Fox Host Falsely Claims FBI Official Oversaw Clinton Email Investigation While His Wife Received Political Donation From Clinton Ally
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Sean Hannity Is One Step Away From Hosting Bigfoot To Smear The Clintons
Sean Hannity invited Jeff Rovin on his prime-time Fox News show to claim he worked as Bill and Hillary Clinton's longtime fixer. Rovin is a discredited science-fiction writer who worked for the now-defunct Weekly World News tabloid that repeatedly attacked the Clintons with headlines such as “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby” and “Hillary Names Bigfoot As Running Mate.”
Hannity hosted Rovin after a series of stories were published by the National Enquirer hyping an unnamed "fixer" who helped Hillary Clinton hide her "illicit romps with both men AND women." Rovin claimed he is “coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received.” During the interview Hannity asked Rovin if he was voting for Trump because “it sounds like you like Trump, Rovin responded, “I like Trump, sure”:
Rovin is a science-fiction writer of multiple books and also co-wrote spy thrillers with the novelist Tom Clancy as well as writing novels based off the characters created by Clancy. According to a 2007 Kansas City Star article, Rovin also worked as an editor for the now-defunct supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News which published stories they claimed “revealed Hillary Clinton's affair with a spindly space alien named P'lod. (Cover headline: "MY STEAMY NIGHTS WITH HILLARY IN UFO LOVE NEST!")”
The Weekly World News was best known for ridiculous and outrageous front-page headlines, including; “Clinton Hires 3-Breasted Intern,” “Alien Backs Clinton,” “Alien In Slammer After Fistfight With Bill … Over Hillary,” and “Hillary Names Bigfoot As Her Running Mate”:
Trump sycophant Sean Hannity has continued to sink lower and lower in order to help boost Trump’s candidacy, this time allowing himself to become the victim of a tabloid story which was neither verified by Fox News nor any other independent analysis.
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden criticized Fox News’ Sean Hannity, commenting that Hannity “has entered the pantheon of a true propagandist,” after the Fox host expressed his admiration for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which has released stolen emails of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Hannity wrote in an October 21 tweet that “In 10 yrs, [WikiLeaks] has gotten nothing wrong & no one’s been killed bc of the info released. #freejulianassange #freeinternet for all.” Although Hannity previously called for Assange’s “arrest” for what he described as “waging” a “war against the US,” Hannity admitted that “the only reason” he “likes Assange now is” because he promised to leak private emails from Clinton’s campaign staff.
Hayden responded to Hannity’s tweet calling him “a true propagandist,” and said that Fox News has “given up any semblance of conservatism and focused on an almost visceral hatred of all things Clinton and Obama.” From The Daily Beast’s October 24 post:
In a scorching statement, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden blasted Fox News host Sean Hannity for his newfound love of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. “In 10 yrs @wikileaks has gotten nothing wrong & no one’s been killed bc of the info released. #freejulianassange #freeinternet for all,” Hannity tweeted over the weekend, continuing his recent trend of praising the man he once said was “waging war” on the U.S. and deserved to be arrested. In response, Hayden told Brookings Institute senior fellow Benjamin Wittes in a statement: “Hannity has entered the pantheon of a true propagandist.” Additionally, he wrote, “Fox News has almost entirely jumped the shark. They have given up any semblance of conservatism and focused on an almost visceral hatred of all things Clinton and Obama.” The four-star general—who has served in positions under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama—concluded that Hannity reminds him a Bulgarian political official he met in the 1980s who, when asked what truth is, told Hayden, “Truth is what serves the party.”
Hannity has dedicated his coverage of the 2016 presidential election to propping up Donald Trump’s campaign. He has attempted to justified his numerous softball interviews with for Trump by arguing, that he’s "not a journalist,” he has attacked anyone who has criticized Trump, openly admitted on air that he will vote for Trump, and even lashed out at a Fox News colleague for pointing out Trump’s media retreat to Hannity’s show.
Hannity Hypes National Enquirer Story That “Fixer” Helped "Secret Sex Freak" Hillary Clinton Set Up "Illicit Romps With Both Men And Women"
Sean Hannity will host Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged “Mr. Fix it” on his Fox News show October 24. Reports about the man’s “key role in some of the Clinton’s dirties schemes” come from the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid with a history of launching smear attacks against the Clintons.
The Enquirer reported that “Hillary Clinton’s shady Mr. Fix It will tell all on TV tonight” as he joins Hannity to reveal his identity:
The man who’s rocked Washington, D.C., will join Sean Hannity on tonight’s episode of “Hannity” — airing on the FOX News Channel at 10 p.m. EST — to reveal his true identity at last.
Viewers will finally see the face of the Clinton insider who’s finally speaking out to tell voters the truth about the former First Lady and current presidential candidate.
As The ENQUIRER reported, this man played a key role in some of the Clintons’ dirtiest schemes: the plot to take down Bill Clinton mistress Monica Lewinsky, sleazy deals to buy women’s silence, and so much more.
