Tuesday, November 06, 2018


Let's pretend we all just fell off the turnip truck and actually believe that Fox News is a journalistic operation rather than a basic-cable propaganda outlet for the Republican Party. In this counterfactual scenario, we would believe that this was a violation of Fox's code of journalistic ethics:
As President Trump wrapped up the midterm election cycle with a late-night rally in southeast Missouri on Monday, he was joined by ... conservative media rock stars.

... after Mr. Trump took the microphone, he invited two Fox News personalities, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, to join him on stage, where each ... delivered a short speech backing the president.
We would take this as an authentic expression of corporate outrage:

Prior to the event, Axios reported that Hannity would be appearing on stage with the president. On Twitter, Hannity swore that nothing could be further from the truth:

This afternoon, Hannity insisted he'd had no intention whatsoever of taking the stage. It just ... happened!

I wish I could embed the video from the Axios story about the rally. In it, you see Trump inviting Hannity to the stage and Hannity looking not the least bit surprised -- in fact, he high-fives someone in the crowd on the way up. He gets to the stage and is immediately ready with a quip.
“By the way,” he said, “all those people in the back are fake news.” The crowd booed.
If we're naive enough to believe that Hannity never meant to take the stage and that Fox really cares about about journalistic ethics, it still isn't good enough to say that Hannity's appearance "was NOT planned." When Trump called him to the stage, what prevented him from saying no? From waving the president off and returning to the media area?

Why do Hannity (and Pirro, and Fox management) even bother with the fig leaves? At this point, they should just own the fact that Fox is state-run TV.

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