Apparently unable to find real reporters to provide the kind of pro-Trump propaganda Sean Hannity relies on, he has turned to a trio of fake ones – despite a management directive not to call them “reporters.”
Hannity’s three fake “investigative reporters” are Sara Carter, Lawrence Jones and John Solomon. None of them provide material for Fox News’ “news” division yet Hannity has repeatedly used the term “investigative reporter” to describe them and even "Fox News investigative reporter" in Carter's case.
Carter, a near-nightly Hannity guest, had a history of shoddy, salacious work before she got on the Fox payroll. It speaks volumes that Fox hired her as a contributor, not a reporter. According to Mediaite, the network found her work does not measure up to Fox’s guidelines. But Hannity inflates Carter’s credibility by referring to her as “investigative reporter” even after the network reportedly told him to stop.
The Daily Beast crunched some numbers of Hannity's lies:
In fact, according to a review of Fox News transcripts, he has only gotten more defiant since he was reportedly scolded by executives. This year, Hannity has referred to Carter as an “investigative reporter” at least 18 times, two-thirds of which came after he was told to stop. In several of those instances, Hannity even slapped a network-wide stamp of approval on Carter, calling her a “Fox News investigative reporter.”
While Hannity has regularly promoted her articles on-air and via his social media accounts, Fox’s actual news division never uses her reporting.
The Daily Beast found that Hannity has also falsely called Jones an “investigative reporter” at least a dozen times, with a majority of those instances coming after the Fox host was reportedly asked to stop labeling Carter as such. You may recall Jones from his attention-getting stunt (that got an unintended kind of attention) of wearing a tactical vest during a border “report.”
Then there’s Solomon. The Daily Beast summed him up this way:
Nevertheless, Solomon has proven quite useful in Hannity’s quest to discredit criticism of President Trump via supposed investigative reporting. The Hill columnist, whose own outlet does not consider him a reporter, has been hyped by Hannity as an “investigative reporter” at least 12 times this year, including twice this week.
Not surprisingly, this fake news has ticked off many of Hannity’s colleagues. Several of them are quoted anonymously in The Daily Beast’s report.
Yes, it’s outrageous that Hannity – who holds himself up as “always fair and balanced” – should be getting away with such shenanigans. But really, this is just the logical extension of what Fox has always done.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
Of the others, I’ll simply point out for the 1145th time that Sara Carter got her start in Right Wing media by peddling the Ramos & Compean propaganda back in the late 2000s. Ramos & Compean were Border Patrol officers who fired fifteen shots at a fleeing suspect, with one shot (from Ramos) hitting the guy in the rear end. They then covered up the shooting by throwing away their shell casings and asking their fellow officers not to report it. Sadly for them, the suspect’s mother was friendly with the mother of someone in Internal Affairs for the Border Patrol in Texas. One thing led to another, and these two guys lied their way into being on trial for attempted murder. When they were sentenced to prison terms, Sara Carter tried to turn the story into something completely different – portraying them as heroes of the border who were being unjustly prosecuted and persecuted. Of course, she could only do this by deliberately omitting most of the facts from the discussion. And this has continued to be her m.o. for over a decade. Carter is not just a dubious, shoddy “journalist”. She’s a despicable person who has tried to profit from the misery of others.
Solomon, for his part, is a propagandist, and he normally makes no bones about that. It’s been fun to watch Hannity breathlessly vamp about the “big breakthrough story” that Solomon is going to present him, only to see that it’s yet another irrelevant email about normal FBI procedure that the two guys are frantically trying to gaslight. Which has of course been Hannity’s approach throughout the scandals of the incompetent Pence White House.
Day in, day out, Hannity and his propagandists keep repeating the same talking points and gaslighting – that somehow the entire investigation was because of a dossier personally generated by Hillary Clinton somehow. When in reality, the investigation was triggered by the actual criminal behavior of multiple Trump and Pence associates, and the dossier in question was not the basis for the eventual arrests and prosecutions.
And even past that, Hannity has never once admitted that most of the material in the dossier has actually held up as factual – in that the elements that could be proven have been proven – and that the actual funding of the team to create it was started by the Far Right Washington Free Beacon. But I suppose that this is the very nature of “alternative facts” as now are relied upon by Fox News and its fan base.