In a series of stories about the purported “fixer,” the Enquirer alleged that “Hillary Clinton is a secret sex freak who paid fixers to set up illicit romps with both men AND women.” The man claimed to have been hired by the Clintons for $4,000 a month in cash, “paid by a third party” to hide “what effectively was the Clintons’ open, polyamorous marriage.” The man claimed to have kept the stories quiet in part because of Bill Clinton’s health, but said he was coming forward because of negative attention Republican nominee Donald Trump has received for his treatment of women:
I have kept these secrets for a quarter-century because Bill Clinton had become an elder statesman with heart trouble and Hillary Clinton seemed to be focused, at last, on the business of doing her job — for better or for worse.
I am coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received. Nothing I have heard comes close to the sexual and moral corruption of the Clintons — many of which have yet to be revealed.
Predictably, the liberal media is focusing on one man’s alleged misdeeds and ignoring another’s proven sins.
The Enquirer, one of the few publications to endorse Trump, repeatedly published false stories about Trump’s opponents during the primary election. During the primary, the Enquirer falsely connected Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. (and Sean Hannity refused to disavow the story). The tabloid also claimed that Jeb Bush used cocaine on the night his father became president and that Ted Cruz has had affairs with multiple women.
During the general election, the Enquirer published baseless claims that Hillary Clinton’s health is so bad she will “be dead in six months.” Sean Hannity repeated the tabloid’s allegations, even inviting doctors on his prime-time show to discuss conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health.
It is unclear whether Fox News has independently verified the “fixer’s” identity, and Hannity’s FoxNews.com website says only that “a reported Clinton 'fixer' speaks out.” The National Enquirer has been the only national media outlet to report on the unnamed “fixer,” but Hannity has made it clear that he is not a journalist and will do whatever it takes get Trump elected.
Fox News hyped the contents of stolen emails released by WikiLeaks that show members of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign team discussing pay disparities at the Clinton Foundation, saying it’s proof that the foundation was “not paying women equally” and asserting that it shows “hypocrisy” from Clinton, who has fought for equal pay. But Fox’s claim doesn’t hold up, as “the statistical pool is too limited” to draw any conclusions on equal pay, according to PolitiFact. Fox has a pattern of hyping deceptive and false attacks on Democrats’ records with gender pay disparities, while at the same time dismissing the larger problems around gender pay inequality.
Right-wing media are hyping a Wall Street Journal article that attempts to scandalize the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email use by tying political donations made by Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to a 2015 state senate candidate whose husband later became involved in the FBI investigation. Journalists mocked and poked holes in the “embarrassing” story that has “literally nothing” to it.
Loading the player reg...
Fox News Host: “That's Troubling. I Only Know Of One Person That Has Risen From The Dead, So 20, That's A Problem”
Right-wing media have baselessly stoked fears of widespread voter fraud based on out-of-date or inaccurate voter registration rolls to defend Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims that “dead people” and “illegal aliens” are voting. But in doing so they’ve falsely conflated possible registration fraud with the practice of in-person voter fraud; both types are rare, and the latter is virtually nonexistent.
“Partial-Birth” Abortion Is A Right-Wing Media Myth Used To Completely Eliminate Abortion Access After 20 Weeks
During the final presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump invoked the right-wing media myth of “partial-birth” abortion to falsely allege that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supported abortion procedures that “rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month [of pregnancy.]”
Trump’s “scare rhetoric” about so-called “partial-birth” abortion is both misinformed and problematic, but the issue goes beyond his repetition of this particular stigmatizing, anti-choice talking point. Media take note: Trump isn’t just echoing right-wing media myths about abortions occurring moments before live full-term birth; he’s using them to advocate for an unconstitutional ban on all abortions after 20 weeks.
If elected, Trump has promised a panacea to right-wing media’s favorite anti-choice complaints: He’s promised a “national ban on [all] abortions after 20 weeks,” committed to “defunding Planned Parenthood,” and even pledged to appoint “pro-life justices” who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade.
Trump’s anti-choice agenda, much like the right-wing media myths at its foundation, fails to account for the realities of abortion, or those who have them.
The term “partial-birth” -- and by extension Trump’s misleading description -- is a fiction conjured up by anti-choice groups to vilify and shame individuals who have an abortion later in pregnancy. Although approximately 99 percent of abortions in the United States take place before the 20th week of pregnancy, the Supreme Court has explicitly protected the right to an abortion beyond this point when the life or health of the mother is endangered. As a result, some courts have rejected late-term abortion bans that either exclude these exemptions or attempt to restrict abortion prior to the point of fetal viability.
For Trump and right-wing media to suggest women impudently or frivolously terminate pregnancies at the 20th week or beyond is not just insulting, but also a blatant misrepresentation of the circumstances many women face. As Vox’s Emily Crockett explained, women can obtain an abortion at this stage only when "there is something seriously wrong with either the fetus or her own health." She continued that "pretending otherwise" not only "misrepresents reality," but also “inspire[s] legislation that does real harm to women who have to make heartbreaking medical decisions very late in pregnancy” by eliminating their access to a necessary medical procedure.
Unfortunately, these lived realities appear unimportant to Trump, who pushes what Talking Points Memo called “a grossly inaccurate view of abortion in the United States.” Rolling Stone concluded that “nowhere in [the third debate] was his ignorance on brighter, flashier display than on the subject of late-term abortion.”
