Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich have been by Donald Trump’s side from the early days of his improbable run for the presidency, but the two supporters had much different takes on the Charlottesville controversy that has attracted so much media attention in recent days.
On his program Wednesday night, Hannity placed the majority of blame on the mainstream media, which he concluded was using the flap over Charlottesville as just the latest in a neverending series of narratives meant to bring the White House crumbling down to the ground. While maintaining that he in no way supported the violence that emanated from the white supremacists last Saturday, Hannity said that Trump was absolutely within his moral authority to point out and condemn the violence from the left-wing fringe groups who were also in attendance.
“The media is living in an alternative universe,” he said. “All they want to do is destroy the president.”
Hannity noted that it was only a couple of days earlier that the same media figures denouncing the president as a Nazi sympathizer were mocking him as being out of his depth in a confrontation with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Charlottesville merely gave the pundits another set of crayons with which to color Trump as a menace to America; the facts didn’t matter nearly as much as the opportunity.
Hannity described Trump’s media critics as “beyond despicable.”
On the other side, you had Gingrich on Fox & Friends saying that President Trump deserved his share of the blame for what happened in the wake of Saturday’s statement and Tuesday’s wild press conference. He advised Trump to become “substantially more disciplined” in his messaging if he wanted any shot of pushing his agenda through Congress. And he said that Trump’s heated exchange with reporters at Trump Tower only served to inflame an already incendiary situation.
Hannity called the media “beyond despicable.”
“The president was inadequate initially, particularly when he began to say there some good people in the crowd of neo-Nazis and alt-right. If you’re a good person and you see someone chanting anti-Semitic chants and you see somebody wearing a Nazi flag, you leave, you don’t stay,” Gingrich said.
Still, he agreed that groups on both sides deserved condemnation.
Two different Trump supporters, two different messages, but in the end, they both have a viable point. The media went absolutely nuts last week…but then, that’s what the media does. It doesn’t mean you need to feed them. Trump now has a hole he’s got to dig himself out of to get back on track – his points on the left-wing protesters, while truthful, may not have been worth it.