Now that the Mueller report has unequivocally demolished the Sean Hannity and Fox News conspiracy smear that DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered because he had leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks, where is the apology to the Rich family for causing them so much pain and to the rest of America for spreading fake news?
Even Attorney General Bill Barr’s inadequate summary of the Mueller report completely debunked the Hannity/Fox conspiracy theory that Rich, not Russia was responsible for the leaks.
But the Mueller report not only confirms that Russia really was WikiLeaks' source but further reveals that Julian Assange deliberately made up the Rich smear to cover up the Russian involvement:
Beginning in the summer of 2016, Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016. The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails. On August 9, 2016, the @WikiLeaks Twitter account posted: “ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich."180 Likewise, on August 25, 2016, Assange was asked in an interview, “Why are you so interested in Seth Rich’s killer?” and responded, “We’re very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged Wikileaks sources.” The interviewer responded to Assange’s statement by commenting, “I know you don’t want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you’re suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered.” Assange replied, “If there’s someone who’s potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter...that type of allegation is very serious, as it’s taken very seriously by us."
After the U.S. intelligence community publicly announced its assessment that Russia was behind the hacking operation, Assange continued to deny that the Clinton materials released by WikiLeaks had come from Russian hacking. According to media reports, Assange told a U.S. congressman that the DNC hack was an “inside job,” and purported to have “physical proof that Russians did not give materials to Assange. (Vol I, pp. 48 – 49)
You have to wonder… What the heck kind of reporting did Fox News engage in? Hannity continued promoting the fake news, even after Fox retracted the story and the Rich family had pleaded with him to stop.
Media Matters noted that yesterday was the 700th day since Fox News had promised to investigate the matter. That’s nearly a month longer than the Mueller investigation took yet we still don’t have any answers from Fox.
Fox executives took what was, for the network, an unheard-of stab toward accountability in response [to the backlash against its Rich "reporting"]. They retracted the original FoxNews.com and replaced it with a promise that Fox would review how it had published materials that didn’t meet the network’s standards and "provide updates as warranted." But it quickly became apparent that Fox’s actions weren’t on the level. Two months later, as confused network employees questioned why no results had been forthcoming, a top Fox executive told CNN the investigation was ongoing but provided no sense of when it might conclude.
That internal probe has now lasted longer than special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. To date, Fox has provided no public accounting of what went wrong, and it has announced no disciplinary action against anyone involved with promoting the conspiracy theory.
The author of the initial FoxNews.com story apparently still works at the network (though she hasn't published a story since August 2017), its editor has been promoted, and on-air commentators who pushed the conspiracy theory such as Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Steve Doocy are still comfortably ensconced at Fox.
Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron Rich, is also demanding accountability.
"The special counsel has now provided hard facts that demonstrate this conspiracy is false," Aaron Rich said in a statement provided to CNN on Friday. "I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows, or in any way used my family's tragedy to advance their political agendas -- despite our pleas that what they were saying was not based on any facts -- will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused us."
Aaron Rich added that his family "will continue to pursue justice for Seth's murderers, as well as those who used his murder to advance their personal or political agendas by advancing false conspiracy theories.”
On Sunday, Hannity had a Twitter meltdown over a report that Russia has used clips of his show as propaganda against the Mueller report. Instead of expressing outrage toward Russia, Hannity went on a tirade against the U.S. media as “no better than Russian propaganda outlets—perhaps even worse.”
So the Seth Rich smear is yet another instance of Hannity providing a propaganda benefit for Russia - yet neither he nor his network has uttered a word of contrition or explanation.
Shame on them.
Watch an explanation of how Hannity promoted the lie about Rich, from ABC’s March 15, 2018 Good Morning America.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
American veterans need to re-examine their association with so-called talk show hosts. If they are true patriots they would not associate with anyone who would protect Russia.
NOTE TO ALL MILITARY VETERANS, COUNTRY ARTISTS, AND ACTORS
Would you associate yourselves with an individual who protects Russia’s interests rather than the U.S.?
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro?
Gen. William Boykin?
Big and Rich?
The mainstream media needs to be more aggressive in debunking Fox News’ bullshit. I get the media’s resistance to taking on Fox because trash talking competition in any industry looks unprofessional but, IMHO, this can be handled in an objective manner to avoid this pitfall.
Right after he gets around to having that waterboarding he promised.