Maher Wrongly Claims 'Pravda' Fox News Ignored Flake Speech Attacking Trump

On Friday's Real Time on HBO, far-left host Bill Maher lashed out at Fox News and wrongly claimed that it had ignored Republican Senator Jeff Flake's speech attacking President Donald Trump. Although panel member Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast did jump in to inform Maher that Flake's speech was covered live, both she and liberal CNN commentator Van Jones claimed that "they didn't talk about it" afterwards.

In fact, a Nexis search finds that evening FNC hosts Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, and Brian Kilmeade all led with Flake's speech, while Sean Hannity also did a report on the story.

Maher claimed that Fox News is acting as "state TV" and as part of a "very bad axis of evil" as he began the discussion:

But  here's the -- also the real problem to me is that Fox News has become state TV. They were always, of course, Republican. It's different now, as all things with Trump. It's worse. And this is a very bad axis of evil because they didn't hear the Jeff Flake speech. They didn't know about it. It doesn't exist. They things that we talk about do not exist because they are not shown on Fox TV.

After Woodruff informed him that the speech was carried live by FNC, Maher continued:

Their website -- I saw their website. It had no like headline there. It was Hillary Clinton and then at the very bottom they took away from the speech: "Jeff Flake: 'I could work with Trump on some things.'" Oh, there it is, yeah.

After Woodruff recalled that Trump is friendly with FBN's Lou Dobbs, Maher fretted:

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Yes, Fox gives him his agenda. The typical Fox viewers is now President -- and old, white guy with anger issues -- we're not sure why. No, really. And so their anecdotal false racist view of the country is his view. And they know that they have this viewership of one person. That's all they have to please. They very often give him his agenda. You see him saying their talking points.

But a video montage from Tuesday evening proves the Jeff Flake speech was played up on Fox News television programs.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, October 27, Real Time with Bill Maher.

BILL MAHER: But  here's the -- also the real problem to me is that Fox News has become state TV. They were always, of course, Republican. It's different now, as all things with Trump. It's worse. And this is a very bad axis of evil because they didn't hear the Jeff Flake speech. They didn't know about it. It doesn't exist. They things that we talk about do not exist because they are not shown on Fox TV.

BETSY WOODRUFF, DAILY BEAST: Fox showed the Jeff Flake speech live, for what it's worth.

MAHER: They showed it live?

WOODRUFF: Yeah.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But they didn't talk about it.

WOODRUFF: But they didn't talk about it. It didn't get the same coverage.

MAHER: Their website -- I saw their website. It had no like headline there. It was Hillary Clinton and then at the very bottom they took away from the speech: "Jeff Flake: 'I could work with Trump on some things.'" Oh, there it is, yeah.

DAVID FRENCH, NATIONAL REVIEW: But it's which show? I mean, Hannity is Trump Pravda. Everybody knows Hannity is Trump Pravda.

MAHER: They all are.

FRENCH: Bret Baier is a good journalist. Other folks like Dana Perino, high-integrity person.

MAHER: Dana Perino --

FRENCH: Yes.

MAHER: -- is not in Trump's watch bucket?

WOODRUFF: The Fox News personality who doesn't get enough attention for being very close and friendly with Trump is Loud Dobbs. I've been told that Trump will actually call Dobbs after his show. He loves it when Dobbs goes after McConnell and Paul Ryan. He'll cheer him on. In a recent interview, Trump asked Dobbs who he should pick to be the Fed chair. That's not an aberration. That's the kind of relationship that they have. And this is a Fox Business host who --

MAHER: Yes, Fox gives him his agenda. The typical Fox viewers is now President -- and old, white guy with anger issues -- we're not sure why. No, really. And so their anecdotal false racist view of the country is his view. And they know that they have this viewership of one person. That's all they have to please. They very often give him his agenda. You see him saying their talking points.


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