Fox News’ biggest prime-time stars spent the first day of impeachment inquiry pushing doctored evidence

After House Republicans delivered an embarrassing attempt to incriminate Joe Biden on the first day of the Fox News-derived impeachment of the president, prime-time hosts Sean Hannity and Jesse Watters attempted to save face by citing a text message that had been revealed to be taken out of context.

Video file

Citation From the September 28, 2023, edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes 

The fabricated evidence was introduced by frequent Fox guest Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) to insinuate that the president’s brother Jim Biden had assured Hunter Biden that Joe would participate in their business dealings. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), however, showed the full text message and revealed that the two Bidens were discussing not business, but the younger Biden’s alimony.

As usual, a debunk did not stand in the way of Fox hosts pushing Donalds’ fabricated evidence: 

  • Hannity pushed the lie on his radio show, including the doctored text in a list of evidence introduced that he said made the hearing “very, very enlightening.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/28/23]

  • On The Five, Watters declared, “So, there goes the ‘I was never in business with my son’ because not only were you in business with your son, you were in business with your brother.” When confronted with the evidence that the text was fabricated, Watters dismissed his co-host and blustered, “You guys have no defense.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/28/23]

  • Watters again showed the doctored message on his solo prime-time slot, declaring it was a “texts proving Joe Biden was in business with his son and his brother.” Despite failing to reveal that the text message was fabricated, Watters claimed that “Democrats’ strategy is this: ignore the evidence and create a circus.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 9/28/23

On Fox Business, host Larry Kudlow welcomed Donalds onto his show, and Donalds claimed that “Democrats didn’t even want to talk about the evidence we brought” — conveniently ignoring Democrats discussing his fabricated evidence. But as made evident by the lackadaisical hearing today, Donalds’ pathetic folly constitutes Republicans’ best strategy: push debunked conspiracy theories and rely on Fox News to bolster the lies. All the while, cable subscribers across the political spectrum are forced to finance this dangerous feedback loop and buoy Fox News’ lies.