Fox News' former slogan "fair and balanced" (which it dropped in 2017) has always been the butt of jokes among the far-right cable news outlet's critics and detractors-and Fox News' Sean Hannity wasn't exactly going for "balance" or objectivity when he appeared with President Donald Trump at a GOP rally in Missouri on November 5 (the day before the 2018 midterms).
Donald Trump greets talk show host Sean Hannity at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on November 5, 2018.
Hannity, the channel's most popular personality, had insisted all day that he wouldn't campaign, before appearing on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump. He did return to tell the crowd to "say a little prayer", and soon after members began singing "Amazing Grace".
Hannity cleared the air on Tuesday after appearing alongside the president when he initially said he would not. A spokeswoman for the parent company referred an inquiry to Fox News.
Trump has maintained a busy campaign schedule in the final stretch of the race, with 11 rallies over six days.
White House reporter Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted: "Still can't get over Hannity denying he would be on stage the whole day, getting brought up by Trump, and then pointing to actual news reporters and calling them fake".
"There's a woman on Saturday night who treats us very well", Trump said, praising Pirro's fiery opening monologues as "always brilliant".
In a Tuesday afternoon statement, a Fox News spokesperson said, "Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events".
Fox News, with its conservative-leaning talk shows, some of which are unabashedly pro-Trump like Hannity's, has long had a unique relationship with the Trump administration.
Pirro then came out - "She's my friend and she's your friend", said Trump, "Justice Jeanine." - and called Trump "the tip of the spear who fights for us".
Trump, who had appeared live on Hannity's show during a backstage conversation just moments before, summoned the Fox News host to the stage, and he obliged.
Hannity has been rebuked by Fox in the past. Bill Shine, who was at the time executive vice president for programming at Fox News and who is now the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, said in a statement, "When senior executives in NY were made aware of this, we changed our plans for tonight's show".
"If the radical Democrats take power, they will take a wrecking ball to our economy and to the future of our country", Trump said, prompting boos from the crowd.
Their appearances caused CNN to question Fox's credibility. "Anyone doing business with Fox News should worry about the network's inability to enforce even the most bare minimum standards". "The White House-Fox News nexus has rarely been as evident as tonight in Cape Girardeau", said Philip Rucker, White House bureau chief at The Washington Post, on Twitter.