The conservative host of the Fox News Channel's Hannity weeknight program used his Wednesday episode to push back on the mockery he received from Jon Stewart, the departing liberal host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, over Sean Hannity's extensive coverage of last year's spring break in Florida.
Hannity called Stewart a “sanctimonious jackass” for dubbing him “America's oldest hall monitor” and dedicating “not one, not two, but five different shows on the horrors of spring break, including the entire hour on Friday featuring a panel of outraged experts there to expose this annual event.”
Stewart's segment was part of the “heat” and “ridicule” the conservative host said he and his staff received when they began reporting the unsavory behavior going on in Panama Beach City each March.
“You will believe what they found,” the liberal host noted, “because you know 'drinking, drugs, risky behavior, sometimes with tragic results,'" Hannity narrated over a video that ended with a young woman jiggling in her pink two-piece swimsuit.
“Shortly after filming that piece, that young woman blew out her left butt cheek,” Stewart joked.
The liberal comedian then stated:
Some of the more skeptical viewers might think this is less of a news story and more of a reason to spend a week running wildly inappropriate … footage alongside pundits “tsking” said footage, but you'd only be 99.9 percent right.
During this year's event, two “gang rapes” took place in broad daylight, and seven people were shot on Friday evening, just as the Hannity crew left town.
The host noted that Stewart “hasn't commented since the seven people were shot” and “the two gang rapes” occurred “in broad daylight.”
Correspondent Ainsley Earhardt then stated:
That's when the city council really took a closer look at this, and then the sheriff released that video of someone being gang raped, … and it was so obvious that what's going on down there needs to stop.
“You've been there now two years in a row,” Hannity remarked. “Do you think this is enough? Does this do it, or are they just going to ... drink before they go to the beach?”
“I'm just so proud of the city council for at least taking a stand and listening to the residents because when we were there last year, the residents -- many of them -- were divided,” Earhardt noted.
“When we were there this year,” she continued, “so many people came up to me and said: 'Thank you so much. Tell Sean thank you for covering this because we need to see changes.'”
But “you smelled pot everywhere you went,” Hannity stated before asking: “In 40 minutes, how many arrests did you cover?”
“Oh, there were so many more arrests this year than there were last year, and that was obvious in the few hours that we spent with the cops doing a ride-along at night,” Earhardt replied. “We saw heroin, we saw marijuana. They told us that guns were a problem, and then, the seven people were shot.”
“And then, all these people that would come from outside the area to prey on those kids, which is part of this,” Hannity stated.
At that point, the host turned to his second guest -- Gavin McInnis, author of The Death of Cool -- and asked: “Gavin, you're controversial; you're also funny, but this wasn't funny to you. The coverage, the mocking, that really got to you. Why?”
“It was infuriating because it was evidence of the left's hypocrisy,” McInnis explained. “They don't really care.”
“Like Jon Stewart says there: 'You will believe your eyes,'” he continued. But “your eyes weren't down there. Hannity went down there. This show changed the law and will prevent future rapes.”
However, this segment isn't the first time Hannity and his guests have criticized Stewart for mocking last year's coverage of spring break.
On April 14, McInnes described Stewart as a “smug cretin” who got the audience laughing “like we’re at a rape roast.” He also claimed that Stewart and his audience are “exactly the same as the bystanders that walked by” the gang rape. “They have the same blood on their hands.”
Richard “Bo” Dietl – a former New York City Police Department detective and a regular Fox News contributor -- then asked: “What if it was his daughter?” Hannity agreed and said he doubts Stewart would send his own daughter there on spring break.
Stewart has yet to respond to either of the Hannity discussions regarding his take on the spring break coverage. Perhaps we'll hear something before his final episode as host of The Daily Show on August 6.