Tucker Carlson’s face said it all.
Things got awkward as the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host handed things off to his Fox News colleague Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, with the latter seeming to refute his lead-in’s last segment while live on the air.
Carlson had just closed his show by calling out Amazon AMZN, -1.59% CEO Jeff Bezos for adding $13 billion to his fortune on Monday thanks to a 7.9% spike in Amazon’s stock price. After pointing out that millions of Americans are out of work, with many draining their savings to stay afloat during the pandemic, Carlson criticized Bezos for becoming “extremely rich from all of this.”
But when Hannity came on the air moments later, he appeared to refute his lead-in entirely — and viewers got an eyeful of Carlson reacting to Hannity seeming to counter what he had just said, because Fox News was showing both hosts on a split-screen during the handoff.
“People can make money. They provide goods and services people want, need and desire. That’s America,” Hannity said — as to his left, Carlson’s brow furrowed.
“It’s called freedom, capitalism,” Hannity continued, as Carlson’s expression slipped from a smile to a frown. “And as long as it’s honest, right, people decide. All right, Tucker, great show!”
Watch it here:
The Daily Caller, which Carlson helped start in 2010 before recently selling his stake, tweeted out the awkward exchange on Tuesday night, which led viewers to remark on the cringeworthy transition on Twitter TWTR, -1.37%. The clip and Bezos’ name continued to trend on Twitter well into Wednesday afternoon.
Once Hannity became aware of the perceived slight, however, he also took to the social media site late Tuesday to apologize and backtrack from his remarks. “I was reiterating Tucker’s point on NOT being versus capitalism,” he wrote. “I was in the chair one minute before airtime and I was specifically responding to the end of Tucker’s interview when he said he supported honest capitalism, I had not heard any of the other part of the interview.”
He then apologized “for any misunderstanding” to Carlson and the Fox News audience.
It’s been a tough week for the Fox News hosts. Hannity, Carlson and Howard Kurtz were accused of sexual harassment by a frequent on-air guest in a lawsuit filed Monday, which the network called frivolous and untrue. And in the same case, a former Fox employee said she was harassed and raped by news anchor Ed Henry, who was fired July 1 after the network became aware of the accusations.
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Originally published on MarketWatch