A former Fox News employee released an internal document from the network on Thursday that showed just how the network has been manipulating its viewers with misinformation.
The document was titled “Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration,” with the subtitle, “A Full Timeline of Events.”
“The Brain Room report bears the name of Bryan Murphy, a senior political affairs specialist at Fox News,” writes the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. “It also bears this withering assessment of John Solomon, former opinion contributor for the Hill who is responsible for setting in motion faulty story lines regarding Ukraine: ‘John Solomon played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.’ Another part of the document provides this assessment of Solomon: ‘Focus on stories from disinformation campaign, non-disclosure of conflicts, use of unreliable sources, publishing false and misleading stories, misrepresentation of sources, and opaque coordination with involved parties.’”
The document also shows that Solomon “published 45 columns aimed at discrediting the Russia investigation, 12 of which focused primarily on Ukraine” — a statistic that came from one Fox News’ most prolific critics: Media Matters.
“It’s a stunning juxtaposition — one that speaks to the integrity of the Brain Room report,” Wemple writes. “Other faces of the Ukraine issue that surface in the report include Giuliani, the ringleader of Trump’s effort to secure an announcement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of an investigation into the Bidens, who is described as having: ‘High susceptibility to disinformation” from key Ukrainian actors, according to the document.’”
The document also noted that many people at Fox News have been concerned about Sean Hannity and his constant attempts at spreading falsehoods to the network’s viewers:
The Hill’s editor-in-chief sent out a memo to staff stating that “effective immediately” John Solomon would no longer publish stories under the banner of news but instead would be an “opinion contributor.” (218) Solomon said that the choice to have his writing classified as opinion was his. During his TV appearances, Hannity has often continued to announce Solomon as an “investigative reporter” at The Hill.
According to Wemple, it’s evidence that folks working for Fox News understand the threat Hannity “poses to any news organization.”
You can read the document below:
Here's the front page of the internal Fox News Trump-Ukraine timeline. I'll start tweeting some of the highlights shortly. pic.twitter.com/HWGX5sZUh8
— Marcus J. DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) February 6, 2020