Following the debate, Breitbart News published its approximation of a fact-check: an inaccurate article claiming that Trump’s description of “partial-birth” abortions as “ripping babies apart” was “correct.” To reach this conclusion, the article conflated the “dilation and extraction” (D&X) procedure -- which it described as “puncturing the skull [of the fetus] with scissors” -- with the legal, and most common, late-term abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation (D&E).
In Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court decided that although D&X procedures could be prohibited under the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, banning the vastly different -- and in fact, medically necessary -- D&E procedure constituted an “undue burden” on the constitutional right to an abortion. As Justice Kennedy explained, “The Act does not proscribe D&E,” which was found by a district court “to have extremely low rates of medical complications.” Clearly, the procedure being described by the Supreme Court as both legal and safe is a far cry from Breitbart News’ “partial-birth” abortion fever dream.
In a similar show of ignorance, during the October 20 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly denounced women’s health exemptions for late-term abortion because “the health of the mother could be anything.” O’Reilly previously had the audacity to suggest that women abuse health exemptions by fabricating conditions like sprained hands or headaches because they have glibly decided to terminate pregnancies, even if the “kid is going to be born next week.”
After a campaign steeped in misogyny, it’s not surprising that these are the right-wing media talking points Trump has adopted about abortion. And they are every bit as insulting, ignorant, and inaccurate as when anti-choice groups first invented them in order to stigmatize both abortion and those who exercise their constitutionally protected right to have one.
Conservative media and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are revisiting the debunked right-wing media pseudo-scandal of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party to defend Trump’s assertion that “large scale voter fraud” will affect the election.
After the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, a video went viral of two members of the New Black Panther Party standing outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day. One was a registered Democratic poll watcher; the other held a nightstick. Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the incident after Republican poll watchers complained (no voters ever alleged that they were intimidated by the men). Later, under Obama’s administration, the DOJ obtained a default judgment against the member carrying the nightstick and dropped the case against the poll watcher, the organization, and its leader.
Bush’s U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which at the time was packed with conservative activists, responded to the conclusion of the case by opening an investigation, even though the Republican vice chairwoman of the commission called the case “very small potatoes” and criticized the “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges.” Nevertheless, J. Christian Adams, an activist Republican member of the commission, went on a lengthy crusade against Obama’s Justice Department for dropping the charges, resigning and claiming the decision showed unprecedented, racially charged corruption.
Adams found a friendly and eager platform for his position in Fox News, particularly with host Megyn Kelly. In 2010, Fox News devoted at least 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime in two weeks to the phony scandal, including more than 3.5 hours on Kelly’s America Live. Adams admitted that he had no first-hand knowledge of the conversations leading to the decision.
One year later, an internal investigation at the Justice Department found that “politics played no role in the handling” of the case and that “department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment.” Fox News spent only 88 seconds covering the debunking of a phony scandal of its own creation. Kelly spent only 20 seconds of her show covering the report.
But the damage was already done, and the obsessive coverage of the non-event has bubbled back up in the 2016 presidential election.
On October 17, Trump tweeted, “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day.” As they tried to play defense for their candidate, right-wing media figures invoked the faux New Black Panther scandal. CNN’s paid Trump surrogates Kayleigh McEnany and Scottie Nell Hughes got in on the action, with McEnany claiming that Trump “doesn’t want a scenario where there's New Black Panthers outside with guns, essentially like intimidating people from coming into the polls” and Hughes saying that “voter suppression happened when the Black Panthers stood outside the election room.” (CNN’s Kristen Powers retorted, “There was not a single complaint from a single voter.”)
Conservative radio hosts joined in, with Mike Gallagher asserting that “in Philadelphia we know all about the New Black Panther movement and what they did in Philadelphia at the polling places,” and Howie Carr accusing the Obama administration of “refus[ing] to prosecute” them for “roaming outside polling places, precincts in Philadelphia with baseball bats and threatening white people.”
Key figures in creating the scandal have also resurfaced to defend Trump’s voter fraud narrative. Fox & Friends hosted J. Christian Adams to push the myth that “dead people are voting … and it’s going to affect the election” (in reality, claims of dead voter fraud are “plagued by recurring methodological errors” and actual instances of this kind of fraud are exceedingly uncommon). The Trump campaign also hired Mike Roman as head of a “nationwide election protection operation.” Roman is a Republican political consultant who shopped the 2008 video to Fox News, worked with Adams to push the scandal, and offered to contact every Republican voter in the Philadelphia precinct to determine if any were intimidated at the polling location.
The New Black Panther Party pseudo-scandal’s resurgence is only the latest example of how obsessive right-wing coverage of a comprehensively debunked myth, followed by scant coverage of news that does not fit the narrative, can allow a myth to pass as truth for years. Fox’s infatuation with Benghazi still continues to this day and, like the New Black Panther Party issue and other myths, it is frequently revived to attack Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or bolster ridiculous assertions by Trump. By bringing the overblown and debunked New Black Panther story back into the mainstream, Trump backers in the media are grasping at straws to defend his rigged election nonsense.