“Now, over the weekend, the New York Times, the so-called paper of record, got it wrong yet again and published yet another lie, misleading article, uncorroborated, to smear, well, Brett Kavanaugh,” said host Sean Hannity, who went on to explain that the paper omitted a critical piece of information regarding the credibility of an additional sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh from his college days at Yale.
“The New York Times later had to issue a correction, but it doesn’t matter, the damage is done. It appears the New York Times intentionally and willfully mislead its readers,” said Hannity.
Does anyone at “Hannity” remember last week?
A little background: On Monday, Sept. 9, CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto reported that the U.S. government in 2017 had exfiltrated a key intelligence asset from within the Russian government. The decision to take this extreme action, reported Sciutto, derived “in part” from worries about the way President Trump and his people deal with classified information. That snippet was clearly a problem for the White House.
In a story that broke later that day, the New York Times added further detail and context to the exfiltration drama. An extraction offer had been made to the source in 2016, before Trump had even taken office. And it cited “current American officials” as indicating that “media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.” The Washington Post published a report supporting the New York Times’ version of events. A spokesperson for the CIA called CNN’s reporting “misguided speculation.”
How do you suppose Hannity dealt with this discrepancy? Well, since the CNN report reflected poorly on President Trump, it was clearly rubbish: “Well, that’s a lie. That was fake news again," said Hannity on his Sept. 10 program.
Now: Just what evidence did Hannity cite to slam the CNN report? Observe: "In fact, this claim by fake news CNN was contradicted by both The Washington Post and even the New York Times. The Times reporting, quote: ‘Former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source and other current American officials insisted that the media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.’”
Why on earth would Hannity be quoting a newspaper that publishes lies? We’ve asked Fox News for a comment and will update this post if we get one.
Read more in Wemple’s series on the relationship between Fox News and the mainstream media: