In an effort to paint the online reaction to actor Vince Vaughn shaking hands with President Donald Trump as “liberal cancel culture” targeting the Wedding Crashers star, Fox News has repeatedly cited a sarcastic tweet by a write at conservative news site Washington Examiner.
After former Daily Beast employee Timothy Burke tweeted a video of the staunchly libertarian Vaughn and Trump talking at Monday night’s College Football Championship game along with a tongue-in-cheek caption, a number of high-profile conservative Twitter accounts blasted the largely non-existent online outrage from the left.
The Washington Examiner’s Siraj Hashmi, for his part, jokingly wrote: “Ladies & gentlemen, I regret to inform you Vince Vaughn is CANCELED.”
Despite it being obvious that Hashmi was mocking so-called cancel culture, a Fox News digital reporter Tuesday morning earnestly included his tweet in a piece about the “liberal outrage” over the Vaughn-Trump encounter, painting Hashmi as part of the purported leftist mob calling for the actor to be “canceled.”
After Hashmi eventually pushed back and noted that the framing of the article prompted Trump supporters to flood his inbox and social media comments sections with angry messages, the article was quietly edited to note that the Washington Examiner writer’s tweet was “predicting the reaction Vaughn’s appearance would trigger from the left.”
While the online piece had been changed, the message that Hashmi’s online post was sarcastic evidently didn’t make its way to the network’s on-air programs.
During Tuesday’s broadcast of early-afternoon chatfest Outnumbered, host Melissa Francis introduced a segment on Vaughn by claiming the actor “chatting and laughing” with Trump was “triggering harsh backlash from the left” before airing Hashmi’s tweet.
While no one noted that the tweet was sarcastic, co-host Dagen McDowell said her “hot take” was that the majority of the online reaction to the moment was conservatives baiting liberals by stating: “Oh, are you triggered? Oh, he’s canceled!”
“It wasn’t people on the left,” she added. “It was conservatives who are trying to foment anger and upset.”
The following hour, meanwhile, Outnumbered Overtime anchor Harris Faulkner also devoted a segment to the “liberal cancel culture” targeting Vaughn—and she also highlighted Hashmi’s tweet as a prime example of one of the actor’s “many outraged critics.”
Conservative commentator Jaime Weinstein, however, attempted to point out to Faulkner that the Swingers star was likely in no real danger of being canceled, noting that it was “just a few knuckleheads on Twitter getting angry.”
Weinstein also pushed back on White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley’s claim to Fox News earlier in the day that Democrats are more upset with Vince Vaughn than with slain Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani killing Americans, saying the Trump flack “might have gotten over his skis” as “Democrats are not getting up in arms over this.”
After being informed that Fox News show had repeatedly cited his tweet earnestly, Hashmi—who has made multiple Fox News and Fox Business on-air appearances—changed his Twitter handle to “SHARIA NOW” on the advice of another Twitter account, who pointed out that this could be the “greatest troll opportunity of your life.”