Remember the old days when news used to be boring? Now, we’re in a brand new era, where the most uninteresting facts can be turned into fiery rants that have us glued to our screens. Reporters also get more emotional than ever before, with their reactions even overshadowing the story at times.
To put it bluntly: Nobody does all this better than Fox News. Truth be told, when Fox reporters lose it on camera, we can’t look away — and when huge personalities like Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity, Eric Bolling, or Geraldo Rivera are in the mix, we get riled up even more.
While every day is a heart-pounding day on set for Fox News hosts, certain moments get particularly heated. Here’s a look at some of the most captivating clips where Fox News hosts totally lost their composure on live TV. Hold onto your hats, because you’re in for a wild ride.
Jeanine Pirro: 'Do not go there!'
Fox News’ The Five is known for its passionate debates, but the clash between Jeanine Pirro and Juan Williams was even more lively than usual. When discussing the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, Pirro, a conservative judge, seemed to minimize it by saying. “It’s a bunch of hogwash, it’s a bunch of telephone, it’s a bunch of rumors, hearsay, get over it.” But her co-host Juan Williams wasn’t going to let her get away that easily.
“I get the impression that what the right is saying here is, ‘Don’t watch, don’t pay attention to impeachment. You’d be smart to go watch whatever,'” Williams said. Pirro later replied that Democrats were simply “trashing” Trump as free political advertising, to which Williams said, “Oh, stop.”
“Don’t tell me to stop, I’m a judge!” barked Pirro. Williams replied, “As a judge, you should know better … You don’t even understand!” That’s when Pirro really snapped, yelling, “Do not go there! Do not go there!” As the two shouted over each other, Jesse Watters finally broke up the argument, soothing both of his irate co-hosts with the sentiment, “There are a lot of people brainwashed by the mainstream media.”
Jim Ryan and Dick Oliver delivered low blows
Old gems like this make us so thankful for YouTube. Back in 2001 on New York’s Fox 15, anchor Jim Ryan wasn’t satisfied with the interview Dick Oliver was conducting about a landlord-tenant dispute. After Oliver was finished speaking to his interviewee, Ryan told Oliver live on-air to bring her back on camera to respond further.
After the interviewee came back, Oliver snapped to Ryan, “So what do you want now?” Ryan snapped back, “Well, if I have to teach you how to be a reporter, Ollie, I’ll do that later.” After a tense (yet hilarious) back-and-forth, Oliver pointed at the camera and said to Ryan, “I’ll give you some lessons on how to be an editor because I was your boss once.” Ryan got the last word with: “Yeah, you were, and are no longer. How’d that happen?” He then cut off Oliver and jumped to the next segment. Meanwhile the interviewee, clearly amused, stood off to the side smiling.
The moment became known as an internet classic, and some even speculated that it inspired a series of sketches on Saturday Night Live where Bill Hader plays a surly, older reporter named “Herb Welch” on a local New York news channel.
Melissa Francis got emotional about race
In 2017, James Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters that opposed a separate group (that included white nationalist hate groups) that was marching against the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va. As a result, counterprotester Heather Heyer died, and several others were severely injured. After the incident, President Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” at the event, sparking the ire of many. Melissa Francis later tried to defend his comments on Fox’s Outnumbered — but when others challenged her, she became overwhelmed with emotion.
“Let me tell you this. I am so uncomfortable having this conversation,” Francis said through tears. “I know what’s in my heart, and I know that I don’t think anyone is different, better, or worse based on the color of their skin. But I feel like there is nothing any of us can say right now without being judged!” Co-host Harris Faulkner then encouraged Francis to stay engaged, saying, “This is not 1950. We can do this. We can have this conversation — oh, yes we can. And it’s okay if we cry having it.”
Francis later tweeted about the outburst: “Thank you all so much for your support. I’m embarrassed I got emotional but it is a raw time for everyone. Forgive my tears!”
Greg Gutfeld to Geraldo Rivera: 'Screw you!'
On a heated segment on The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld got pretty irritate with Geraldo Rivera over gun control — and the two exchanged a war of words.
After Rivera went on a long tirade, Gutfeld looked more and more visibly angry, telling Rivera, “Let somebody else talk!” Gutfield’s co-host Eric Bolling then turned the floor over to Gutfield, who accused Rivera of distorting facts about the prevalence of mass shootings by using numbers that were padded by gang shootings.
“You’re being disingenuous. You’re saying like all these things are happening all the time, and we don’t care about dead babies. Screw you!” said Gutfield, with a finger pointed at Rivera. No stranger to on-air confrontation, Rivera jumped right back at Gutfield. The two then screamed over each other until Bolling interrupted. Later, Gutfield collected himself, and addressed Rivera directly: “Geraldo and I will go back and forth over this until the day we die,” he said, adding, “You know we will. You’ll be on one side, I’ll be on the other.”
“As long as you don’t shoot me,” Rivera responded with a wry smile.
Eric Bolling let loose on Stephen A. Smith
Between Fox’s Eric Bolling and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, it’s hard to say who has the bigger personality — which is why, when the two of them went head-to-head on The Fox News Specialists, things got pretty intense. It all started when Bolling defended President Trump’s usage of Twitter. Smith, who was a guest on the program, immediately took him to task, saying that Trump had a responsibility to act civilly on social media because of his job.
