Hostilities between Fox News and Russell Brand over Gaza reached unbelievable new levels Thursday after Sean Hannity hit back at the comedian in a bile-filled rant that concluded Israel has "shown too much restraint," in a conflict that has so far claimed the lives of more than 1,100 Palestinians, mainly children.
Brand faced the wrath of the news anchor after making the observation that Hannity looks a Ken doll in a media-crushing video take-down on the presenter's interview technique that quickly went viral.
The comedian took to Twitter this morning to bait the right-wing anchor, thanking him and his Fox news "comrades" for providing his YouTube channel with so many clicks and referring to Hannity as his "boyfriend."
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) July 31, 2014
Hannity, never one to let an opponent have the last word, hit back in a video entitled "Hollywood's troubling take on Hamas."
@rustyrockets aka Mr. Katy Perry, heard you don't like my interview style. Well, I got some professional advice for you. Tune in at 10p ET
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 31, 2014
For British readers unfamiliar with 'ranty Hannity' - the Fox presenter has struck an aggressively pro-Israeli line over its three-week offensive in Gaza.
In the video responding to Brand's attack, Hannity states: "Yesterday, Russell Brand, a D-list actor, better known for his failed marriage to Katy Perry recorded himself going on a 12-and-a-half minute tirade against... little old me."
Pausing to look at the camera, Hannity continues by playing Russell's clip before saying he is going to "educate" him.
Hannity then reads out the Hamas Charter, saying it out loud to "help" the comedian, and arguing Hamas will go to any means to destroy Israel - even if it results in the death of hundreds of Palestinians.
"Possibly Russell can't get it through his thick head or even fathom that this is the reality."
Hannity then turns to his three panellists, the first of whom deconstructs Brand's argument by calling him "skanky."
McGuirk, Rivera and McDowell (L-R)
"He looks like he cooks meth and sleeps in his car, I wouldn't be calling anyone names," Bernard McGuirk, a Fox personality, said.
"You can't understand him, at least you can understand Ricky Gervais - it's no wonder he's not working," McGuirk added.
Panellist number two, Geraldo Rivera, a senior correspondent for Fox News, joins in by calling Brand "a doofus."
But although Rivera calls Brand's attack on Hannity "unwarranted," he acknowledges that there "are two sides to this story that are not necessarily being told."
In a surprising turn, Rivera then takes a fierce stand against Hannity's pro-Israel stance, highlighting the loss of lives, predominately those of children, suffered in Gaza.
"This is undermining Israel, this is the worst thing for Israel's stature and standing in the world - it's fuelling anti-Semitism and it's going to accomplish very, very little, but prolong this crisis."
"We can no longer ignore what is happening," he says, as Hannity can be heard muttering "Oh my Lord."
Dagen McDowell, of Fox Business Network, then wades in, saying celebrities should aim their complaints at Hamas, not Israel.
But the debate results in all three panellists shouting over each other before Rivera says amid the chaos "we need a permanent peace solution."
But Hannity doesn't want peace, shouting: "How do you make peace with a group that wants to obliterate you?!"
Rivera points out that throughout history enemies have made peace with each other in a bid to end bloodshed.
Hannity, undeterred, raises his hands into the air and says "if you don't have the moral clarity to see that Israel has the right to defend themselves, then this world is screwed up."
An emotional Rivera points to a Jewish star tattooed on his hand and says he would die for Israel, but sadly notes the country "is wrong-headed about this, they've gone too far."
Rivera points to his hand
"You're wrong," Hannity abruptly concludes. "They've shown too much restrain," he adds.
Hannity recently targeted his ire at Palestinian-American guest Yousef Munayyer in a segment branded "Sympathy For The Terrorists".
The host repeatedly shouted loudly, demanding to know: "Is Hamas a terrorist organisation? What part of this can't you get through your thick head?"
Brand reacted to the clip in his latest video: "I don't mean to be petty or trivial but Hannity looks like the Ken doll from Toy Story 3."
Story continues beneath video
Brand mocked Hannity's aggressive pointing and shouting at guests who invites on for debate. "You're already being unreasonable. This isn't the normal terms or terms of a debate," he said in the latest instalment of his video series The Trews.
See the resemblance? The Ken doll's underneath and Hannity's above left, by the way
"Sean's not a solution-based guy. Sean's not thinking 'we want peace, what we should we do to get peace?' He's thinking 'We want conflict. What can I say to exacerbate conflict?'"
When Munayyer tries to answer Hannity's questions, Brand comments: "Good luck with that mate. Sean doesn't want an answer to his question. Sean wants to say more stuff while jabbing his finger aggressively."
Brand added: "He's not interested in truth. Sean Hannity is only interested in pushing a perspective. You might say 'so are you Russell' and I am. But that perspective is this - peace."
Hannity is not angry with everyone who appears on his show.
In June, he conducted a softball interview with former US Vice-President Dick Cheney - a hugely polarising figure for his hawkish enthusiasm for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and exactly the type of public figure who can expect a beating every time they go on television.
Not so with Hannity. Here's an example of one of his comments to the former VP: "I see the world the way you do. I view this as a real clear and present danger, almost the potential for a modern-day Holocaust...pretty scary stuff."