Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith pushed back on Fox News’s Sean Hannity for what he called “disrespectful” comments surrounding President Biden’s age, telling him to “respect your elders.”
The ESPN host he began his interview with Hannity by applauding him for talking to a sports expert about the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m accustomed to you acting like you know everything,” Smith said. “So, you usually wouldn’t call a guest to talk about the Super Bowl, you just probably pontificate on your own about what was going to happen.”
Hannity countered, saying if Smith was going to come out “with your A-game,” he might as well fire back at him after the sports host called him out for comments about Biden.
The Fox News host had choice words for Biden, who is 81, after a report by special counsel Robert Hur was released earlier this week, painting him as an elderly man with a poor memory. Despite ruling that the president “willfully” retained classified documents in his former vice presidential office and at his Delaware family home, no charges were brought against Biden.
Hannity criticized Biden for not remembering “when he was vice president,” and then turned his ire on Smith.
“I’m gonna call you out because yesterday, we learned from the special counsel, not Sean Hannity your buddy, you learned from the special counsel that Joe Biden is a cognitive mess,” Hannity argued.
“Well, you can say it now,” the conservative host added. “Sean Hannity has been right all along. Say it.”
Smith hit back, claiming he never called Hannity “wrong,” but told him that his rhetoric around Biden had been “disrespectful.”
“There was a difference,” he said in his response, highlighted by Mediaite. “What I said is there are nicer ways to speak about our President.”
The NBA analyst acknowledged, however, that someone could say Biden is slow “communicatively” and that the president does not have “the pep in his step that he once had.”
“He is in his 80s for crying out loud. Respect your elders,” Smith said. “Could you not be nicer about it?”
He added, “That is what I said to you, and I’m still saying it to you. You could be nice.”