Fox “news”-side anchor Sandra Smith asked her guest why President Donald Trump continues to push a baseless conspiracy theory about Ukraine that has been debunked by the U.S. intelligence community. But Smith failed to mention her own network’s role in promoting the conspiracy theory.
On the November 26 edition of America’s Newsroom, Smith asked Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) why Trump “continue[s] to push that widely debunked Ukraine theory” that falsely claims that Ukraine -- not Russia -- hacked the Democratic National Committee servers during the 2016 election. Former White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill testified last week that the conspiracy theory is a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services.” U.S. intelligence officials also recently briefed members of the Senate that the attempt to frame Ukraine for hacking the DNC servers is part of a larger Russian disinformation campaign, according to The New York Times.
On November 22, Trump called into Fox & Friends and continued to boost the debunked conspiracy theory (with hardly any pushback from the hosts). But on Tuesday, when Smith asked why Trump is still pushing this conspiracy, she failed to mention the outsize role that her network -- which Trump regularly watches -- has played in promoting the conspiracy theory.
Fox News’ obsession with “Ukrainian collusion” is largely responsible for creating the impeachment nightmare that Trump has found himself in. Going back as far as 2017, Fox News figures -- particularly prime-time host Sean Hannity -- have relentlessly pushed the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Following Hill’s testimony, Fox hosts and personalities lashed out, angry that she highlighted that the theory has little basis in reality.
It is unconscionable for a Fox News anchor to ask why Trump is pushing a widely debunked conspiracy theory without acknowledging the reality that Fox News has fed it to him.