Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity attempted to get some more political mileage out of the Colonial fuel pipeline shutdown by pretending that the Biden administration and the federal government have been absent from the situation. By doing so, Hannity conventialy ignored that the federal government has been working with the private sector all week to fix the problem.
Fox personalities have waged a propaganda campaign over the shutdown of the Colonial fuel pipeline by Russian criminal hackers. They’ve attempted to push the network’s talking points about building more pipelines, and the network’s purported “news” side tried to paint this single regional event as a drastic national crisis on the scale of the 1970s global oil shocks. Fox has continued this coverage even after the pipeline was already restarted, and gas station service is in the process of being brought back to normal.
On Thursday night’s edition of Hannity, the host defiantly asked: “Joe, where was the federal government on this? Why was Colonial left to fend for itself against international Russian criminals?”
Hannity could ask such a question on national television by either knowingly lying about an ongoing federal response, or willfully refusing to find out the answer before broadcasting to his viewers.
Bloomberg reporter William Turton pointed out that he had already reported on Monday about the federal government’s response, in which private-sector companies and federal agencies working together “disrupted ongoing cyber-attacks against Colonial Pipeline Co. and more than two dozen other victims,” as well as stopping the flow of stolen data to the Russian hackers.
Colonial was able to recover some stolen data because of the intervention, which stopped the flow of stolen data headed to Russia -- believed to be the ultimate destination, according to three people involved with or briefed about the investigation into the breach.
The intervention involved the White House, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and National Security Agency, and shut off key servers used by the hackers, said the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
The White House had pulled together an inter-agency task force to address the breach, including exploring options for lessening the damage, according to an official.
Also in his efforts to make the situation appear even worse than it is, Hannity exhorted his viewers to “look at your screen” at a map of states with gas station outages. But the map lit up such states as Texas and Louisiana with 0% outages and six other states that had less than 10% outages — in addition to the problems occurring along the East Coast from Florida up through the Washington, D.C., region.