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Fox News hosts Splinter as chaotic Pennsylvania primaries heat up

Democrats blithely aired their own research indicating Barnette leads the pack in the Senate race by about 10 percentage points, but that survey was conducted before Trump released a statement reiterating his support for Oz and suggesting that Barnette’s past had not been thoroughly investigated.

Much of this scrutiny is taking place within the conservative media, fueled in some cases by allies of McCormick and Oz, which have been promoting hastily assembled opposition research on Barnette in recent days.

During the Thursday night show, Hannity singled out the story for Barnette’s offensive tweetsincluding Islamophobes and homophobes, and said she couldn’t win a general election. Oz, of Turkish origin, is a non-practicing Muslim.

Hannity later wrote a series of tweets directly aimed at Barnette, starting with: “As you know my staff have contacted you several times over the past 48 hours, it’s great to FINALLY get a response from you. Why did you ignore their calls and their text messages?

Articles in conservative media have focused on aspects of Barnette’s biography. Salena Zito, Pennsylvania-based columnist for The Washington Examiner, raised questions about Barnette’s military service record; Chuck Ross of The Free Beacon wrote about how Barnette’s campaign manager hung up the phone on her when he grilled her on the subject.

Mike Mikus, a seasoned Democratic consultant based near Pittsburgh, said the turmoil among the conservative media reflected the fact that to win a modern Republican primary, “you don’t need the mainstream press.”

For example, the campaign of Doug Mastriano, one of the leading Republican candidates for governor of Pennsylvania, rarely responds to questions from mainstream news outlets and has banned reporters working for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the news source and the state’s most influential political commentary, its events.


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