The Strange Link Between Fox News, Trump, And The Death Of Young Democrat Seth Rich
On July 10, 2016, a 27-year-old digital campaigner with the Democratic National Committee was walking home after a long night at his favorite sports bar in Washington, DC. He was in no hurry, chatting for more than two hours on the phone to his girlfriend. At 4.19am, he told her he was almost at his door and had to go. Then, gunshots rang out.
Moments later, police arrived to find him lying on the ground just a block from his apartment, still alive but fading fast, with two bullet wounds in his back. He died in hospital a few hours later. His name was Seth Rich.
The incident shocked the nation, but little did we know, it was only the beginning of an even more tragic afterlife: the ruthless exploitation of his death for political purposes by Fox News and Donald Trump.
Last week, the conspiracy theory that conservatives promoted through right-wing media – that Rich was the source of the hacked DNC emails released by WikiLeaks at the height of the 2016 presidential race, and not Russia, as US intelligence insists – was revealed to have been approved by Donald Trump himself.
According to NPR, Trump was given advance notice of a sensational Fox News story that blamed Rich for the hack, and implied he had been murdered by Clinton acolytes as payback.
The only problem with the Fox story: it wasn’t true.
The bombshell revelation that Fox News colluded with the White House to publish a malicious and false story blaming a murdered young man for the DNC emails spells potential trouble for both parties.
For Fox News, it confirms the charge made over many years that the network is nothing more than a right-wing propaganda channel that pushes fake stories to its gullible audience.
For Trump, the disclosures threaten to punch a hole in one of the central pillars of his presidency: his assault against the “fake news” of the mainstream media. Here he stands, charged with egging on Fox News to publish a fabricated story in order to draw public attention away from his own travails over Russia.
But the Fox News article, which the broadcaster retracted a week later, took the conspiracy to a new level by claiming to have solid intelligence pointing to Rich as the source of the WikiLeaks DNC emails.
That intelligence allegedly came from a former Washington DC detective, Fox contributor Rod Wheeler. He has now turned against the network and is the plaintiff in Wigdor’s lawsuit, which reveals that remarks attributed to him in the Fox News article were fabricated.
The lawsuit is troublesome for Trump. Spicer, the president’s former press secretary who resigned last month, confirmed to NPR that he was informed about the Fox story a month before it was posted, contradicting his previous statement to the press that he was “not aware” of the story.
What we now know:
Spicer had a meeting in the White House with Wheeler and Butowsky in April, which is exceptional in itself. But the lawsuit goes further, implicating Trump himself.
Page one of the suit reproduces a text from Butowsky to Wheeler. “The president just read the article,” it reads. “He wants the article out immediately.”
The fake Fox News story was published two days after Butowsky sent that text about Trump wanting the article out “immediately”. That week, the president was being assailed on all sides about his relations with Russia.
Let us know your thoughts about the strange connection between Fox News, Donald Trump, and the death of Seth Rich in the comments section below.