Some comments from Keith Davidson, Stormy Daniels’ pre-Avenatti attorney who negotiated her hush money, confirms some of the New Yorker reporting that Fox spiked its own reporter's story of Donald Trump’s payoff to the porn star, before the election, in order to help him win.
In her New Yorker bombshell, Jane Mayer wrote that then-FoxNews.com editor Ken LaCorte had praised reporter Diana Falzone’s work but spiked it because “Rupert wants Donald Trump to win.” Since the article dropped, LaCorte wrote an editorial claiming Falzone’s story “wasn’t close to being publishable,” and that his decision was a “no-brainer.” He insisted, “I didn’t do it to help Trump and never said or implied otherwise. It was such an easy call that I never even informed my direct boss or anyone in management about it.”
LaCorte also claimed that while he “spoke at length” with Mayer “over the months,” she “never inquired about the Stormy Daniels story at all.” However, in a video below, Mayer told MSNBC host Chris Hayes that LaCorte “sent us a ton of material on” the story and “I went through his material and put in his statement.”
Mayer also told Hayes that Falzone “had quite a bit of reporting done and there are a lot of ways to check it.” Mayer later said she had “three corroborators for [Falzone’s] story” (as is indicated in the New Yorker piece). Falzone, it should be noted, is prevented from talking under the terms of a nondisclosure agreement she signed after settling a discrimination lawsuit against the network.
On Monday, ABC News seemed to corroborate Falzone and Mayer:
Keith Davidson, who negotiated the hush-money deal in which Daniels received $130,000 in exchange for her silence on the subject, told ABC News that Fox News reporter Diana Falzone called him shortly after the release of the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape seeking comment on what Davidson called “factually specific” details of the alleged affair.
“I can tell you that Diana Falzone, who is a New York-based Fox reporter, had the story,” Davidson said. “And Diana Falzone had the story, at a minimum, in between when Stormy Daniels' first contract was cancelled. I don't know how she got it, but I do know that I received a comment call from Diana Falzone that was factually specific after we cancelled the contract but before that second contract was signed, which occurred, you know, the day or two after ‘Access Hollywood.’”
Davidson said he declined to comment to Falzone, but for reasons unknown to Davidson, the network never published the story.
Of course, knowing the facts is not the same as having the kind of sourcing and corroboration LaCorte says was missing from Falzone's story. But in another video below, Falzone’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, urged Congress to subpoena her client to lift the gag so she can come forward with what she has.
Or Fox could agree to let her do so on its own, as Smith has already requested. If the network is so confident of its journalism and Falzone’s lack thereof, surely they’d want everyone to see the proof, right?
Meanwhile, watch Mayer explain why she stands by her reporting, from the March 8, 2019 All In with Chris Hayes, via Media Matters. Underneath, watch Smith call on Congress to subpoena Falzone on the March 11, 2019 The Beat with Ari Melber.
(Daniels image via screen grab)