Fox contributor equates fake news farms with US media outlets while defending Trump's call to investigate the press

The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway: “They already are investigating media companies. So [Trump is] saying why not investigate these other companies.”

From the October 8 edition of Fox News' MediaBuzz:

Video file

HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): Let me move on now to the president tweeting. This was after the two leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee held a televised briefing on the progress of their investigation into possible Russian collusion. The president: “Why isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the fake news networks in our country to see why so much of our news is just made up-fake!” The president seemed to almost be calling for a Senate investigation of the press.

SHANNON PETTYPIECE: Well, I guess that was a way it was interpreted. The issue around fake news --

KURTZ: How would you interpret it?

PETTYPIECE: Well, it’s sort of a -- this issue around fake news, which we saw in really a bipartisan way, that we saw the Senate intelligence committee, both members coming out and agreeing that there is an issue with fake news. Fake news being a troll farm in Ukraine or Russia producing just made up articles and putting them on social media.

KURTZ: The president means inaccurate articles when he says fake news.

PETTYPIECE: Right, so he's conflating the two. And the danger with doing that is maybe these fake news stories coming out of a fake news farm in Russia aren't hurting you right now, but at some point, maybe three years down the road, there are going to be blatantly fake stories about you murdered someone sixteen years ago or you are running a pedophile ring out of a pizza shop about you. And then you’re really going to need to and want to go against these fake news farms. So that's the danger here, forgetting the Russia troll farms in this discussion.

KURTZ: Let me put the question to you, Mollie. Whatever the many flaws of the media, and we have spent a lot of time examining them, the government should look into the media's conduct? 

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Well I made a joke when he tweeted that that the First Amendment was what was keeping an investigation from happening. But you make a good point, they already are investigating media companies. So he's saying why not investigate these other companies. I think it's funny you say, what if bad stories came out that were unfair to Donald Trump or inaccurate. I think he's been experiencing that for quite some time, and I think that's his point that he's trying to make. That there is so much hostile media coverage. There was that recent -- the Pew study that just came out showing 62 percent of stories in the first 100 days were negative compared to 20 percent for Obama. This is the type of -- 

KURTZ: And five percent positive toward him.

HEMINGWAY: The media -- and they're breaking norms left and right and I think he wants to just draw attention to it.


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