This is the story of the ridiculous feud between CNN political analyst April Ryan and Fox News host Mike Huckabee.
On Thursday, Ryan appeared on CNN’s “Out Front with Erin Burnett” to discuss the release of the Mueller report. During the panel discussion, Ryan was asked about the allegations that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made certain statements to the public that were inaccurate.
Not only does she not have credibility, she lied. She out and out lied. And the people, the American people can’t trust her. They can’t trust what’s said from the President’s mouthpiece, spokesperson from the people’s house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired, end of story.
When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. It’s fire me Thursday or fire me Good Friday. She needs to go.
From there, several outlets reported on Ryan’s quote.
After conservative blog RedState published a piece with the not-at-all sensationalistic title: “CNN’s April Ryan Says Sarah Sanders’ Head Should Be ‘Lopped Off,'” Mike Huckabee, Fox News host and father of the White House Press Secretary, sent out the following tweets:
Ryan sent out a tweet-blast of her own, calling both Huckabee and the White House Press Secretary “liars,” and referencing the time Huckabee allegedly issued a “veiled threat” against her:
As for Huckabee’s alleged deer-gutting “threat,” there’s more to the story.
In November 2017, a dispute arose surrounding a tweet from Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which she showed off an allegedly homemade chocolate pecan pie. The photo of the pie looked as though it could have been something from a stock catalogue.
In response, April Ryan sent out a tweet asking Sanders to take a picture of the pie “on a table.” Ryan then jokingly demanded that Huckabee Sanders “show it to us on the table with folks eating it and a pic of you cooking it.” She continued: “I am getting the biggest laugh out of this.”
When asked about “PieGate” on Fox Business Network, Mike Huckabee told host Stuart Varney:
Let me tell you something, she’s been making this pie for years … makes them for friends, but here’s the warning that I would issue. Stuart, don’t ever, and I mean don’t ever mess with a Southern woman and her homemade pies. It is as dangerous as when you hear a Southern woman begin her sentence with ‘bless your heart.’ It means you’re about to be gutted like a deer and just don’t know it.
He added: “I just think that it just shows how ridiculous the coverage has become, and ‘PieGate’ certainly should be over.”
Is this not the most ludicrous feud?
A quote from April Ryan in which she used hyperbole as a means of expressing her desire to see the White House Press Secretary fired led to Mike Huckabee demanding that CNN reprimand Ryan over her “incitement to murder.”
Clearly angry about Huckabee’s tweets, Ryan then accused the Fox News host of threatening her, even tweeting: “If anything happens to me or mine or anyone connected to me, you and your daughter and this administration will be held accountable!” Of course, Huckabee’s alleged “threat” was a well-understood joke about the dangers of messing with southern women.
Ryan then went even further, telling Huckabee that he wouldn’t get into heaven.
Two adults who should be covering and analyzing the news in a manner befitting the seriousness of the topics at hand are using social media to disingenuously insult one another about hyperbole and jokes. This feud about nothing is a stunning microcosm of media hackery and the ways in which tribal sniping have consumed cable news like a cancer. It should also serve as a what-not-to-do instruction manual for anyone in the industry.