Despite Fox News’ instructions to its staffers not to reveal the name of the purported Trump-Ukraine whistleblower identified in other conservative media outlets because the network has not confirmed his or her identity, the alleged name of the whistleblower has been repeated on the network twice. Most recently, paid Fox contributor and The Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway said the name on the November 10 edition of MediaBuzz, and earlier in the week, guest Lars Larson also said the unconfirmed name on-air.
After Hemingway’s reference to the whistleblower's supposed identity, MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz briefly tried to clean up her comments, saying, “I don’t know whether this is actually the person or not, and I don’t want to speculate about that.” Later, The Federalist’s Twitter account posted the clip of the exchange with Hemingway’s quote naming the person written in the tweet.
Fox’s inability to hold its own staff to stated policies about unconfirmed reports is a symptom of a larger problem at the network — the absence of editorial standards. In this rare instance where Fox has issued a standard, the network shows no inclination to actually follow through to enforce it. At Fox News, the pro-Trump opinion people are in charge.