Internal memo proves Fox News knew they were spreading disinformation about Ukraine — especially Hannity

[Update 2/10/2020 1:13pm PT - this story has been updated to include Fox News's statement.]

The Daily Beast recently obtained a leaked internal memo from the Fox News' research and data division, the ironically named the Brainroom:

An internal Fox News research briefing book obtained by The Daily Beast openly questions Fox News contributor John Solomon’s credibility, accusing him of playing an “indispensable role” in a Ukrainian “disinformation campaign.”

The document also accuses frequent Fox News guest Rudy Giuliani of amplifying disinformation, as part of an effort to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and blasts Fox News guests Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova—both ardent Trump boosters—for “spreading disinformation.”

John Solomon, of course, is the former Washington Times Executive Editor and Hill contributor who pretty much single-handedly started the rumors that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the 2016 DNC hack election interference, in an article that is frequently cited as evidence by Trump and his GOP cronies despite the fact that the claims contained within it are both unsourced and unverified.

The 162-page internal Fox News document, titled “Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration,” was last updated on December 9, 2019, though it's not clear when it was first created or when the network necessarily became aware of their active role in spreading propaganda.

The document specifically rips into Sean Hannity — the beloved Fox News talking head who enjoys a close personal relationship with President Trump, and even secretly employed Trump's criminal fixer-lawyer, Michael Cohen. Read the rest

Myspace lost all the music its users uploaded between 2003 and 2015

It's been a year since the music links on Myspace stopped working; at first the company insisted that they were working on it, but now they've admitted that all those files are lost: "As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies. If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Dr. Jana Jentzsch at DPO@myspace.com." Read the rest

Ex-Fox News host: when I filed a sexual harassment claim against Ailes, the company hacked and stalked me

In a federal complaint against Fox News, former Outnumbered host Andrea Tantaros claims that after she filed a sexual harassment claim against the former CEO Roger Ailes, Fox News contracted with a psyops team to set up a "black room" to run a hate campaign that targeted her by cyberstalking her, implanting malware on her computer, and libeling her on "fake news" sites. Read the rest

Wall Street Journal's top editor says they won't call Trump a liar when Trump lies

On this weekend's Meet the Press, WSJ editor in chief Gerard Baker said that even when he was clear that Trump had uttered a falsehood, his paper would not call that falsehood a lie, because to do so would ascribe "moral intent" to Trump; instead, the WSJ will call Trump's lies "challengeable" and "questionable." Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn overpays his taxes

The Sun, a Murdoch-owned UK tabloid, accused the socialist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (previously) of dodging his fair share of taxes, claiming he understated his income from speeches by £450. After closer examination, it transpired that Corbyn overstated his earnings by £270 and paid tax on the full amount. Read the rest

Shortly after Murdoch buys National Geographic, he fires its award-winning journalists

When the climate-change denier/evil billionaire bought National Geographic, National Geographic Society CEO Greg Knell promised that "there won’t be an [editorial] turn in a direction that is different form the National Geographic heritage." This week, the company fired some of its most senior, decorated staff. Read the rest

NewsCorp shareholders make another bid to democratize the Murdoch family empire

The traditional shareholder revolt at NewsCorp (owner of Fox, Fox News, Sky, Harper Collins, the NY Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Sun) is back for another run, and this time it's gathering steam and may indeed make it. Rupert Murdoch and his family own a minority of the shares in NewsCorp, but their shares are in a special class of voting stock that means that they effectively get to do whatever they want with the majority investors' money. Effectively, Murdoch's initial pitch to investors was, "I'll take your money, but I'm not interested in your advice -- just cough up, shut up, and let me run this thing and I'll pay you some fat dividends."

But it's all gone rather wrong. Murdoch's ideological projects and nepotism have cost the business millions -- between a sweetheart deal that saw the company buying his daughter Elisabeth's startup Shine for £413M of the shareholders' money, and his son James's presiding over a phone-hacking scandal that destroyed News of the World, the bestselling newspaper (sic) in Britain, the investors are getting a bit tired of Murdoch running NewsCorp like his own personal fiefdom. It's one thing to play Colonel Kurtz in the jungle when it's making the shareholders rich, but when you start frittering away titanic assets like the NotW because you need to give your idiot son a job, well, that's another story.

As I said, this isn't the first time the shareholders have taken a swing at Rupert and his spawn, but this is a bigger, more multi-pronged, and better coordinated approach that any to date. Read the rest