Republican Kathy Barnette, who lost in the primary race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, doubled down on blaming Fox News pundit Sean Hannity and the media at large for her defeat in a heated interview Sunday with CNN’s Brian Stelter.
“I think what we saw with my race is a broader issue, right? So the spotlight was shining on me. But I think it’s a much broader story here, and that is partisan journalism we see across both sides of the aisle,” Barnette said.
Barnette, who like many Republican candidates sought the support of former president Donald Trump, was denied that endorsement after both Trump and Hannity rejected backing her in favor of retired physician and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has a narrow lead over former Bush Administration official David McCormick pending a recount. While Barnette received 24% of the vote in the primary, she finished in a distant third.
“Five days ago, the American people were being told I’m a member of Black Lives Matter, and then three days later, the same American people were being told I’m marching with white supremacists,” Barnette told Stelter, the latter being a reference to when Hannity criticized Barnette for marching to the U.S. Capitol with the far-right Proud Boys during the January 6 insurrection as well as for her Islamophobic and homophobic tweets.
Barnette then turned her frustration with the media on Stelter when he pressed her on her background, noting that she dodged a question on a “Fox News Sunday” appearance about her claims that she was an adjunct professor without naming what college or university she spoke at.
“I don’t know if it’s laziness as journalists, or something more insidious, but it’s a dereliction of duty. It’s all right there,” she said. “The media refused to do their job and presenting just the facts to the American people and allow the American people to make the decision.”
Even when Stelter read back some of the homophobic tweets and comments she had made, Barnette denied she was prejudiced, saying that “none of those statements were full statements or full thoughts.”
Watch Barnette’s interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” above.