Fox News host Eric Bolling declared that a DNC staffer, probably killed in a botched robbery, was “a hit.” Contributor Monica Crowley “asked,” what other lives “may be in danger?”
If you’ve got a conspiracy theory to promote, Monica Crowley is your gal. So it was no surprise that Trumpkin Bolling called on her, especially given that she is a fellow Trumpkin, to promote this particular bit of nonsense.
Snopes has the origin of this rumor, which it rated “false”:
On 10 July 2016, Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Conrad Rich was shot and killed just after 4 AM in Washington, D.C. Rich’s tragic death was undoubtedly destined to feed a number of conspiracy theories due to his line of work and the proximity of the 2016 presidential election. Among those theories were myriad conflicting claims that Rich was covertly working to expose election fraud, collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on an unspecified investigation, or a recycled assertion that he was imminently to testify against Hillary Clinton when he was gunned down. (No ongoing court case we could locate would involve any such testimony from Rich.)
Slate has a concise smackdown of the conspiracy theory:
Because Rich did voter outreach for the DNC and because we live in a ridiculous world, conspiracy theorists have glommed on to a fantastical story that Rich was an FBI informant meeting with purported agents who were actually a hit team sent by Hillary Clinton. There is of course absolutely zero evidence for this and Snopes has issued a comprehensive debunking of the premise itself (Rich is only 27 and has only worked at the DNC since 2014 so is unlikely to be in possession of information that might take down Clinton, he was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting and she hasn’t reported any FBI meeting, there have been a string of robberies in the area, an FBI rendezvous at 4 a.m. only happens in movies, the whole thing is batshit crazy, etc.).
Earlier this week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange implied that Rich was a source. That, coupled with the facts that Rich was shot in the back and had not been robbed, led newly-minted “homicide expert” Bolling to declare, “This was a hit.”
From Media Matters (with my emphases):
BOLLING: Alright, so let me set it up a little bit. So, this guy was walking on the street. He’s shot in the back, he is not robbed. He still has his watch, his phone, and his wallet.
CROWLEY: Right. Nothing was taken.
BOLLING: It’s clearly not a robbery. There wasn’t a robbery. They weren’t even trying to get his information.
BOLLING: This was a hit.
CROWLEY: And law enforcement went in and the original report was that it was a robbery. But now, in view of Mr. Assange’s comments and some other information, now they are taking a second look at this and saying not so fast. Maybe, in fact, it wasn’t a robbery. Maybe there was something more sinister here. Wikileaks does work in the shadows, so we don’t know for sure, but for Mr. Assange to suggest somehow that this young man, Mr. Rich, was an informant of theirs, I don’t see why he would suggest that unless it may, in fact, be true. The question going forward, I think for Mrs. Clinton, for everybody here, is what else is out there? Who has it? Whose life may be in danger?
BOLLING: It’s like an episode of Homeland.
CROWLEY: It may be worse in some ways.
So I’ve got my own theory. Why would a news network float such an incendiary accusation in a discussion with a political analyst instead of someone like, say, a homicide investigator on the D.C. police force? After all, if Bolling is so convinced there is something fishy here, this would be just the kind of major, anti-Clinton story Fox would adore. And Bolling would be a conservative hero.
Could it be that Bolling and/or Fox producers know darned well this is nothing more than a pernicious right-wing wet dream and don’t want any stinkin’ experts pointing that out to the viewers?
I report and you decide.
Watch the BS below, from the August 10 The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters.
But too much tinfoil on the head and your anybody’s mark.
At the segment’s end, commodities salesman turned ace journalist Bolling asks what else is out there. Isn’t this question better directed to the writers in Fox News’ huge Fiction Department?