Friday night on Fox News, primetime host Sean Hannity played clips of media figures falling hook, line, and sinker for a Buzzfeed report alleging that President Trump asked former attorney Michael Cohen to lie under oath that was nuked by the Special Counsel's office in a rare statement. Hannity also highlighted it as one of many examples on the Trump-Russia probe that later had to be backpedaled, at least to some degree.
Hannity’s montage featured “liberal media pundits” who “breathlessly, hysterically” predicted President Trump’s imminent impeachment, with many comparing the President to Richard Nixon. One clip featured The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson calling the Buzzfeed reporters who broke the story as “very credible reporters,” apparently forgetting about the back story surrounding one of the reporters. One of them is Jason Leopold, who falsely reported that Karl Rove told President George W. Bush that he was about to be indicted. Even CNN and former conservative reporter Oliver Darcy admitted that Leopold had a “checkered past.”
After the montage, Hannity remarked: “You would think by now, the so-called journalists in the echo chamber...would have learned their lesson. They have been burned so many times in the last two years.” The montage definitely proved that the media did not learn their lesson; to take sensational stories about the Mueller probe with a grain of salt. Hannity proceeded to go through a list of debunked stories related to the Trump-Russia probe that the media fell for.
Hannity began by recalling the “the short-lived hysteria about NPR’s fake Don Jr. story.” He also recalled the “hype surrounding Michael Cohen’s so-called secret Prague trip” that “never happened,” false reporting by The Guardian related to Paul Manafort, and an inaccurate story about Anthony Scaramucci that forced three CNN staffers to resign.
Headlines of other stories appeared in the background; including an article from NewsBusters with the headline “Bloomberg Forced to Correct False Trump-Deutsche Bank Subpoena Story” and an article related to the departure of Brian Ross from ABC News.
Ross had published a story alleging that then-candidate Trump had advised Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians prior to winning the 2016 presidential election; thus giving new oxygen to the “collusion” theory. Ross’s story gave The View’s Joy Behar false hope; he later had to clarify that President Trump’s direction to Flynn took place after he won the 2016 Presidential Election.
Just over a year ago, the MRC's Curtis Houck and Rich Noyes compiled a list of “Eight Times the Liberal Media Screwed up on Trump-Russia in 2017.” Many of the items on that list overlap with the pieces cited by Hannity as “fake story after fake story.”
It looks like the media will never, ever learn from their mistakes.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of Hannity is below. Click “expand” to read more.
09:05 p.m. Eastern
SEAN HANNITY: If if, if, if, if true. Oh. Now, despite all of these red flags, many others in the mainstream media breathlessly, hysterically pushing this fake, phony, fraudulent story and of course predicting Trump’s imminent impeachment as they always do for two years. Take a look.
JIM SCIUTTO: Still no reaction this morning from President Trump to a report that ties him directly to the very same offense for which the House of Representatives moved to impeach Richard Nixon.
KEN DILANIAN: That appears…if true, he would be guilty of suborning perjury, potentially obstruction of justice. It seems like an impeachable offense. It’s exactly the kind of thing that drove Richard Nixon from office.
EUGENE ROBINSON: This is…this report is a huge deal. And, you know, this is… these are very credible reporters. We are deep in the realm now of credibly impeachable offenses.
MIKE BARNICLE: There are an awful lot of similarities between a couple of the articles of impeachment against Nixon and the elements of this story.
NEAL KATYAL: Impeachment would actually allow him to at least do what he loves which is to be a snowflake and pretend he is the victim and the Democrats are this and that but at the end of the day, I think the impeachment process, if this, if there are, you know, if these facts are corroborated in today’s report, I actually just don’t see how Congress can do anything else.
HANNITY: All right. You would think by now, the so-called journalists in the echo chamber, the extension of the Democratic Party would have learned their lesson. They have been burned so many times before in the last two years. Remember, the short-lived hysteria about NPR’s fake Don Jr. story. Remember the hype surrounding Michael Cohen’s so-called secret Prague trip; it never happened or The Guardian’s false reporting about Paul Manafort or when three CNN fake news staffers; they were forced to resign after reporting fake news about our friend Anthony Scaramucci. Look at the list we have compiled; fake story after fake story. Now, The Washington Examiner put this together. 47 printed pages for one year alone against Donald Trump of fake news that they breathlessly report, unbridled. Remember what I said at the beginning of the year? Hatred of the President. So many forced corrections. But then they just keep doing it again and again.