While we like to think of Fox as just one big echo chamber for Donald Trump and his draconian ideas to spread and further intoxicate his base, this isn’t exactly true. Sometimes it’s the other way around – that what Trump thinks is real is actually just some overblown feature story that he saw on Fox and the producers are well aware that he’s listening and they’ll push it in hopes that he goes their way on national policy. When the Ukraine scandal was still developing, Fox pundits worked to promote a number of conspiracies in an effort to muddy the water around impeachment. That they did this isn’t so surprising.
As the news broke, they were regularly in touch with John Solomon, an op-ed writer for The Hill who used his position to come up with stories about crimes Joe Biden supposedly committed. Sean Hannity regularly regurgitated his lies and hailed him as a brave investigative reporter. What’s surprising is that Fox News knew that Solomon was a liar who failed to disclose that he was working on a disinformation campaign alongside Rudy Giuliani, that he was in fact a crucial part of the campaign, and an internal report called them out, according to new reporting by the Daily Beast. They not only knew Solomon and Giuliani were liars, the company was warned against having them on the network due to the nature of their involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
They created a list of liars with Giuliani at the top, underlining that he was doing pretty much what we knew he was doing all along. Also on the list were Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova, who are both hired as legal experts by the network and on the payroll of an exiled Ukrainian oligarch, Dmytro Firtash. Of course, the network did nothing to keep them off the air. Trump may be having his victory lap, but it was a pyrrhic victory for Fox who helped him along the way and they may be looking at problems of their own.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making