Fox's Hannity, CNN's Cooper trade blows in cable news network brawl

Fox News and CNN On Wednesday again traded blows on the air with Fox News's Sean Hannity comparing CNN's Anderson Cooper to Jerry Springer and Cooper hitting Fox for not reprimanding its top-rated host.

The back-and-forth jabs seem to be happening on a regular basis between the two cable news networks, with MSNBC, which is currently second to Fox News overall in the cable news race, rarely being dragged into the fight.

“In the two days that have elapsed since the president’s lawyer Michael Cohen was forced to reveal in court that the mystery client he tried to keep secret was, in fact, Sean Hannity, the consequences have been swift,” Cooper said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Fox News did what any respectable news organization would do when faced with the knowledge that one of its anchors went on the air time after time after time to breathlessly report on someone without disclosing his own personal connection to the story,” he continued.

“I’m kidding,” Cooper said to laughter from his panel. “They don’t care. They didn’t care.”

Hannity on Monday in federal court was revealed to be the previously unnamed third client of Michael Cohen, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan fires new shot at Trump: ‘He’s drunk on power’ Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report MORE's personal attorney.

Critics have argued that the host should have revealed his relationship to avoid appearances of a conflict of interest, while Hannity has maintained the relationship was minor and he never retained Cohen or "received an invoice or paid legal fees.”

Hannity has the title of opinion host for Fox News while Cooper is listed as an anchor for CNN.

While Cooper was mocking Fox for their handling of the Hannity revelations, Hannity took aim at Cooper by featuring him in a montage that included his "60 Minutes" interview with adult-film star Stormy Daniels while juxtaposing that to an interview that Jerry Springer previously had with a woman on his program.

"Maybe the dramatic collapse of CNN makes more sense when you consider their chief anchor, Anderson Cooper, is more like Jerry Springer than a newscaster," Hannity said.

"When you juxtapose his questions with Jerry Springer, I mean, what is happening?" he later asked.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is locked in a legal battle with Trump over a $130,000 payment she received from Cohen weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. The White House denies the affair claim.

Hannity, a staunch supporter of the president, also played a montage of various CNN anchors, hosts and guests saying the word "shithole" dozens of times in the days following a remark the president allegedly made referring to some African nations during a private meeting in the Oval Office in January.

The conservative host also played a similar montage of the words "pee tape" being said on CNN this week following former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report White House drafts docs for Trump to revoke more security clearances: report Strzok firing a needed first step to restoring credibility and fairness to the FBI MORE's speculation on salacious claims in an infamous account that first surfaced in the dossier of unverified opposition research created by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.

“What is your favorite tape?” Hannity then asked guests Michelle Malkin and Larry Elder. “I can’t stop laughing. My entire team is dying."

Hannity and Cooper currently compete in the 9 p.m. timeslot. That will change when "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo moves to that time.

President Trump has done 21 interviews on Fox News and Fox Business since taking office. He hasn't appeared on CNN since August 2016.