Sunday morning’s episode of Donald Trump’s favorite cable news show, Fox and Friends, contained a flagrant error intended to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth reported that MSNBC failed to cover the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial. This story has been a staple of Fox News propaganda aimed at demonizing undocumented immigrants. The not guilty verdict became a rallying cry at Fox News to their millions of racist viewers who believe that all immigrants are criminals.
There was just one problem. MSNBC did cover the story when it broke and for two days thereafter. The false reporting by Hegseth was uncorrected for at least twelve hours despite the network being informed of the error. Hegseth’s assertion that “MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time” was first broadcast and then disseminated tens of thousands of times across the Internet. And uncorrected references are still being retweeted.
On Monday Fox News finally got around to issuing a retraction, but not without taking a sarcastic swipe at the network they were lying about. This is what they tweeted from the Fox and Friends Twitter account:
On Sunday we said MSNBC did not cover the Steinle verdict on Friday or Saturday at all. We were wrong. In that 48 hour span, they covered it a total of 2 minutes and 15 seconds. https://t.co/onKFtEDdEp
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) December 4, 2017
Make no mistake, the reference to “2 minutes and 15 seconds” in a “48 hour span” was intended to belittle the coverage that MSNBC provided. In reality that is sufficient time to report the salient details of the story during time periods when viewers are awake to see it. But Fox News was more interested in mocking MSNBC than they were in sincerely correcting their dishonest reporting.
Nevertheless, getting a retraction from Fox News is so rare we might want to just be grateful for the effort no matter how grossly disingenuous. However, after acknowledging that MSNBC covered the Steinle verdict, they deleted the story and the video evidence of their lies. A copy of the clip can be seen here. What’s more, they have still not issued a correction on the air at Fox and Friends where the false report originated. To the contrary, Fox and Friends hosted Trump shill Kellyanne Conway Monday morning who actually brought up the fake MSNBC criticism (on Fox News video here at about 6:45). She repeated the lie that:
“MSNBC didn’t even cover the Kate Steinle murder verdict. Not a single moment according to your own graphic.”
None of the “Curvy Couch” potatoes bothered to inform her that what she was referencing was already determined to be untrue. That’s because it serves the interest of Fox News to allow bullshit to be freely disseminated. It’s especially repulsive considering the big deal they made out of a recent reporting error by ABC’s Brian Ross. Ross was suspended without pay for four weeks. At Fox News their lie was allowed to roam free and no one was punished. And that’s the real difference between professional journalism and Fox’s deliberately malicious fake news.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.