Eboni Williams gets the top spot on Drudge

Less than 24 hours after I wrote that FNC host Eboni K. Williams "may wind up on the fast track to cable news stardom," Ms. Williams became the subject of a top story in the daily news cycle, with a red headline devoted to her at the Drudge Report.  It's not for reasons anyone of sound mind would have wanted.

Drudge Report, Wednesday evening, August 16, 2017.

It appears that on Tuesday and Wednesday, as word about Williams's monologue strongly criticizing President Trump on her show The Fox News Specialists on Monday made the rounds of the internet, Williams started receiving threatening emails.  The Drudge Report headline linked to a story in Variety:

Eboni K. Williams had never received anything like the responses she garnered after she aired her grievances with President Trump while on-air on "The Fox News Specialists."

The co-host addressed Trump on Monday in her "Eboni's Docket" segment, which she writes herself, berating him for failing to specify white nationalist groups in his condemnation of the violence that occurred at Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. She told Variety in an interview on Wednesday that her personal website, which usually receives an average of 10-15 emails after each segment, was inundated with over 150 emails, only three of which were anything other than "seething, scathing" takedowns.

"I should meet my maker soon, I shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets of New York," she cited as some examples of the type of comments she received. "They heard that I live in Harlem – Harlem needs to watch out." Her book publisher became so concerned that he asked her to request additional security from Fox News, which she did – Williams is now escorted to and from the building when she arrives to work.

Eboni K. Williams.

Fox News channel prime-time host Sean Hannity lost no time in rising to his colleague Williams's defense on Twitter.

Eboni is a dear friend! This is a national disgrace that people cannot accept differences. Haters back off all of FNC supports her! https://t.co/ttPjsRJNSH

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 17, 2017

How about this. In America we can DISAGREE and NOT make death threats, be violent, try to silence opposition. Eboni and I DISAGREE. SO WHAT https://t.co/UsUPqFnIwq

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 17, 2017

Hannity went on to give Williams's forthcoming book a plug.

This book is amazing. https://t.co/dUxlAkX8Ku

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 17, 2017

On Wednesday evening, after a busy evening on social media, Williams acknowledged Hannity's support on her Twitter feed.

Eboni K. WilliamsVerified account @EboniKWilliams

Eboni K. Williams Retweeted Sean Hannity

From my 1st days at Fox News, you've been an invaluable mentor &broadcast standard bearer. Thanku friend& fellow Christian for brave support

What can one add to this?  Well, only that it's another sad and troubling indication that the polarized political climate has become increasingly toxic and, even more than that, potentially dangerous.  Williams is just the latest writer or on-air personality to experience ugly blowback for some comments she made.  The attacks are aimed by and at both the left and the right.  Just look at what President Trump and his supporters have been subjected to on a daily basis since he became a candidate for the presidency.

Also on the right side of the ideological divide, Williams's defender Sean Hannity has been a leading contender for the most hated, attacked, and threatened talk show personality, with a new effort underway to get him canned from his job at the Fox News Channel.  But even worse: if there are any doubts about the sick ire routinely aimed at Hannity, check out the hateful reader comments directed at him in this article posted Wednesday night at Mediaite: "Hannity Stands Up For Eboni Williams After She Receives Death Threats Over Trump Criticism."

Rodney King, Los Angeles, May 1, 1992.

The late Rodney King's comments, 25 years ago during an impromptu press conference at the height of the Los Angeles riots, come to mind: "I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  His latest website is AltMedNews.net.

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