Fox News is firing back after a liberal media outlet claimed to have obtained a copy of an internal Fox News memo in which the network’s higher-ups accuse the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon, retired U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova and DiGenova’s wife, Victoria Toensing, of spreading so-called “disinformation.”
“The 162-page document, entitled ‘Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration,’ was created by Fox News senior political affairs specialist Bryan S. Murphy, who produces research from what is known as the network’s Brain Room — a newsroom division of researchers who provide information, data, and topic guides for the network’s programming,” The Daily Beast claimed in a report Thursday.
The outlet claims the document is “especially critical of Solomon,” whom it accuses of having “played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of” so-called “disinformation” involving matters in Ukraine.
As House Democrats began accusing President Donald Trump last year of having used a quid pro quo threat to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into initiating investigations into credible allegations of corruption surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Solomon began publishing reports challenging the premises of their case.
These reports included credible evidence showing that the president’s concerns about corruption, particularly in relation to Biden, were wholly merited.
Once House Democrats formally launched their impeachment inquiry against Trump, they began subpoenaing former Trump administration officials to testify against him.
A number of these officials — including Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman and Marie Yovanovitch — disputed the accuracy of Solomon’s reports, with Hill going so far as to allege that his reporting was equivalent to Russian propaganda.
He fired back at the time both via Twitter and via a statement made on Fox News.
How dare Fiona Hill question my patriotism or suggest I was part of a Russian disinformation campaign without a single fact. My sources were all US officials or Ukrainian officials aligned against Russia. Her accusations must have made Joe McCarthy smile up from hell.
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) November 21, 2019
Fiona Hill suggested my Ukraine stories were Russian propaganda. If she’s such an expert she would know my main character Yuriy Lutsenko was a political prisoner of the Russian backed Yanukovych regime and the US pleaded for his release and applauded his appointment as prosecutor
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) November 21, 2019
“Every fact that I have is out for people to see. Nobody in these hearings today could cite a specific fact. … Every fact that I’ve ever reported is online,” he said to FNC’s Martha MacCallum.
The document also reportedly takes shots at Giuliani, diGenova and Toensing.
“While the former New York mayor has regularly appeared on Fox to justify his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on Trump’s behalf, Murphy claims Giuliani is easily fooled by Ukrainian disinformation. …,” The Daily Beast’s report continues.
“The brief also questions the credibility of diGenova and Toensing, a married pair of Washington lawyers and frequent Fox News guests who appeared across the network’s right-wing commentary shows. The pair were regularly deployed by Fox hosts like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Tucker Carlson to criticize the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.”
All these alleged claims by Fox’s higher-ups appear to be based on the flawed, dubious premise that former VP Biden is a perfect specimen incapable of doing wrong. But that’s a Democrat Party talking point that simply isn’t rooted in the actual facts.
Fox News’ so-called “Brain Room” has for its part disputed the narrative posited by The Daily Beast, saying in a statement that the document is research meant only for tracking media appearances.”
“The research division of FOX News produces a briefing book for all major stories, which serves as a standing collection of extensive data on major topics for internal use by all those in editorial functions,” Mitch Kweit, the senior vice president of the “Brain Room,” said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
“The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX News and in many other outlets.”
He added, “The 200 page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to FOX News — instead it’s now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”
As of Friday morning, word of the document had gone viral among the blue checkmark “Twitterati” class of “journalists” …
Gee, it sounds like this memo the Fox News “Brain Room” wrote about a rampant, influential disinformation campaign would have been a great story to bring to air for their viewers. Why was it stuffed? Hm. https://t.co/TLX7RUvOMX
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) February 6, 2020
‘Giuliani has a “high susceptibility to disinformation” disseminated by Ukrainians like Lutsenko and Firtash,’ the internal Fox memo says. ‘two indicted Giuliani pals, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had “strong reported financial links to Firtash.”’ https://t.co/4vaSF66kIN
— Jeff Stein (@SpyTalker) February 7, 2020
An internal Fox News research memo acknowledged the obvious/huge conflicts of interest affecting its various Ukraine pundits (Solomon, diGenova, Toensing). It’s crazy the network hasn’t apologized for this. See TPM in September v. Daily Beast today: https://t.co/7qyMtyGegj pic.twitter.com/5nDRWbmksP
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) February 6, 2020
Meanwhile, anger had begun brewing among those conservatives who are troubled by what has become a habitual pattern of Fox News accepting Democrat Party talking points hook, line, and sinker.
They’re also saying J Solomon is disinformation. Basically attacking not only the veracity of reporting by those mentioned, but what they also reported, (which has been already proven true). FOXNEWS is now jumping on the smear train… sad…
— Anne O Nimas (Deboosted) (@ElShaddai3171) February 7, 2020
@FoxNews please explain why you insist on alienating the audience that provides you with your #1 ratings that allows you to command the highest revenues in cable TV advertising.
— Butch Casa (@ButchCasa) February 7, 2020
Fox has truly changed since Paul Ryan joined the board.
— Lynn – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@lynmacjay) February 7, 2020
Why is anybody surprised at this? Rupert Murdoch is slowly turning the reins of Fox News over to his two sons, who are so far to the left they would make Lavrentiy Beria take notes.
— Dale H (@pinkcop2) February 7, 2020
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