Friday Fox Follies — Hannity Hates Honesty

The news continues to be bad for Fox as ratings keep sliding into the porcelain dumper with each new Nielsen score. TV Critic Zurawik Explains Why ‘This Is A Dangerous Time’ For Fox News, while Newsweek says Fox News Pounded in Ratings As Truth Mounts Surprising Comeback:

Are Americans that stupid? Maybe not. Trump’s approval rating is an astonishingly low 39.6 percent. Root canals poll better. And yet Fox News continues with its pro-Trump propaganda, hoping that reality won’t intrude. But this isn’t the Soviet Union. People can simply switch the channel, and they’re starting to.

But, there’s always one outlier:

Rumors of Fox News
Death Greatly Exaggerated:
Ratings Still Strong for May

However, with a new competitor from the right, Fox will get a run for its money:

Experts and Tribune Media unions
raise concerns about Sinclair’s history
of pushing conservative “propaganda”

We’ve seen this Right Wing Rodeo before, as Recent crises may take toll on Fox News:

For the past 10 days, as bombshells and bad news swirled around President Donald Trump, Fox has all but sidestepped the story, prompting some of its viewers to head elsewhere (the top reference to the story on’s homepage Wednesday afternoon: “Does it matter? No evidence of Trump ‘collusion’ with Russia as media shift focus”). Result: A resurgent MSNBC took the top spot in the news ratings for the first time in its history last week. Fox finished a shocking third behind MSNBC and CNN among younger viewers.

On Tuesday, there was a new mess for Murdoch: Amid an outcry and threats of a lawsuit, Fox took the rare step of retracting one of its stories – a baseless report alleging that Seth Rich, a young Democratic National Committee staffer, was murdered last year in a conspiracy tied to the leak of DNC emails. The retraction put Fox at odds with its signature personality, Sean Hannity, who has pushed the discredited story on his prime-time program and has refused to admit error.

Hannity now faces an advertiser boycott – the kind that helped sink O’Reilly.

Things got so bad for Hannity that when he took what seemed like a hastily planned vacation, even Variety had to chime in: Fox News Says Sean Hannity Will Return to Show, while Fox News fights back after Sean Hannity uproar. It has to be worrying for snowflake Hannity that Bill O’Reilly’s vacation became permanent while he was meeting the Pope due to a similar advertiser boycott.

This comes as The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt. Other Foxers say they are “disgusted” and “embarrassed” by Hannity’s baseless conspiracy-mongering. Keith Olbermann blasts ‘subhuman’ Sean Hannity for making up fake news to cover up Trump’s failed presidency as The Atlantic notes, It’s Too Late for Fox to Retract Its Seth Rich Story, even though it has tried to do so.

You wouldn’t know it now, but Hannity once said it would be “reckless and irresponsible to suggest … the DNC had anything to do with” Seth Rich’s murder. Now he can’t let it go, as these headlines prove:

Sean Hannity continues his baseless crusade to push Seth Rich conspiracy theory after Fox retracts storyAs advertisers begin to flee, Hannity brags about his smears of murdered DNC staffer Seth RichHannity: I won’t discuss Seth Rich story for now “out of respect for the family”Sean Hannity Is Losing It As He Calls Fox News Part Of The Liberal MediaFox News shrugs while Sean Hannity has a meltdown over Seth Rich conspiracyHannity rails against George Soros and ‘liberal fascism’ in epic early morning Twitter meltdownCBS Evening News: Sean Hannity was “a driving force behind” the smearing of slain DNC stafferWhy is Sean Hannity peddling bonkers conspiracy theories?

From Sean Hannity, a Murder and Why Fake News Endures:

Facebook and Google have worked up new computer formulas and dispatched dedicated teams of humans to push the corrosive stuff off their platforms or, at the very least, to let readers know when something doesn’t look right. Ad makers are pulling their advertising from sites that run false items. And educators are working up “news literacy” programs to teach students how to tell the difference between real, corroborated journalism and naked lies dressed in the colors of veracity.

But as the Seth Rich story shows, we’re going to need a bigger algorithm.

Meanwhile, while 75 things to know about Sean Hannity seems comprehensive, it never even mentions Hal from North Bergen.

But, Hannity’s a peach of a patriot, who kept the money from his Freedom Concerts, promised to the families of fallen vets.

FRY ‘ER, TUCK: With so much breaking last week, Friday Fox Follies gave short shrift to this sanctimonious little prig. To prep for today’s article, last night I slummed, watching Tucker’s Tee Vee House instead of Victorian Slum House. It was a good night to tune in because Carlson was at his most disingenuous last night. He turned a GOP candidate attacking a reporter into an attack on Lauren Duca. No, really.

