After attacking the rest of the media for not covering the (phony) Clinton “spygate” scandal, Fox suddenly dropped it, too, without explanation.
I previously wrote about how Hillary Clinton threatened to sue Fox, citing their “actual malice” (the legal requirement for a defamation case) on Thursday, followed by Sean Hannity telling her to “bring it on.”
HANNITY: Bring it on. Malice, really? It's called news. Hillary, we invite you to bring it on.
Well, it turns out Fox is ready to acknowledge that "news" isn't, after all. Tacitly only, of course. First, also on Thursday, Special Counsel John Durham, whose legal filing conveniently ignited the firestorm - just in time to distract from Donald Trump’s recent legal troubles - distanced himself, as The New York Times put it, from the breathless reporting about Hillary Clinton spying on Trump, with a statement suggesting that his filing had been overhyped and/or misinterpreted.
Aaron Rupar crunched the numbers on Fox's Thursday coverage:
When all was said and done, Clinton’s named was mentioned on Fox News shows more than 100 times on Thursday, even though she did nothing more newsworthy than deliver a speech. Meanwhile, news that a judge is ordering Trump to sit for a deposition in connection with New York’s criminal investigation of his business was mentioned twice.
But then Fox went silent on Clinton and Durham. From Mediaite on Friday:
[Durham's] statement was read in full by Bret Baier on Special Report Thursday night in advance of a remarkably muted panel discussion. Since then, the Fox News insistence that Clinton had been caught spying on Trump has nearly completely abated. That’s a rather stunning turn from the obsessive, nearly wall-to-wall coverage this non-story received over the past week.
In the past six days, John Durham was mentioned 219 times on Fox News, according to TVEyes. But as of 11 a.m. today. his name was mentioned only once by Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends, and it was in the context of Hillary Clinton being asked a question by a reporter.
So what happened? Mediaite reached out to Fox News to ask if the network no longer felt the bombshell that Hillary Clinton spied on Trump was newsworthy, or if they no longer believe that it’s true. Fox News has not replied.
Maybe Hannity's bosses, whose money would have been on the line if Clinton did sue, were not quite so excited for her to bring it on. After all, if the guy whose findings Fox was hyperventilating over had all but called their coverage a lie, that could have made her case stronger.
On Friday night, Rupar appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes and explained how Fox regurgitated and repurposed comments from Trump loyalist Kash Patel into news. That’s the first video below.
In the same appearance, Rupar noted that Fox’s excited hyping of Clinton’s speech, only to cut away from her soon thereafter when she began talking about the Big Lie, is further proof, in case you needed any, that the network is nothing more than a propaganda outlet.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
"It kinda reminded me of someone who is struggling with addiction who has a relapse and then you end up going on a week-long bender" -- me on Fox News's obsession with Hillary Clinton this week— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 19, 2022
Thanks to @chrislhayes for having me on! pic.twitter.com/bZPdlCGPxv