Hannity defends heckling of Acosta, CNN: People are screaming at you for a reason

Fox News host Sean Hannity said late Tuesday that CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta deserved to be heckled  by supporters of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE at a Florida rally, citing the network's "unfair, abusively biased treatment of the president." 

"I’m actually going to give your network some advice, if you have an open mind and an open heart," Hannity said, addressing Acosta in his opening monologue. "The people of this country are screaming at you for a reason. They don’t like your unfair, abusively biased treatment of the president of the United States."

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"If you want to earn the respect of all Americans, not the coastal elites in California, San Francisco and New York, maybe try reporting the entire story and getting rid of the bias," Hannity, a staunch supporter of the president, continued. "Maybe examine why people are saying this to us."

"In other words, coverage like this from the White House correspondent at CNN, this is why they are doing it. Take a look," the host said while tossing to a montage of Acosta providing opinions in his reporting of Trump in the past.

Trump was in Tampa Tuesday evening to campaign for Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is running for U.S. Senate; Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida gov says arrested Giuliani associate was seen as a top Trump supporter in the state Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics WHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets MORE (R-Fla.), who is running for governor; and Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public MORE (R-Fla.), who is running for reelection.

Hecklers booed Acosta at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall during his report while chanting "CNN sucks," a common refrain at Trump rallies.

Trump regularly refers to CNN as "fake news." The president, who hasn't appeared on the network since Aug. 16, 2016, during his time as a candidate, also retweeted a tweet by his son Eric, who included video of Acosta being heckled with "CNN sucks" chants while adding the hashtag #Truth and the reporter's Twitter handle, @Acosta.

Acosta took to Twitter after the rally and called the booing a "sad scene" that may result in "somebody getting hurt" due to "hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media."

“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa,” Acosta wrote. “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”