Fox News contributor Dan Bongino declared this week that he “will not comply” with his county’s mandatory mask orders, boasting on his podcast that he will tell those mandating masks amid a deadly pandemic to “shove it right up your ass.”
The network that employs him as a paid pundit, meanwhile, has recently been airing ads publicly urging viewers to wear face coverings to stem the spread of the virus.
During Wednesday’s broadcast of The Dan Bongino Show, the fervently pro-Trump host complained that the Florida county where he resides had unanimously passed a face-covering law that will remain in effect for a month. Much like the rest of Florida, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are spiking in Martin County.
“Well, the reason I’m talking about this is, this is not just an issue for me locally,” he exclaimed. “It’s an issue I’ve been talking about for well over a few months now. But this is happening all over the country. They have no authority to do this. These people are just fabricating new tyrannical powers, drunk on their own power.”
Saying he’s a “free-marketer” and is fine with private businesses demanding customers wear masks, Bongino declared that he is a “big boy” and can make “my own calls” about donning a mask in public or his own place of business.
“I do not need power-drunk, pseudo-monarchs, little mini-tyrants—in my supposedly conservative county, though—sending out ridiculous, child-like, amateur-hour edicts demanding people wear masks in situations where the risk of transmission is somewhat close to zero,” he yelled.
“You can take your mask mandate, and shove it right up your ass,” an increasingly irate Bongino added. “You understand?! Because I will not comply. I will use my own adult, mature, 45-year old judgment.”
As Bongino—who is currently suing The Daily Beast, alleging defamation and related claims—openly advocates for defying local and state mask mandates, the host of the Fox News show he appears on almost nightly has been attempting to convince the network’s viewers to wear their masks.
“Alright, so I’ve been saying all along, throughout the pandemic, COVID-19, essential employees all across America, they never stopped working. Masks, PPE, it kept them safe. And I was right here in the epicenter, and every store I went to, everybody was wearing their mask, and thankfully, at my grocery store, nobody got COVID-19,” Sean Hannity said in one PSA currently running on Fox News.
“So what did I learn? I don’t have a problem wearing a mask, especially if it means we can go to a ballgame, or to defend grandma, grandpa, mom, and dad. That’s why I choose to do it.”
Hannity isn’t the only pro-Trump Fox host who’s pushed viewers—and President Donald Trump—to wear masks in order to slow the spread of the virus. Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy has tried to convince Trump through the TV screen to wear a mask as it would be a “powerful symbol” to his supporters.
On top of all that, the network has recently mandated that all employees and guests returning to their New York studios must wear masks upon arrival.