The Daily Beast revealed the existence of an internal memo from Fox News that questions the credibility of several frequent Fox News guests, describes how Fox contributor John Solomon played an “indispensable role” in the Ukraine “disinformation campaign,” and says that Trump attorney and frequent Fox guest Rudy Guiliani has a “high susceptibility" to foreign disinformation. The memo, from Fox News’ research unit, advises Fox News producers and on-air regulars to be wary of “disinformation” from several of President Donald Trump’s surrogates and boosters.
Read the Daily Beast's exclusive story here.
According to data from our internal database, the four people named in the memo have made at least 348 total appearances on weekday Fox News programs since 2018:
- 139 for John Solomon
- 101 for Joseph diGenova
- 83 for Rudy Giuliani
- 25 for Victoria Toensing
203 of those appearances were on Sean Hannity's Fox show.
Julie Millican laid out all of these connections and efforts at disinformation in October. In reaction to the leaked internal memo, Millican, vice president at Media Matters, issued the following statement:
The Daily Beast’s reporting confirms what we all have known for some time: Fox News intentionally disseminated misinformation and propaganda to defend and protect Donald Trump and his administration. Make no mistake, this was an active decision -- they were aware of the risks posed by on-air contributors like John Solomon, Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, and Rudy Guiliani but prioritized partisan political considerations over journalistic ethics.
This should again lay bare the lie that there's a division between the network's so-called "news" and opinion sides. The fact is the news side knew the network was spreading propaganda and did nothing to expose it.
For years, Media Matters has warned that Fox News is little more than a pro-Trump propaganda outlet, intentionally spreading disinformation to support a radical, anti-American agenda. The Daily Beast’s reporting is just one more proof point that Fox News is not to be trusted.