Meghan McCain defends Fox News pushing fake stories
You would think that any reasonable person would agree that repeatedly pushing demonstrably false stories on the most-watched cable news outlet is not a good thing. But when the person is Meghan McCain and the network is Fox News, that is apparently not the case.
“The last guy in the White House loved to accuse the mainstream media of pushing fake news, but it kind of looks like some of his most supportive conservative outlets are guilty of doing that very thing—again,” Whoopi Goldberg said at the top of The View on Wednesday morning, referring to the story about Biden allegedly trying to take away Americans’ burgers that Fox News hammered for days before ultimately issuing a retraction.
Fox stars also repeatedly pushed the fake story that federal officials were giving migrant children copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’ book, which originated in the New York Post and led to the resignation of a longtime reporter who said she was “ordered” to write it.
Sunny Hostin called the retractions “too little, too late” and part of a larger “campaign of misinformation that keeps coming from these conservative outlets.”
Sara Haines agreed that there “needs to be consequences that are harsh and immediate” for anchors who perpetuate these types of lies.
But McCain, who proudly declared herself the “only conservative woman in all of media,” said: “What I have found interesting in what I consider liberal media is not the stories we talk about, but the stories we don’t talk about.”
“For example, we never once talked about Hunter Biden as a ‘hot topic’ on this show, whereas Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump Jr. cough in the wrong directions and it probably would have taken up the first two blocks,” she continued.
From there, she offered a plug for her husband, Ben Domenech, a Fox News contributor who also runs, in her words, “one of the most influential conservative websites on the internet,” The Federalist.
“The reason why these outlets need to exist is because everything else is liberal everywhere else,” McCain said. “There's a reason why Fox is killing it in the ratings and laps everyone else, because it seems like it’s rigged every place else!”
Instead of talking about two concrete instances of conservative media deliberately pushing unverified stories about the Biden administration over a span of several days, McCain said her show should cover “the things every day that are inaccurate on CNN and MSNBC and then we can talk about fairness in the media.”
She declined to list or highlight any specific examples from those networks.
Later, Joy Behar pushed back on McCain’s suggestion that The View ignored some legitimate scandal about Biden’s son.
“The reason we didn’t discuss Hunter Biden on this show is because even though the New York Post pushed the story it was actually never vetted or verified by various news outlets.”
A reporter at Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid has resigned after she claimed she was forced to write an incorrect front page story about migrants and Kamala Harris.
The New York Post published an article on 23 April headlined “Kam on in”, which claimed migrant children were being given welcome packs that contained copies of the US vice-president’s 2019 children’s picture book, Superheroes Are Everywhere. A follow-up article claimed thousands of copies had been distributed.
In reality, officials said a single copy of the book had been donated by a member of the public as part of a call for presents to give to unaccompanied child migrants.
Despite this, the story was followed up by several rightwing media outlets including Fox News.
One of the cable channel’s reporters even asked the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, about the supposed mass distribution of Harris’s book by the government, while Republican politicians suggested it was part of a plot to direct government funds into Harris’s pocket.
Laura Italiano, a long-serving New York Post reporter, was credited with writing the article. On Tuesday, she announced she was quitting at the tabloid.
“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” she said. “The Kamala Harris story – an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against – was my breaking point.”
She added: “It’s been a privilege to cover the city of New York for its liveliest, wittiest tabloid – a paper filled with reporters and editors I admire deeply and hold as friends. I’m sad to leave.”
The false story is one of the first major challenges for the New York Post’s newly arrived British editor-in-chief, Keith Poole, who until last month was based in London as deputy editor of the Sun.
He has been tasked with increasing traffic to the tabloid’s website, which has come under criticism for writing click-chasing stories casting doubt on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.
The New York Post’s false story about Harris was based on a single photograph of the book taken at a temporary immigration facility at Long Beach in southern California.
The article was briefly taken off the Post’s website but later reinstated with a footnote: “The original version of this article said migrant kids were getting Harris’s book in a welcome kit but has been updated to note that only one known copy of the book was given to a child,” the editor’s note said.
Before the story was partially retracted, leading Republicans used it to hint public funds were being misused. Senator Tom Cotton asked if the Biden administration was forcing taxpayers to buy Harris’s book to give to those illegal immigrants.
Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, also asked: “After learning officials are handing out Kamala Harris’s book to migrants in facilities at the border, it’s worth asking … Was Harris paid for these books? Is she profiting from Biden’s border crisis?”
The Washington Post revealed that the single copy of the book had turned up at the Long Beach facility as part of a book and toy drive for migrant children.
“The city of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach convention and visitors bureau, has a city-wide book and toy drive that is ongoing to support the migrant children who are temporarily staying in Long Beach at the US Department of Health and Human Services shelter,” city spokesman Kevin Lee told the paper.
“The book you reference is one of hundreds of books that have already been donated. The book was not purchased by HHS or the city.”
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.
The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.
For over a year, Anthony Fauci has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have questioned his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused him of quietly undermining then-President Donald Trump. But those attacks took on a whole new level of vitriol this week, to the point that one social media analysis described it as highly misleading and at least one platform pulled down some posts, citing false content. It all stemmed from a tranche of Fauci’s emails that were published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets. Within hours of publication, the hashtag #FauciLeaks was trending on Twitter.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have been investigating whether several Ukrainian officials helped orchestrate a wide-ranging plan to meddle in the 2020 presidential campaign, including using Rudolph W. Giuliani to spread their misleading claims about President Biden and tilt the election in Donald J. Trump’s favor, according to people with knowledge of the matter.