Fox News’ Sean Hannity trashed the New York Times on Monday after it ran a story that blamed him, in part, for a New York man who died after contracting the novel coronavirus.
Saturday’s article, written by columnist Ginia Bellafante, paints the picture of a New Yorker named Joe Joyce, who “was skeptical about the virus,” took a cruise, and then died from coronavirus. Bellafante blamed Fox News and Hannity for Joyce’s death because the New Yorker reportedly watched the network.
“First, we just witnessed more blatant, malicious deception, smears, lies, besmirchment from the mob and the media,” Hannity said before introducing the NYT article. “‘Times’ columnist – well, his woman’s name is Ginia Bellafante – pretty much all but accused yours truly of murder.”
“That is slander. That is libel,” Hannity said as he also accused the piece of politicizing a tragedy. He also extended his sympathies to Joyce’s family. (RELATED: NYT Reporter Bungles Timeline In Attempt To Blame Fox News, Hannity For Death Of Man With Coronavirus)
Hannity accused Bellafante of adding “to the pain and suffering of a family that deserves better.” He said that the article was “done to vilify this program [‘Hannity’] and this channel [Fox News].”
The Fox host also pointed out that the NYT article was updated with a statement from Fox that refuted its timeline, but that the publication did not issue a correction or note the change.
“When the New York Times got caught spreading the lie – in other words, ‘whoops, they already took the cruise, yeah, we messed that up,'” Hannity said. “What they did is they didn’t make a correction, they didn’t highlight a change, they just tried to sneak in a stealth edit in the article – in other words, to include a more accurate timeline considering they botched it the first time.”
“And by the way, that completely contradicted the entire thesis of their article. A real journalist, a real newspaper would admit that they were wrong, issue an apology, issue a correction. In an interesting way, their stealth edit is nothing but an admission of their guilt and an example of how they try to cover up their smear, their slander, their lies and everything else.”
The NYT article includes a March 9 quote from Hannity where he said that American’s were “unnecessarily” scared. Hannity made that quote over a week after Joe Joyce, the New York man, and his wife set out for their cruise to Spain. The NYT even noted that they left for Spain on March 1.
Hannity called Bellafante “a hack” who “works for a disgraceful organization.” In addition to pointing out the timeline issue with the article, Hannity called out Bellafante for appearing to downplay the virus herself in February.
“I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases,” Bellafante tweeted on Feb. 27.
I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound. cc: @opinion_joe
— Ginia Bellafante (@GiniaNYT) February 27, 2020
He also gave his own timeline of his show, “Hannity,” in an attempt to disprove the claims written in the NYT column, as well as a timeline of how various other publications first responded to the novel coronavirus.
Hannity added that the NYT first ignored the virus, then politicized the virus and finally accused others of downplaying it.
“This is the kind of rampant hypocrisy, negligent behavior that is so widespread,” Hannity said. “This is the 99% of the mob and the media, and I call them a mob for reason. They are nothing but state-run print, state-run TV. They are the allies of all things radical Democratic socialist and extremist.”