During his prime-time broadcast Wednesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity spoke to a federal judge who suspended an attempt by the Justice Department to close his file against the former assistant to Trump, Michael Flynn.
“You stink of ignorance,” he said. “You sense political bias. “
Hannity may have been aware of the irony at stake. In recent days, the President’s favorite network has raised the fake “Obamagate” scandal on all other subjects, most obviously the deaths of over 84,000 Americans in one pandemic that the Trump administration has failed to contain.
According to research compiled by the Internet Archive, analyzed by GDELT and published Wednesday, since last week, Fox News and Fox Business have mentioned Flynn, the FBI and Obama much more often than the coronavirus.
Such coverage was also not pursued by opinion leaders like Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. Fortunately, the hosts of the so-called direct news content followed suit.
Critics and other media quickly exposed the alleged scandal that former Obama adviser David Plouffe called a “side-show to distract from the shitshow”.
But Trump and his Fox and Congress supporters are firing on all cylinders. They seek to change the fate of Flynn – dismissed as a national security adviser for lying to the vice president, pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with a Russian ambassador who was the target of a investigation into electoral interference – into a scandal to be trapped Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic candidate in November.
To do this, they describe “unmasking” – a routine intelligence process by which US citizens speaking to monitored foreigners are identified by an official request – as part of a sinister plot to kill the presidency of Trump in his cradle.
It doesn’t matter that if such a sinister plot is mounted, it obviously doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter that Trump himself has a hard time saying what Obama is supposed to have done. The president, as usual, has volunteer Republican allies in Congress.
Republican senators have released the names of those who requested the unmasking of Flynn with Biden in view. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others have now demanded that Biden and other Obama collaborators be called to testify.
Thursday, surprisingly, Trump said Obama himself should be called.
Media Matters for America analyst Matthew Gertz, said this tweet from the president was evidence of “the frog boiling,” which means an attempt to escalate the breach of political standards so that the public, like a frog in a beaker of gradually heated water, does not not notice that the boiling point was near.
Obliged to respond, Biden spokesman accused senators of “abusing their powers in Congress to act as weapons for the Trump campaign” and said published documents “confirmed that all normal procedures have been followed – any suggestion to the contrary is a categorical lie. “
But Trump insisted with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo: “It was the greatest political crime in the history of our country. If I were a Democrat instead of a Republican, I think everyone would have been in prison a long time ago, and I speak with 50-year terms. It’s a shame what happened. This is the biggest political scam, hoax in the history of our country. “
Bartiromo, of course, was happy to nod.
The Flynn case was sentencing before the intervention of Attorney General William Barr. Justice Emmet Sullivan responded, asking a former federal judge to consider whether Flynn should face a charge of criminal contempt for perjury, since he had sought to withdraw his guilty plea, stating that he did not hadn’t lied to the FBI after all.
Hannity attacked Justice Sullivan on Wednesday evening.
“So, Judge Sullivan, you and you alone from this day on are responsible for continuing what has been a travesty of justice that destroyed four years of the life of an American hero, and it is time for a new place and a new judge and someone like you who has no political bias, ”he said.
“Obamagate” has shallow roots. Just last Thursday, the United States Department of Justice announced plans to drop the charges against Flynn. A leaked conversation on Friday showed Obama that the rule of law is under threat – and that he will campaign for Biden.
Trump went on Twitter, retweeting accounts of conspiracy and making his own grandiose statements. He has regularly claimed that “Obamagate” is bigger than Watergate, the 1970s scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.
Fox News and Fox Business quickly followed suit.
In his Reliable Sources email, CNN analyst Brian Stelter said, “That Fox News would push a dishonest misinformation campaign against Trump’s political opponents is reprehensible, but not surprising. The network has been injecting poison into the national conversation for some time.
“But the fact that Fox behaves like this after more than 83,000 Americans have died from a virus that has turned American life upside down is particularly disgusting. “
In a statement Thursday, Senator Graham may have inadvertently highlighted the true motivation of Trump and Fox, and the negative effects that their behavior may well have.
“The two presidents,” he said, referring to Trump and Obama, “are invited to appear before the [judiciary] committee and share their concerns with each other.
“If nothing else, it would make great TV. However, I strongly doubt that it makes sense for the country. “