Julian Assange gave Sean Hannity a cagey answer about Russian involvement in the Democratic campaign emails leaked by Wikileaks so wide you could drive a Russian tank through it. But this morning, five Fox News hosts and one correspondent pretended Assange had given an unequivocal denial.
Donald Trump press agent Fox host Sean Hannity will air an interview with Assange tonight that was previewed this morning. The preview included the following exchange:
HANNITY: You did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails. Can you tell the American people a thousand percent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?
ASSANGE: We can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.
Any thinking news person with half an ounce of journalistic integrity would have noted that Assange did not say that his source was not someone “associated with Russia” or acting on behalf of Russia. But not this crew of Fox “newsies.” They seemed to think their job was to act as echo chambers for Assange and only question the Obama administration.
On Fox & Friends First (the first video below), cohost Heather Childers chirped, “Doubling down: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange insists that Russia had zero involvement in the emails leaked during the election.” Which is not what Assange actually said.
Cohost Clayton Morris added, “Assange says the Obama administration is trying to delegitimize the Trump presidency.”
In case anyone didn’t get the message, correspondent Kelly Wright then repeated the message, this time as news, that Assange “claims the Obama administration is trying to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump.” Wright also said that Assange claimed, “Russia is not the source for hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.”
Whoever wrote the lower-third banner had some integrity. It read, “Assange: No state party involved in leaks.” With scruples like that, I wonder how long that person will last in the job.
Wright reiterated his conclusion, “Assange disputing the Obama administration’s claims that Russia was involved.”
Again, Wright let Assange's coyness go unremarked. But we did get a clip of Assange repeating the accusation that the Obama administration is “trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House.”
It wasn’t until two minutes into the video, and 20 seconds before the end, that Wright got around to reporting that both the FBI and Homeland Security “claim to have evidence of a Russian link.” He also noted that, “A U.S. intelligence source says not all of it has been released over concerns for sources and foreign allies that help us.”
But, apparently, parroting what Assange says carries more weight than the FBI or Homeland Security.
Later, on Fox & Friends, cohost Abby Huntsman regurgitated the same talking points with just the same questioning attitude she brought to her completely false food stamp fraud segment – which is to say, none.
Cohost Steve Doocy took Assange’s half-baked denial and concluded that the hacker must have been from inside the DNC.
Guest (and Fox host) Tucker Carlson asked about Assange, “If he’s lying, what the point? … Why would he be acting on Trump’s behalf? What is his motive?”
A simple Google search could have answered that question for Carlson. As the Daily Beast neatly laid out in September, Assange “made certain positions perfectly clear over the years: his loathing for Hillary Clinton, his increasing alignment with the Russian government’s positions, and his interest in electoral politics.” Yet not one of these six people relayed any of that information to the "We report, you decide" network's viewers.
Carlson went on to highlight liberals who are also questioning the evidence, as if he were just a good journalist, albeit another one who ignored the hole in Assange’s denial. “Do we really know that Putin was behind this?” Carlson “asked.”
Maybe we don’t. But the one thing you can be sure of is that no Fox News investigation will try to find out... unless the answer is a definite nyet.
Watch the two segments below, from the January 3, 2017 Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends.
It is obvious that the Trump organization is doing everything possible to cast doubt on the Russian connection to the hacking. Why? So they can deny that the hacking favored the RNC and influenced the results of the election.
Hasn’t he promised a statement on Russian hacking today or tomorrow? Wanna bet it just doesn’t happen?
Watch for Bildo and KKKlannity to do a hatchet job on Megyn’s reputation now.
I really wonder how Hannity will react when Assange turns on Trump in the next year or so and releases something juicy about Pence’s White House follies. Keep in mind that Assange’s track record shows it’s only a matter of time before he does this. He’s not in the business of supporting any authority. He tends to hate all of them, and he takes pride in finding new and inventive ways to embarrass them. Something tells me Hannity won’t want anyone to remember this tape exists at that time.
Well, you scratch my back…