“What’s wrong with Twitter?” asked Bolling. Smith immediately shot back, “You just asked the question, ‘What’s wrong with Twitter?’ — while mentioning Donald Trump’s name in the same sentence? You don’t have a problem with him tweeting?”
At that point, co-host Katherine Timpf interjected, prompting Bolling to shush her with an outstretched arm. “Hold on. Hold on Kat. Kat, please hold on one second!” he insisted, as Timpf threw up her hands in amazement.
Smith and Bolling continued to spar until the end of the segment. While there was no real resolution, Smith made sure to tweet out the video just in case anyone missed it. As you might expect, his fans applauded his performance.
Tucker Carlson snappped at Stormy Daniels' lawyer
Fox’s Tucker Carlson had been having fun with attorney Michael Avenatti for quite some time on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, referring to him regular as “the creepy porn lawyer” for representing adult actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Shockingly, after several attempts, Fox News finally got Michael Avenatti to agree to an interview… and it was tense, to say the very least.
During the conversation, Avenatti denounced Carlson for giving him the “creepy porn lawyer” nickname (which Carlson agreed not to say out loud, but put onscreen as the interview unfolded). Then, Avenatti turned the tables with an unexpected question.”When’s the last time you saw porn?” asked Avenatti. Carlson volleyed back, “Ooh, you busted me — actually, maybe humiliation porn, that’s why I watch you on CNN!” He then cackled almost uncontrollably.
Avenatti later told The Hollywood Reporter that the tension didn’t stop when the interview did. “After we went off the air, I repeatedly told Tucker Carlson directly to his face that he and the show and the network was a joke,” he said, adding, “I think [Carlson] came away looking very bad.” As for how Carlson felt about the heated exchange? “I’d encourage everyone to watch the segment,” he told THR through a rep.
Janice Dean lost it over Roger Ailes' death
Reactions were mixed after the death of Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. However, one employee who stood by him was Janice Dean on Fox & Friends.
As her co-hosts discussed Ailes’ professional life on air, Dean lost her composure and wept openly. Dean’s colleague, noticing her crying, broke in and asked, “Janice are you okay?” Through tears, Dean explained that Ailes gave her emotional support during a difficult time. “I wouldn’t be here without that man,” said Dean. “When I was diagnosed with MS, he got on the phone and said, ‘Whatever we can do for your family’ — because we were all part of a family — and you know, he was a presence, and he will be missed on this channel. He will be missed.”
The sentiment certainly was surprising, given his history at Fox and the allegations from other hosts like Megyn Kelly who claimed he offered her a promotion in exchange for sexual favors.
Dean later admitted that Ailes had harassed her, too — saying he even once asked her to practice phone sex with him. Still, she said she “never really thought he was serious,” and that while she realized “he definitely did cross the line,” she still maintained: “Mr. Ailes had another side to him. He could be kind and helpful. People who worked for him loved him. He was loyal to the people he hired.”
Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera's border wall brawl
If you’re going to set up a potential fight on live TV, what better match-up than trash TV veteran Geraldo Rivera vs. conservative host Sean Hannity? Throw in a hot-button topic like President Trump’s border wall, and you’ve got a recipe for instant confrontation.
The two were arguing over whether the recent death of a young American at the hands of an illegal immigrant helped make the case for the border wall. Rivera basically accused Hannity of fear-mongering, or trying to make an emotional argument about something that’s really political. Hannity, seemingly unfazed by the “emotional” accusation, threw up his hands and asked, “How many people have to die?” Rivera and Hannity continued to scream at each other at full volume for several minutes.
Clearly, Hannity’s dramatic punditry hasn’t gone unnoticed by Rivera, who has also claimed that Hannity’s emotional arguments have more political clout than anyone wants to admit. Rivera even once argued that had Hannity been on-air during the Watergate scandal, he could have kept President Nixon in the White House.
“In Nixon’s case, if he had someone that stuck up for him, he wouldn’t have been motivated to cover up that burglary, he would’ve let the perpetrators get their just desserts,” said Rivera (via Washington Times). He also asserted that Hannity’s show has been keeping President Trump in the White House now, saying: “If it wasn’t [for] your show, Sean, they would destroy him absolutely.”
Neil Cavuto wouldn't let up on Lou Dobbs
You could say this argument between Neil Cavuto and Lou Dobbs on Fox Business was “spirited,” but it also seemed kind of one-sided. Cavuto was clearly ready for battle as he yelled at Dobbs for defending President Trump’s handling of the deficit, while Dobbs himself, looking annoyed, tried to keep it together.
“Lou, you think he’s done a good job on reining in spending?” Cavuto challenged. Dobbs retorted, “You’ve gotta work this thing out with the President, Neil, but meanwhile, here is the reality — “
Cavuto interrupted. “Fact. Fact. Do you think this president has done anything to contain the deficits and the debt that spiraled still from what levels he had from Barack Obama?” Dobbs then lowered his pitch, responding, “Uh huh. I do, indeed.” After Cavuto interrupted again and again, an exasperated Dobbs finally said, “Forgive me. I didn’t interrupt you, Neil. And you’ve done it to me now twice.”
Cavuto stayed quiet for several seconds before laying into Dobbs for the rest of the segment.
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