Fox News host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery personally insulted CNN media analyst Brian Stelter’s appearance during a Tuesday afternoon segment complaining about mainstream media being mean to conservatives, calling the Reliable Sources host “ham-headed” and comparing him to a potato.
Fox News’ midday panel show Outnumbered devoted a segment to conservative grievances over a Washington Post cartoon depicting Republicans who collaborated with President Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election as “rats.” Furthermore, the segment also took issue with Stelter comparing Americans who have been radicalized by the “right-wing media machine” to ISIS recruits and mass shooters.
“The same pipeline that helps my children learn, helps you connect with your loved ones, also poisons some adults and distorts their reality. The body of research about radicalization is very clear,” Stelter noted during the Sunday segment. “The internet creates more space for extremism and the echo chamber effect accelerates the process. QAnon is one really clear recent example. But so is ‘Stop the Steal’ and so are some corners of the anti-vaccination movement.”
Lawrence Jones, serving as the program’s lone male guest host, said Stelter’s comments were “disgusting” before insisting that he doesn’t remember President Donald Trump “ever calling someone and relating them to ISIS.” (Jones seemingly forgot that Trump called former President Barack Obama the “founder of ISIS” in 2016 and also the terror group’s “most valuable player.”)
Fox News contributor Emily Compagno, meanwhile, described Stelter’s commentary and the Post cartoon as free speech but also “despicable,” calling on President-elect Joe Biden to “step in and be a leader and say ‘enough of this.’”
Fox anchor Harris Faulkner then wondered aloud to Kennedy whether it was “wise free speech if it has a tone of hypocrisy to it.” The former MTV VJ decided to take that opportunity to launch a series of personal attacks on Stelter.
“Hypocrisy and free speech are two different things,” Kennedy said. “We have to protect even abhorrent, simplistic, overly busy, unreadable free speech, as unpopular as it might be.”
“Back to Brian Stelter, I’m going to steal a line from [right-wing commentator] Stephen Miller: taters gonna tater,” she added, prompting laughter. “He might be the most unsophisticated analyst in the history of media analysis. He’s not just ham-fisted, he is ham-headed.”
(Miller, for his part, noted shortly after on Twitter that he's never used “tater” to described Stelter and has “even discouraged using it on my podcast as commenting on his looks I think immediately detracts any argument you might have about his hackishness.”)
Kennedy’s remarks continued to evoke chuckles from the rest of the panel, including Faulkner, who applauded her colleague’s food-based insults.
Stelter, who recently wrote a damning deep-dive book about Fox News, has long been on the receiving end of such taunts—almost always ad hominem—from the network’s personalities. Primetime host Sean Hannity, for instance, has repeatedly referred to the CNN host as “Humpty Dumpty.”