Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy spent a portion of her weekend seemingly endorsing social-media attacks on her own colleague Jedediah Bila.
Campos-Duffy, a stridently pro-Trump former reality-TV star, temporarily replaced Bila—a conservative who has been publicly critical of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election—on Saturday and Sunday as a Fox & Friends Weekend co-host while Bila dealt with an apparent “home emergency.”
The one-time MTV Real World star celebrated her fill-in gig on Twitter, informing her followers that she would be hosting the morning show and calling on them to join her “for coffee & lively conversation about everything you’re talking about with your friends & family at home!”
It didn’t take long, of course, for a bevy of right-wing users to reply to Campos-Duffy by mentioning how much they dislike Bila—a Trump skeptic—and would prefer she lose her job and be permanently replaced.
And Campos-Duffy, apparently unaware that Twitter is a public forum, let it be known that she appreciated such comments, including ones that openly bashed her colleague.
“I am a busy mom and any likes or replies I made were completely unintentional,” she said in a statement to The Daily Beast following the publication of this story. “I have nothing but respect for Jedediah Bila and consider her a friend.”
“I got so excited I thought for a second you took over for Jed permanently! Wishful thinking,” one user wrote on Friday, prompting Campos-Duffy to respond with an emoji of a smiling face surrounded by three hearts.
Elsewhere, Campos-Duffy approvingly deployed the smiling hearts emoji in response to a user named “TRUMP IS BOSS,” who declared that they “will never watch while @JedediahBila occupies the seat [but] I do love Rachels perspective.” And in response to another user boldly telling Campos-Duffy that “[Bila] may be a friend, but you need to replace her imo!!” the Fox contributor once again deployed a gleeful, heart-filled response.
“Will only watch this wknd bc you’re on @RCamposDuffy!!! Love the guys too @PeteHegseth and @willcain, however not for 1 single moment can I bear to listen to @JedediahBila 🤮 Her holier than thou ‘tude is just way too much to handle. You OTOH are a delight, Rachel - c u on Sat,” another viewer tweeted at the Fox personality.
“See you in the AM!” Campos-Duffy replied, conspicuously failing to muster a defense of her own colleague to the vomit-emoji-using critic.
Eventually, after being specifically tagged in many of the responses to Campos-Duffy’s post, Bila fired back at her trolls. “If I’m not on your TV today due to a home emergency and you still took the time to hate tweet @ me, I’m taking up way too much space in your head,” Bila tweeted on Saturday. “Flattered, though! 😘 #followthefacts ✌️”
She followed that up with a Sunday tweet bemoaning “cancel culture,” and how it is “alive & well on both sides,” adding that we “increasingly live in a world where people want to hear unanimous agreement” and have their views “parroted back” to them.
When the late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes oversaw the network with an infamously iron fist, prior to his ignominious 2016 departure over sexual-misconduct allegations, it was practically forbidden for network personalities to be seen as publicly critical of one another.
After Ailes left, however, the network has seen its fair share of on-air bickering and sniping between the channel’s news and opinion sides. The most glaring example came in the very public feud between top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson and news anchor Shepard Smith, who had been with the network since its 1996 launch.
After Carlson and his guests repeatedly bashed Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano—a longtime fixture at the network and Trump critic—Smith called out the “repugnant” attack, prompting Carlson to return fire while openly mocking the dayside anchor. Carlson came out the victor, as Smith ultimately left the network.
Bila, who returned to Fox News in Nov. 2018 after a year-long stint as the conservative co-host of ABC’s The View, has grown increasingly outspoken about Trump’s “voter fraud” conspiracy theories and his attempt to steal the election. Late last month, for instance, she said it was “incumbent upon” Trump to concede and tell his supporters the election is over, otherwise they’d continue to think it was “stolen or rigged” in perpetuity.
Campos-Duffy, on the other hand, used her guest-hosting turn to echo the president’s unhinged election conspiracies while lamenting Trump’s hurt feelings over his legal efforts to subvert the democratic process.
“So you know, I just feel for the president,” Campos-Duffy emotionally declared on Sunday. “I see the pain and the frustration. You do everything you’re supposed to do. You run the country well. You campaign your heart out while the other guy is in a basement.”
“In the end, fraud and shenanigans at the local level, you’re robbed,” she continued. “We’ve all been robbed because when the elections don’t go well, when there is fraud, these kinds of shenanigans, we all lose!”
And even after Bila’s public comments about the online hate she received during her absence, Campos-Duffy continued to positively interact with Fox viewers expressing their distaste for Bila while calling on the right-wing pundit to take her job.
“Oh how I wish you were the permanent replacement,” wrote one viewer. “I love Pete and Will but not enough to have to sit and watch that other person. And you have the best laugh ever!!”
“Thank you!” Campos-Duffy responded on Sunday, complete with yet another heart-filled emoji.