If Barack Obama had been guilty of what a new lawsuit against Fox News alleges the White House did, Republicans would have drafted articles of impeachment before you could spell “Kenyan Socialst.”
Not that we needed it any more evidence that the Trump White House is chock-full of horrible people, but we got more of it nevertheless after a new lawsuit was filed on Tuesday. The lawsuit, first reported by NPR, alleges that the White House coordinated with a rich Republican donor and Fox News — yes, that Fox News — to gin up the Seth Rich murder conspiracy. To add irony and a craven insult to a cynical injury, the collusion was all in an effort to distract Americans from the ever-widening scandal involving collusion of a different flavor — between Russia and the Trump campaign last year.
In case you’ve forgotten, Rich was a staffer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He’s also the Vince Foster of 2016 because tons of ill-informed Republicans think he was murdered last year because he was going to expose Hillary’s crookedness. Or at least that’s what the right-wing media sphere wants their audience to believe, and if the lawsuit in question is borne out, it would implicate the White House in a conspiracy to distract everyone from the Russian hacking scandal, and all while doing it in ways that right-wingers accuse liberals of using the media to twist narratives all the time.
Now, before any of our conservative friends wag their finger and start screaming about how this is a concerted effort by the lamestream press to bring Fox down, it should be noted that this suit was brought by Rod Wheeler. Why’s that important? Because wheeler is, according to NPR, a paid Fox News correspondent.
Wheeler alleges Fox News and the Trump supporter intended to deflect public attention from growing concern about the administration’s ties to the Russian government. His suit charges that a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him to propel her story. (source)
Of course, we’d all be shocked and blown away to find out that someone working at Fox News fabricated quotes, I know. We’d be similarly shocked to find out that someone at the network would be doing something unethical to help a Republican president, for sure. And without a doubt, I am positive that if the allegations are true, we’re all besides ourselves with surprise that the effort was undertaken to cover-up a Republican scandal.
The lawsuit alleges that Wheeler and a rich Republican donor from Dallas, who also worked for Fox News on an unpaid basis, met with then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Mr. Spicer has since quit his post, but he does not deny that a meeting took place between himself, Wheeler, and the Republican donor. This looks a lot like a presidential administration trying to manipulate the free press into helping them make a scandal go way, doesn’t it?
But, hey, it’s not like Trump himself had any knowledge of this meeting, right? Because then it would seem like Trump was again heavily involved in something that looks a hell of a lot like a cover-up. So, thank God he wasn’t directly aware of all of this huh?
Well…now that you mention it…
The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from Butowsky boasting that Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published. (source)
What’s really fantastic about this story is that it demonstrates the naked hypocrisy of the right. Just imagine the screaming and gnashing of teeth Republicans would be putting on full display if a story like this broke during the Obama years. In fact, they tried to make it seem like this kind of thing was going on in the hours after the Benghazi attack. To this day, there are some among them who believe that the networks helped Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton cover up their crimes, because they don’t believe news is fluid and sometimes facts as we understand them change as a story is being reported.
One man who most assuredly would have been calling for Obama’s head if the situation were to have been reversed is the man who did the most to keep the Seth Rich story alive. That man’s name is Sean Hannity. He was so rabid about and wouldn’t let go of the Seth Rich murder narrative that Seth’s own parents implored Sean and his employers to stop peddling the conspiracy theory. Hannity, refused, and it wasn’t until heavy pressure was put on his advertisers that he finally acquiesced.
So the question is will Hannity cover this lawsuit? Will he update his viewers? Will his audience now know a fuller picture of the whole Seth Rich affair?
No, of fucking course not. In 40 years we’ll still be bombarded by people dressed head to toe in red, white, and blue telling us that Crooked Killary Clintstoned had Seth Rich murdered and he belongs on her infamous body count, which of course will be being maintained by Crooked Chelsea or Crooked Hillary’s Crooked Grandkids. Nothing will come of this lawsuit, even if it prevails and it’s proven in court that the White House colluded with Fox News.
But at least you and I will know the truth, whatever good that does us.