Jake Tapper obliterates Bill O'Reilly, John McCain shuts down Fox News reporter

Be on the lookout for Jake Tapper’s new book, Killing O’Reilly.

The CNN host and Philadelphia native was drawn into an unprovoked Twitter fight with conservative talker Bill O’Reilly after the former Fox News host attempted a snarky takedown over television ratings.

After years of avoiding each other, O’Reilly and current Fox News host Sean Hannity have developed something of a bromance. In recent weeks, O’Reilly has appeared on Hannity’s show to sell his new book, an awkward look for a network that fired him after the New York Times revealed $13 million in payments were made to settle claims made by former Fox News employees and personalities accusing him of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct.

With that as a backdrop, O’Reilly took to Twitter on Wednesday to tout the ratings success of Hannity’s show, which topped The Rachel Maddow Show as the most-watched cable news program during the 9 p.m. time slot. O’Reilly also took the opportunity to attack one of Hannity’s competitors. But instead of going after MSNBC’s  Maddow, O’Reilly chose to slam Tapper, whose show airs five hours earlier that Hannity’s.

Exactly 11 minutes later, Tapper shot back at O’Reilly with a tweet of his own, which as of Thursday morning had been retweeted over 49,000 times and liked by over 196,000 people.

Don’t ask John McCain about his loyalty to Trump 

On Monday, during a speech in Philadelphia, Republican John McCain didn’t have to mention Donald Trump by name to offer a stinging rebuke of the president’s “spurious nationalism” the longtime Arizona senator fears has tarnished the country’s reputation across the globe.

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of Earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said.

Trump, responding to McCain’s speech on conservative talk-show host Chris Plante’s syndicated radio program Wednesday, warned the Arizona senator that “at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

Obviously, there isn’t any love loss between these two. During the 2016 president campaign, Trump mocked the heroism of McCain, who spent five arduous years in a Vietnamese prison of war camp.  “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said. “I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain went on to cast the deciding vote against the Republican’s best chance to repeal Obamacare, a move that Trump has reportedly mocked the senator over behind closed doors.

On Wednesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy (son of Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy) wanted to know if McCain’s relationship with the president is unsalvageable, asking, “Has your relationship with the president frayed to the point that you are not going to support anything that he comes to you and asks for?”

“Why would you say something that stupid? Why would you ask something that dumb?” McCain shot back, visibly angered by the question. “My job as a United States senator, is a senator from Arizona, which I was just reelected to. You mean that I am somehow going to behave in a way that I’m going to block everything because of some personal disagreement? That’s a dumb question.”

Watch:

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple thinks McCain was right to bristle at Doocy’s question, which implied that the Arizona senator voted against the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare purely to spite Trump.

“In other words, Doocy was channeling the sentiment that prevails on various Fox News opinion shows, including Fox & Friends and Hannity,” Wemple noted.

Lehigh magazine publisher sold to Hearst

Rodale Inc., the family-owned publisher of popular magazine titles such as Running World, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and Prevention, has been sold to the New York-based publisher Hearst.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a source told the Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Trachtenberg that the price was “under $225 million,” around the same amount as Rodale’s annual revenues, meaning there isn’t much expectation for growth.

“Rodale’s sale is the latest indication that the magazine industry’s financial downturn has hit small and midsize publishers particularly hard,” wrote New York Times media reporter Sydney Ember.

According to my colleague Joe DiStefano, Rodale employs around 450 people in Emmaus, Pa.