Fox & Friends producers have been caught coordinating questions and topics with Trump’s then-EPA head, Scott Pruitt – and while the network insists that some employees will be “disciplined” and that “this is not standard practice whatsoever,” it might as well be.
It’s not like we couldn’t have guessed that this kind of situation existed at the network. But The Daily Beast got proof positive, via a Freedom of Information Act request, of just how willingly and how specifically Fox “News” acts as a propaganda arm for the Trump administration. For example, in May 2017, then-EPA press secretary, Amy Graham successfully pitched an interview to Fox & Friends producer Andrew Murray about how Pruitt wanted to help communities “poorly served” by the Obama administration:
Murray then copied producer Diana Aloi, saying she said she would follow up with “pre-interview questions on the agreed-upon topic, the new direction of the EPA, and helping communities that were poorly served by the last administration.”
In subsequent emails, Aloi repeatedly sought “talking points” and the “top three priorities are for the EPA that Mr. Pruitt would like to discuss specifically.”
Once Graham sent over the talking points, Aloi sought the government official’s approval for the script introducing Pruitt’s segment.
According to cable news veterans interviewed by The Daily Beast, this is not just wrong, it should be a fireable offense.
But not on Fox! Oh, yes, the network insisted such behavior “is not standard practice whatsoever” and that it will “discipline” some employees. But the network would not say which ones or how they will be disciplined. So I think it’s fair to expect a slap or two on a few wrists at most.
Consider the exchange between Pruitt’s EPA and the Hannity show. In July, 2018, the EPA “offered to fly [Sean] Hannity in a private jet with Pruitt to Oklahoma to meet a rural family to discuss the Obama administration’s water policy,” The Daily Beast discovered. Hannity turned down the offer. But not because he or his producer had any problem coordinating stories with a governmental official:
“Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we can make it work this week with Sean’s schedule,” a producer said. “Please keep us posted for other opportunities!”
In other words, while Hannity did not bite at this particular bait, he and/or the producer were open and eager to receive other such “opportunities.”
Given that this is the same network that condones its hosts and contributors campaigning with Donald Trump and for other Republicans, there’s no reason to think the network will suddenly start caring about journalism ethics. Besides, even if Fox successfully bans the practice, there’s so little daylight between Trump talking points and Fox News commentary, who would be able to tell the difference?
(Fox & Friends image via screen grab)
The Heels should show some backbone and terminate this low-rate producer.
Oh puleeeeease. Do you really expect anybody except FoxBots to believe that statement? Sure, they’ll believe anything you tell ‘em – they’d eat a crap sandwich if you told them it was turkey or ham, and they’d tell you how great it was.
The rest of us call BS on your denial.
FOX Is lies, propaganda, and treason. Your time is coming, your days are numbered.