Yesterday, the January 6th committee revealed that three top Fox hosts, each as MAGA as they come, knew the insurrection was a violent attack on democracy by Trump supporters who would listen to him if he called it off. But they have been covering up and pretending otherwise to their viewers. UPDATED.
Rep. Liz Cheney, a former Fox contributor, dropped the bombshell during the January 6th committee’s meeting yesterday before a unanimous vote to hold former Trump chief of staff and former Republican Congressman Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.
CHENEY: Indeed, according to the records, multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately. They texted Mr. Meadows. And he has turned over those texts. Quote “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy," Laura Ingraham wrote.
“Please, get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” Brian Kilmeade texted.
“Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” Sean Hannity urged.
As the violence continued, one of the President's sons texted Mr. Meadows: “He's got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
As my Crooks and Liars’ colleague, Red Painter, noted, “When Donald Trump Jr, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are the voices of reason, we really have crossed the rubicon into crazytown.”
Not only that, it shows that Fox has deliberately engaged in a cover up for Trump. It also shows the sway the “news” hosts knew they had in Trump World.
Media Matters’ Angelo Carusone explained on MSNBC last night:
CARUSONE: It is a big deal because for two reasons. One, this is a stunning illustration, and it is rare to use the word “stunning” in relation to something Fox does, but this is a stunning illustration of the Trump-Fox feedback loop because it shows that in real time on January 6th, they knew there was a problem.
They tried to protect and advise Trump to address that problem in real time. Then, after January 6th, they ran cover for him and then to this day continue to rewrite history. The second reason is that we actually have their words that they were saying on air at the same time that they were sending these messages."
On January 6th itself, the same day they were sending these text messages, all three of these individuals, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade went on Fox News and while they were telling Donald Trump that he needed to call off his supporters, they were telling Fox News viewers and the American public by extension that the people that were actually attacking the Capitol were not Donald Trump supporters, but actually secretly antifa or Black Lives Matter. Laura Ingraham called in. Sean Hannity did a show that night. Brian Kilmeade did the same thing. So they recognized in real time that this was actually Trump supporters and yet they spent an enormous amount of effort that very day lying, explicitly saying and blaming this on antifa and Black Lives Matter.
I mean, it’s one thing if it happened after the fact if they were trying to rewrite history and engage in political cover-up, but the idea that at the same time they were texting Mark Meadows they were actually spinning something totally different for Fox viewers, for their viewers is actually, is genuinely stunning. But beyond that it shows we are in an environment right now where impunity is what is in control. And that's scary. Because an environment where there is impunity means you start to have no rule of law and you basically have authoritarianism.
You can watch Cheney and Carusone below, via Crooks and Liars.
12/14/21 Update: Hannity and Ingraham addressed the texts tonight. I plan to post on this tomorrow.
Once bitten, twice shy, as they say, but THIS time I’m as confident as I can be that Fox will lose any remaining veneer that allows them to pose as a genuine news organisation. Centre-right personalities will think twice about being associated with the Fox ‘brand’, non-RWNJ advertisers will shy away for fear of upsetting their customer base and, hopefully, the White House will remove their accreditation.
Thoughts and prayers, folks, thoughts and prayers.
That said, I wouldn’t vote for her for anything because I’ve seen her voting record while in Congress.