Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry, a serial misinformer and Trump sycophant, is replacing Bill Hemmer as co-anchor for America’s Newsroom, which airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
After anchor and frequent Trump critic Shepard Smith abruptly left Fox News in October, rocking Fox’s “news”-side division, the network announced that Hemmer, who has his own history of problematic statements, would be replacing Smith in the network’s 3 p.m. time slot. Now Henry -- who also acts as a Fox & Friends Weekend co-host -- will be anchoring America’s Newsroom alongside Sandra Smith.
During his time on Fox News, Henry has consistently played defense for President Donald Trump in recent years as he battled scandal after scandal. As a chief national correspondent, Henry provides Fox personalities tidbits of misinformation that they can latch onto to counter negative coverage directed at Trump. As a weekend opinion host, Henry dutifully offers full-throated defenses of Trump, maligning his perceived enemies and praising the president.
On one occasion when Henry stepped out of line and gently questioned whether Trump had done anything wrong regarding the Ukraine scandal, Trump unleashed a fury of tweets and retweets directed at Henry -- 23 tweets in 23 minutes. By the following week, Henry was back in line, declaring that “the president is winning” the Ukraine scandal.
Fox’s decision to promote Hemmer to Smith’s former slot, and Henry to Hemmer’s former slot, shows more than ever how little the network cares about accurately reporting news. Below is a non-comprehensive sample of how Henry has distorted the truth.
Trump’s Ukraine scandal, impeachment, and the Mueller report
After the public learned about an intelligence community whistleblower complaint regarding Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president -- ultimately leading to Trump’s impeachment in the House -- Henry ran to Fox News to insist that a “senior administration official” told him that “there is no ‘there’ there” about the complaint.
Henry later attempted to soften the blow of the complaint by reporting “key information” that the whistleblower was acting with “political bias” against Trump. Henry insisted that the report revealing this bias would be “huge news.” In reality, Henry was teasing a memo that said the intelligence community inspector general did find arguable political bias from the whistleblower, but “the ICIG concluded that the complaint’s allegations nonetheless appeared credible.” Still, Henry provided the network with enough ammunition to push back against the whistleblower complaint for a few days.
A couple weeks later, again discussing the complaint, Henry claimed that Trump has been “honest and transparent” about wanting foreign governments to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential 2020 election opponent.
After Trump told ABC News that “there isn't anything wrong with listening” to a foreign government offering dirt on a candidate and said that he would “maybe” go to the FBI “if I thought there was something wrong,” Henry reported that Trump “made it clear” that he'd report foreign interference in the 2020 election to the FBI.
After Trump publicly called for China to investigate Biden while speaking with the press, Henry gushed that “the president is winning.”
After dozens of text messages from American diplomats were released that appeared to strongly suggest that military aid was used as leverage to get Ukraine to cooperate with Trump’s demands for investigations, Henry said that “it’s very clear from that exchange” that there was no quid pro quo.
After the release of the Mueller report, Henry insisted that Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice because his orders to fire the special counsel were ignored by senior officials, “so no obstruction there.”
Henry also falsely claimed that “you can't obstruct something if there is no underlying crime.”
Border and immigration policy
Henry responded to a hearing on migrant deaths in the Department of Homeland Security’s custody by pointing out that “frankly, American lives are at risk as well on this side of the border.”
On Fox & Friends, Henry lied that “miles and miles of new wall” at the border are “being built.” This was untrue at the time, but Trump’s reelection campaign used Henry’s comments to insist that Democrats are wrong when they say there’s no new wall being built.
Henry linked a record seizure of fentanyl at a legal port of entry to a need for Trump's border wall, even though such barriers would not be placed at legal border crossing points like the one where the drugs were found.
Henry asked why then-Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke opposed a border wall when he used security fencing at his campaign rallies.
Henry attacked “ungrateful” migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democratic presidential candidates and their policies
On America’s News Headquarters, Henry allowed Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress to falsely claim without pushback that “every Democrat candidate running for president believes in unrestricted abortion up until the time the child is in the birth canal of the mother.”
Henry attacked a 2020 Democratic presidential debate for showcasing “class warfare” after claiming that “reproductive justice” is “a phrase we had not quite heard before.”
Henry linked Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) proposed wealth tax to “what's happening in Venezuela with socialist policies.”
In 2015, Henry used a deceptive video from a discredited anti-abortion group to attack Democratic presidential candidates.
Henry praised Trump after a 2017 speech where he called for an increased American troop presence in Afghanistan, saying that Trump “stepped up to the plate tonight” and declaring that “it was a leadership moment for him.”
