No doubt, Stelter may be second-guessing the decision to write about the encounter but, more than likely, it will prove to be more fodder for his self-pity wagon.



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