But first, I’ve detected a pattern: At least once per show (and sometimes nearly every segment) Carlson blurts out, “I’m not here to defend [fill in the blank of the thing he’s actually defending” as he’s constructing his strawmen that he knows his guests can’t knock down . . . especially once he’s inoculated himself that way. Clever little prick, isn’t he?

Meanwhile, last night he took a pivot from the alleged Greg Gianforte assault, to how the left is blaming EmperorTrump, to a dystopian present in which all violence is committed by the left. No, really, he did. Watch:

Then — bizarrely — he pivoted from progressive left violence to a renewed attack on Lauren Duca, who already bested him back in January. No, really:

Tucker Carlson (Sort of) Apologizes
to Lauren Duca – Then Calls
Her ‘Vapid,’ ‘Not Very Impressive’

Two tweets sum up how surreal this moment was:

All too often lately, Carlson is setting the table for Fox & Friends, which tends to use his mendacious framing of issues the next morning. In fact: Everyone but Fox & Friends reported that the FBI is looking at Jared Kushner in the Russia probe, just like Tucker from the night before.

However, If you appear as a guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight, there’s a good chance you’ll be a target of online harassment, as his fans threaten the lives of people who disagree with him.

Once again this week, as I have reported about previously, Carlson trolled Eric Wemple when the WashPo scribe asks for clarification. Read Tucker Carlson: Hypocrisy in action, as Wemple proves — once again — what a hack Tucker really is:

With his hypocritical use of data, Carlson once again illustrates a maxim of Fox News— what we’ll call the Situational Credibility Principle. When a major institution like the New York Times or The Post or Harvard University publishes something inconvenient, these places are populated by rancid partisans. When they publish something convenient, they are THE NEW YORK TIMES! or RESEARCHERS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY!

Carlson can’t possibly believe most of what he says because that would make him as dumb as his audience. He even hosted Dana Loesch to say “The media … is culpable” for Greg Gianforte allegedly attacking a reporter, as opposed to Emperor Trump, who attacked the press as “enemies of the people.”

GAGGING OVER GREG GIANFORTE: In fact nothing demonstrates the “alternative facts” on Fox more than its reaction to the alleged assault by candidate Greg Gianforte:

Fox & Friends parrots Montana
GOP congressional candidate’s
defense for assaulting reporter

Fox News Had The Best
Reporting On Journalist Attack,
But Its Top Hosts Ignored It

Fox panel cheers on Gianforte assault:
“Snowflake” reporter got “Montana justice”

Geraldo Rivera calls the reaction to a
Montana Republican body-slamming
a journalist “gigantically overblown”

Yet, the rest of the fact-based world knows: The GOP inherits what Trump has wrought.


Fox uses Manchester terror attack by UK native to justify Trump’s Muslim banEven after reports confirm Manchester bomber was born in the UK, Fox speculates that he may have been a refugeeFox News host suggests “open borders” are to blame for Manchester attack carried out by British nativeEric Bolling gets shut down after attempting to use Manchester attack to push for refugee ban • When Bolling pushes Trump’s Muslim ban, co-panelist points out you cannot vet someone who hasn’t been bornAfter Manchester attack, Fox hosts architect of post-9/11 torture program who attacks civil rightsFox’s Jesse Watters compares Muslim immigrants to low-quality wine “from a risky region”

THIS WEEK IN FOX SCANDALS: With fingers crossed that the earth wouldn’t reject the body, Roger Ailes’ Son Says He’s ‘Coming After’ Those Who ‘Betrayed’ His Late Father. According to Friends, Family Gather to Mourn and Honor Roger Ailes:

Zachary pledged to fight to clear his father’s name after a series of sexual harassment allegations led to his ultimate ouster from Fox News.

“I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I’m coming after them,” Zachary Ailes said during a speech at the ceremony, “and hell is coming with me.”

Longtime personality Kimberly Guilfoyle remembered Ailes as a “champion of women.”

Regardless, he will always be known as Roger Ailes: The man who destroyed objectivity.


Bob Beckel Accuser Retains Lawyer
Behind Fox News Discrimination Suits

Fox News Seeks Sanctions for “Hoax”
Lawsuit As Andrea Tantaros’
Lawyer Renews Spying Claim


Former Arkansas Governor
Takes ‘Huckabee’ From Fox
News to Religious Broadcaster

Headly Westerfield has been writing Fox “News” criticism since 2009 and is Head Writer at the Not Now Silly Newsroom.