Fox News is mounting smear campaigns against Sen. John Kerry and Ambassador Susan Rice in an attempt to prevent them from being part of President Obama's second-term Cabinet. On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Obama may ask Kerry to be defense secretary, while Rice is being considered for secretary of state.
Fox is attacking Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, over her statements about the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and reviving the utterly discredited lies about Kerry's service in Vietnam that were advanced by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.
It's remarkable that Fox would suggest that the Swift Boat lies could play any role in Kerry's nomination. After the notoriously false attacks on Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign, the term "swift-boating" became shorthand for dishonest political smears.
Likewise, Fox's attacks on Rice over Benghazi are premised on falsehoods about statements she made during Sunday talk show appearances on September 16. But as Mother Jones' Kevin Drum explained, Rice was accurately conveying the intelligence community's best assessment at the time of what had happened in Benghazi.
Fox is ramping up these campaigns in the wake of an election that resulted in losses for Republicans, and many in the media agree that Fox's influence on the GOP has hurt the party.
Much of the criticism of Fox's influence is that it pressures elected officials to embrace storylines that are at odds with reality. Yet Fox is undeterred, kicking off its coverage of Obama's potential second-term advisers with stories that are rooted in falsehoods.