On Monday, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity criticized protesters who openly carried guns during demonstrations against the pandemic containment measures employed in states across the country.
Needless to say, it did not go over well with the channel's usual viewers.
When the video was shared by a Fox News fan on YouTube, it was captioned:
"Sean Hannity caught LIVE disparaging the 2nd amendment."
"The HYPOCRISY of Sean Hannity. He calls patriots a distraction and a threat to law enforcement."
However others thought Hannity's criticisms—for once—made sense.
Hannity comes out against armed protests: This with the militia look here and these long guns uhhh no. Show of forc… https://t.co/edV5WqPO8x— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1588642110.0
"I'm the number one supporter—radio and television—that I know of First Amendment and the Second Amendment. Now, no one is a bigger defendant of the Second Amendment than yours truly."
"Everyone has the right to protest, protect themselves and try to get the country open."
But as images of the protests in Michigan showed on a split screen with Hannity, he added:
"This, with the militia look here, and these long guns, uh... no. Show of force is dangerous."
"That puts our police at risk. And by the way, your message will never be heard, whoever you people are."
Protestors were photographed screaming in the faces of law enforcement after they were stopped from storming into the halls of the Michigan legislature after forcing their way into the building.
"No one should be attempting to intimidate officials with a show of force, and God forbid, something happens. Then they're going to go after all of us law-abiding Second Amendment people."
The Fox News host then invited Fox News contributors Dan Bongino and Dave Rubin to give their thoughts. Bongino defended the protestors, justifying their heavily armed confrontations with capitol security and Michigan State Police after they were not allowed to enter the floor of the House chambers while it was in session.
Despite being photographed and video taped screaming in the faces of law enforcement, those identified now deny it.
Protesters argue with police inside Michigan Capitol buildingyoutu.be
People wondered if Hannity found out the heavily armed protests were not as organic as people claimed.
@Acyn Did he recently find out that the guy who was shouting in the one officers faces is a known white supremacist… https://t.co/kIeEXGu5eE— A man is known by the company he keeps (@A man is known by the company he keeps) 1588642549.0
@mrmajestyx @Acyn They're traveling from state to state, city to city. We had some Proud Boys come here that was n… https://t.co/xWLGIKOQE5— Bandele Ganiyu (@Bandele Ganiyu) 1588648302.0
Bongino said in defense of the out of state heavily armed protestors who screamed at law enforcement:
"Of course, they're fed up. They have to feed their kids. They're being put out of business by people acting like despotic tyrants."
@Acyn But how else are those armed psychos going to get their message across that people desperately need haircuts— Trumpy Trumpy (parody) (@Trumpy Trumpy (parody)) 1588643692.0
@outofcontroljb @Acyn aren't bowl cuts and mullets a staple of these inbred hicks? This should be heaven for them— V (@V) 1588659254.0
@TheReal_VH @outofcontroljb @Acyn The Karens need to maintain their "I want to talk to the manager!" coifs and highlights.— Not_that_bluebird (@Not_that_bluebird) 1588691652.0
People questioned the sincerity of Hannity.
@MsMariaT @Acyn @FoxNews Yep. A little plausible deniability sprinkled here and there via a handful of these soundb… https://t.co/yPLIFIg2JH— Frankfurt School Graduate (@Frankfurt School Graduate) 1588645551.0
@chris_appleget @MsMariaT @Acyn @FoxNews Ditto on the plausible deniability. He knows exactly what’s going on behin… https://t.co/T4oKvsx6CS— MizpahMoon ☀️🌜🌟🌛☀️ (@MizpahMoon ☀️🌜🌟🌛☀️) 1588654604.0
@sandibachom @Acyn This is Domestic Terrorism. The mind f**k hits a real high note when you realize these are offic… https://t.co/Z2gLLm4SLL— Bitchy In Baxter (@Bitchy In Baxter) 1588642812.0
@crb0307 @sandibachom @Acyn If they were anything other than white you know damn well this would be different. Als… https://t.co/wuhDUSU9oQ— Bitchy In Baxter (@Bitchy In Baxter) 1588644503.0
@crb0307 @bitchyinbaxter @sandibachom @Acyn Hi from the other side of the world. I know you don't care what we, or… https://t.co/w1eMFr2VVL— Glen Atthow (@Glen Atthow) 1588647998.0
@AtthowGlen @crb0307 @bitchyinbaxter @sandibachom @Acyn It's just a bunch of ID!OTS https://t.co/NKi9opH10i— Rob BG (@Rob BG) 1588668548.0
You can watch the full segment here.
At the end, Hannity stated:
"Let's not find distractions and... spin out of control here."
Governor Gretchen Whitmer had another take on the protests, telling CNN:
"There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles."
"Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country."
The book The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History is available here.