Jake Tapper fires back at Bill O'Reilly in brutal tweet: 'Low would be sexually harassing staffers and then getting fired'

Jake tapperScott Eisen/Getty ImagesCNN host Jake Tapper at a televised post-216 election forum at Harvard University.
  • CNN anchor Jake Tapper offered a blunt retort to former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
  • The back-and-forth started with a ratings jab from O’Reilly.

CNN’s Jake Tapper did not take kindly to needling by former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday.

In a tweet, O’Reilly praised Fox News anchor Sean Hannity’s ratings, while comparing them to ratings on CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s midday show. The two programs do not compete directly against each other.

Tapper shot back, alluding to O’Reilly’s departure from Fox News earlier this year amid an advertising boycott over revelations of settlements he made with various women and other allegations of sexual harassment.

Tapper’s 4 p.m. show “The Lead,” has maintained strong ratings throughout the year.

In the third quarter of 2017, Tapper trailed Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto” and MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” in total viewers. He placed second among advertisers’ key demographic of 25-54 year-olds, and won the month among the cohort outright in August

O’Reilly did not take much time off following his ouster earlier this year.

He has appeared repeatedly on Hannity’s radio program, despite the differences between the two hosts over the years, and joined Hannity on his television show last month to promote his new book “Killing England.”

The former host has also begun hosting a news and commentary show on his own website, and used his social media accounts to espouse opinions on various topics. This week, for instance, he politicized his pet corgi, which O’Reilly has repeatedly featured on Instagram in the months since leaving Fox News.

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