[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.
Here's the front page of the internal Fox News Trump-Ukraine timeline. I'll start tweeting some of the highlights shortly. pic.twitter.com/HWGX5sZUh8
— Marcus J. DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) February 6, 2020
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
Building on her excellent work in 2017's Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer takes to The New Yorker with a deeply researched, lively and alarming 12,000-word longread on the radical shifts at Fox News that have taken place since the Trump election, as #MeToo has claimed the organization's senior leaders, leaving it rudderless and under the nominal command of an ailing Rupert Murdoch, whose main management contributions have consisted of purging the minor dissenting voices at Fox, leaving behind a kind of Hannity-and-Co version of Lord of the Flies. Read the rest
While the world was agog at the news that President Trump had leaked sensitive, classified information to a Russian diplomat, the rightosphere was going bonkers over an old, dumb conspiracy theory that Seth Rich, a young DNC staffer who was murdered in DC, had been assassinated in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Read the rest
Say what you will about Sean Hannity, the beleaguered Fox News talking head. You can't say the man isn't capable of changing his point of view on highly sensitive topics like the NSA and surveillance, and national security. Read the rest
Sean Hannity, a pomaded wig perched atop a melting styrofoam head perched atop a pile of butter-soaked thrift store polo shirts, stands accused of making a "creepy" advance toward a guest on his show.
During a Friday interview with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based radio host Pat Campbell, former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel accused Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room before and after a debate with a pro-Palestinian guest in Detroit. Schlussel said she rejected Hannity’s alleged advances and that she was never invited on his show again.
Schlussel and Hannity were scheduled to speak together at the Detroit show, Schlussel said. But before the show, Hannity allegedly invited her to an event at a nearby bookstore. The Daily Beast was not able to confirm whether the pair ever spoke at such a show.
“He had some event at a bookstore where he signed his book for people standing in line. He asked me to come meet him at this book signing,” Schlussel said on Campbell’s show. “So I met him there and it was very awkward. He had me up there with him while he signed books and I felt very weird. These people don’t know me and they didn’t come for me to sign their books. Then I left to get ready for the show, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come back with me to my hotel?’ and I said no, I have to get ready for the show.”
Hannity says she's lying and threatened her with legal action. Read the rest