On Friday ABC News correspondent Brian Ross misreported a story about confessed liar, and Donald Trump’s disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Ross said that his sources told him that Flynn was prepared to testify that candidate Trump told him to contact the Russians. As it turned out it was during the transition, not during the campaign, that Trump told Flynn to hook up with Vladimir.
ABC News corrected the story, but the mistake cost Ross four weeks of pay and a suspension from duty. Naturally, Trump and his right-wing media mouthpieces wiggled their tails and began blasting out accusations of “fake news.” Never mind that the reaction to the error actually affirms the veracity of the so-called mainstream media. They acknowledged the mistake and punished the reporter. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Even Trump recognized that ABC deserved praise for their professionalism. He tweeted:
Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and “papers” should do the same with their Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Setting aside Trump’s infantile and false characterization of the “Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt,” his suggestion that more networks demonstrate this sort of integrity is on point. And the network that spews more lies than any other is, of course, Trump’s favorite: Fox News. It is a nearly non-stop, 24/7, fiction factory that invents slanderous stories about Democrats and liberals, while fantasizing about Trump’s Messianic reign and defending him from every criticism.
For instance, Sunday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends set out to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth began a segment that accused the network of suppressing news about the acquittal of the defendant in the Kate Steinle murder case. Hegseth said that:
“In the days following the acquittal of the illegal immigrant responsible for Kate Steinle’s death, the media has now had a mixed response in their coverage, unsurprisingly. But one network has completely ignored it. MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time on Friday or on Saturday.”
Oh really? Apparently the Foxies don’t get out of their bubble very much. MSNBC did, in fact, report this story beginning on Thursday when it broke. Their coverage continued on Friday. It would be fair to say that it lost the “breaking” aspect after that, especially since that’s when the news of Flynn’s guilty plea was announced. Ironically, it was Fox News that is actually guilty of downplaying a bombshell report. Their primetime programs barely glanced at the Flynn story, while furiously hyping the Steinle verdict.
[Update: A tweet was posted to the Fox and Friends Twitter account acknowledging that MSNBC did cover the Steinle verdict. They subsequently deleted the story and the video, but a copy of the clip can be seen here. They have not issued an on-air retraction on Fox and Friends.]
The examples of Fox News deliberately disseminating false information are too numerous to list here. But the fact-checkers at PolitiFact have compiled the data and found that Fox News broadcasts contain at least sixty percent false content. Think about that. Significantly more than half of what you see on Fox News are lies.
Which is why I am in complete agreement with Donald Trump with regard to more networks suspending reporters whose work is found to be inaccurate. Because if Fox News were held to that standard they would go dark for the next couple of years. And that would truly Make America Great Again.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.