Fox News posted an article Thursday on a new ad from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, described as having been “shared first with Fox News,” which goes after President Donald Trump over the allegations reported in September that Trump had disparaged fallen U.S. troops as “losers” and “suckers.”
Fox then denied the central allegation of the ad – even though one of the network’s own reporters had previously confirmed it.
In the immediate aftermath of the report from The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin confirmed multiple portions of Goldberg’s article, such as reporting that Trump did not want wounded veterans included in his July 4, 2019, military parade, calling it “not a good look,” and that in the words of her source, “When the president spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker.’” Griffin also said that her source had told her Trump’s language was “not a one-off.”
In Biden’s new ad, the announcer declares: “Donald Trump called those who served ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ Joe Biden believes they’re heroes,” with the onscreen text providing a citation to The Atlantic.
For its front page promotion of the article on the new Biden ad, however, Fox News referred to the story largely confirmed by its own reporter as a “refuted slam.”
That description was included again when the article became a sub-headline item at the top of Fox’s front page in the early afternoon:
The article itself does not use such a description as “refuted,” instead using more neutral vocabulary such as “reported comments” and noting that “the president, the White House and Trump’s reelection campaign have all vigorously denied the allegations.”
The article’s main lie of omission comes simply from not mentioning any of Griffin’s prior reporting for Fox confirming elements of The Atlantic article — which should hardly be surprising.
At the time, other hosts on Fox ranging from opinion commentators to the purported “news side” engaged in a campaign of denial about the allegations, often not even mentioning Griffin’s reporting or splitting hairs on whether she had confirmed “the most salacious part” of the story. And while Fox commentators often criticized the allegation as coming from anonymous sources, the network’s chief White House correspondent John Roberts cited his own anonymous sources to deny it.
The episode showed the farce of Fox’s purported “straight news” side — and today’s newest development shows the futility of progressives trying to engage with the channel in any sort of good faith. Even if there might be a section of Fox’s audience that somebody hopes to reach, it makes little difference when the entire network is simply a propaganda outlet for the Trump campaign.