It’s been twenty four hours since the disclosure of the chilling texts by Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Brian Kilmeade, to Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. The texts were begging Trump to call off his shock troops who were storming Congress, threatening its members, and assaulting police officers.
In the interim Fox News has not said a single word about the wholly unethical communications between an alleged “news” network and the top advisor to the former reality TV game show host. Nor have they acknowledged the brazen hypocrisy of the Fox talkers whose texts confirm that they knew exactly what was happening at the Capitol, but who have been lying about it relentlessly for months.
There has, however, been a response by Meadows, who scampered off to Newsmax for a softball interview. Meadows was never asked to address the substance of the texts that he himself provided to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection (before he ceased cooperating and triggered a contempt of Congress charge). Instead, he baselessly attacked the Committee saying that it…
“…tried to weaponize text messages, selectively leaked them, to put out a narrative, quite frankly, that the president didn’t act.”
Of course, the text messages show conclusively that Trump did, indeed, fail to act for three long, terrifying hours. Meadows didn’t even bother to suggest any other narrative, because there isn’t one that would make any sense. Especially not now, after everyone knows the content of the messages. As a reminder…
Hannity wrote: Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?
Kilmeade wrote: Please, get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.
Ingraham wrote: Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.
Even Donald Trump Jr wrote: He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.
Trump ignored these warnings and allowed violence and chaos to ensue. He has since insisted that he has nothing to hide, while he’s suing to hide everything. In the meantime, the Fox News hosts and GOP members of Congress who pleaded for the StormTrumpers to stand down, spent the next several months dismissing the deadly riots as nothing more than peaceful protests, and/or blaming them on Antifa, which doesn’t actually exist. Trump himself denied that there was any violence and instead incredulously said that November 3rd, Election Day, was the “real” insurrection.
On Tuesday morning, Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented on the Meadows/Trump texts in response to a question during the daily White House press briefing (video below):
Reporter: Any response to the revelations that GOP lawmakers were texting Chief of Staff Meadows, along with prominent Fox News hosts how to be…what led to the January 6th riots?
Psaki: Well, it’s disappointing, and unfortunately not surprising, that some of the very same individuals who were willing to warn, condemn, and express horror over what happened on January 6 in private, were totally silent in public or, even worse, were spreading lies and conspiracy theories, and continue to since that time. Unfortunately we’ve seen a trend from some of the same individuals.”
Psaki’s assessment was concise and appropriately critical. Although the question might have been better directed at Fox’s White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, who was sitting a few feet away from the reporter who asked it. And a good follow up would have been to inquire as to whether any of the people involved had incriminated themselves or Trump. There’s still time.
UPDATE: On their Tuesday night programs Hannity and Ingraham finally responded to the disclosure of their frantic January 6th texts. Predictably, they attacked Liz Cheney and the media for reporting things that actually happened. And they were just as predictably defensive about their own hypocrisy and dishonesty. They never bothered to explain why they were so afraid of the rioting and its consequences while it was in progress, but spent the rest of the year pretending it didn’t happen, or it wasn’t violent, or it was the fault of either Antifa, or the “Deep State,” or even Nancy Pelosi. And it took them more than 24 hours to contrive that pathetic response.
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WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki responds to GOP lawmakers and Fox News hosts frantically texting Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during 1/6 but spreading conspiracy theories after:
"Disappointing, not surprising. Unfortunately we've seen a trend." pic.twitter.com/k3MP9QigCh
— The Recount (@therecount) December 14, 2021
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.