In what was an entirely unsurprising move, Fox News' Sean Hannity used a leaked voicemail sent to Hunter Biden by his father, Democratic President Joe Biden, to attempt to mock the President.
In the voicemail allegedly from October 15, 2018, then former Vice President and private citizen Biden said:
"It's Dad. I called to tell you I love you."
"I love you more than the whole world, pal."
"You gotta get some help."
"I know you don't know what to do. I don't either."
In Hannity's Monday segment, he included the graphic seen below to hammer this Biden message home:
After playing the voicemail, Hannity said:
"It’s actually sad."
But the Fox News host's sympathy wasn't for the Biden family.
"Now that voicemail reportedly came at the exact same time Hunter lied on a gun application to buy a handgun.”
There has been no evidence the elder Biden was aware of the gun purchase.
Hannity—as he often does—used the recording to paint Donald Trump as a victim.
“By the way, replace the name Biden with Trump and imagine how the mob and the media would be covering all of this. Instead, they’d rather perpetuate one hoax after another, just like they did with the dirty Steele dossier.”
But rather than bolstering support for Trump, Hannity's antics drew backlash.
Former NBA player and progressive activist Rex Chapman shared the graphic from Hannity's segment in a thread on Twitter.
"As a recovering drug addict I can’t tell you how mean spirited this feels."
In a series of tweets, the former University of Kentucky basketball star added:
"They’re making this sound like Biden is a bad guy?? There is no bottom."
"They’re exploiting a dad’s love for his son who’s troubled. Wow."
"I guess nobody at Fox News knows any of these opioid addicts across the country."
"Fk Rupert Murdoch and his whole crew."
"It’s really mean to report this as anything other than how much a dad loves his kid. Hunter Biden’s mom and sister died in a car wreck and his brother died of brain cancer. I’d say he’s doing ok."
"The fact of the matter is that many addicts have family members who can’t or won’t say these words to them. Who only judge. Hunter is very lucky to have a dad like this."
"If only every addict were so lucky…"
"No amount of money could have produced an ad this good for the Democrats and Joe Biden."
Many others were equally disgusted by Fox News and Hannity.
Republicans have attempted to use the tactic of throwing Hunter Biden's struggle with addiction at his father before, including former President Trump.
When Trump brought it up during a 2020 presidential debate, Biden said simply:
"My son, like a lot of people ... had a drug problem. He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it. And I'm proud of him."
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use or addiction, help is available.
Call "211" from any phone in the United States for information on addiction and mental health resources in your community.
You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) hotline by calling 1-800-622-4357