On Fox & Friends, Henry lied that Iran said it will begin enriching uranium at “basically a nuclear grade” after the country announced it would “accelerate uranium enrichment to 3.7%,” far below the 90% enrichment level required for a nuclear weapon. Henry used this false point to warmonger about Iran, adding that “the stakes are very high.”
Amid rising tension last June between the U.S. and Iran, Henry claimed that “a lot of analysts” agreed that Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign on Tehran with the sanctions is working” and “may prevent war.”
After Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, Henry gushed over their “very warm relationship.”
When the Trump administration announced that 2020’s G-7 summit will be hosted at Trump National Doral golf course -- a decision that was later reversed because of the overwhelming backlash regarding the blatant conflict of interest -- Henry cheered Trump for “poking the bear,” referring to his Democratic critics, and justified the decision by saying that “they knew beforehand he was a businessman. He’s put all that on the table.”
On Fox & Friends Weekend, Henry complained about a Canadian network cutting a scene from Home Alone 2 featuring a cameo by Donald Trump (the film was edited to make time for commercials in 2014, before Trump was president). Henry asked, “How bad is your Trump derangement syndrome for you to cut that out of a happy movie like that?”
Henry complained about Parkland students protesting after a gunman murdered 17 students and educators, stressing “truth over emotion” and complaining that protesters didn’t follow “the process” of seeking a constitutional amendment.
Henry mocked the concept of climate change, insisting that “first, it was ‘global warming,’ then it was ‘climate change.’ Now, maybe ‘extreme weather?’” Apparently befuddled over the terminology, Henry claimed that “the left keeps rolling out new terms but pushing the same agenda.”
Henry introduced his guest, Fox contributor Jason Riley, to cast doubt on voter suppression as “simply a myth.” Riley insisted that Democrats use the issue to “try and keep” minority voters “paranoid and angry to get them out to the polls.” Henry agreed, questioning whether Democrats could be pushing back on the issue of voter suppression because “some Democrats are worried that some of the Blacks and Hispanics who turned out in 2018 and might turn out in 2020, they're turning out but might actually vote Republican.”
A week after a 2015 racially motivated shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, killed nine people, Henry asked why Americans are “getting pulled into other issues like gun control right now in the wake of this tragedy and not talking about the economy, which is what matters most to people.”
Henry praised Trump for lashing out at a Jewish reporter when asked what his administration would do to stop a trend of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the country, saying that Trump showed his “human side.”
The Obama years
In 2015, Henry claimed that then-President Barack Obama was only focusing on the economy in his State of the Union speech because he wanted to distract from national security. Of course, other Fox hosts previously railed on Obama for ignoring the economy and distracting voters with topics like national security.
In 2013, Henry lied to defend the GOP’s newest health care proposal, falsely claiming it would force federal employees to participate in exchanges the same way other consumers will.
A few months after the devastating shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Henry complained that “for the second straight day, the White House used the victims of the Newtown tragedy to make their case.”
Henry also made a faulty comparison between New York City and Chicago in order to defend opposition to gun violence proposals after Sandy Hook, misleadingly citing the larger number of crime guns seized in Chicago compared to New York City in 2013 to give credence to “conservative critics” who say “gun control may not necessarily be the answer” to reducing gun violence.
In 2012, Henry complained that Obama could have moved toward the center for his reelection campaign, but instead talked about “taxing the rich.”
Henry pushed a distorted conservative talking point that Obama was forcing American taxpayers to pay for women’s birth control. In reality, the Obama administration had announced that it would require most employers to offer health insurance that includes contraception.
The Bush years
While reporting for CNN on then-President George W. Bush’s decision to fire eight U.S. attorneys in 2006, Henry reported as “fact” the Bush administration’s justification that the attorneys were “allegedly not performing well.” Yet at the time, The Washington Post had reported that Republicans felt the attorneys weren’t doing enough to combat the debunked issue of voter fraud.
During his time on CNN, Henry continuously characterized conservative Christian voters as “values voters,” arguing that support for reproductive choice is not sufficiently “pro-family.”
In 2007, Henry uncritically aired Bush’s claim that “violence has sharply decreased in Baghdad,” giving no indication that he had tried to verify this claim. By contrast, The Associated Press reported that while violence in Baghdad was “down from peak levels ... the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.”
In 2008, Henry falsely suggested that a bipartisan Senate report finding that the Bush administration misled Americans about links between Iraq and Al Qaeda was approved only by Democrats.