The Washington Post reports that Fox News anchor Bret Baier admitted, on a Friday morning Fox broadcast, that his blockbuster accusations against Hillary Clinton this week were “mistaken” (emphasis mine):
Fox News anchor Bret Baier apologized Friday for reporting that federal investigators had determined that Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been hacked and that an investigation would lead to an indictment of Clinton after the election.
In fact, Baier said, after checking with his sources, there is no evidence at this time for either statement.
A week before the election, a major network broadcasts high profile accusations against the front-runner, and then a few days later (after the damage has been done) admits that the entire story was false. In an earlier time, heads rolled when news organizations made such “mistakes”. Today, we just ignore it — just like many of us ignore the lies, bullying, and abuse that is the stock-in-trade of the Republican nominee.
I’m struck by how hard it was to find this in my Google news feed, buried deep inside the “US stories”, and not even visible now. Funny how stories about voters who think Clinton acted illegally stay in circulation, while the truth — that major news outlets like Fox News spread vicious and false accusations — remains buried. Each time media outlets repeat, as news, that “a majority of voters think Hillary Clinton acted illegally”, the truth is buried deeper.
We are watching American democracy bleed out from the multitude of wounds inflicted by irresponsible media outlets pandering to the prejudices of ignorant voters (ignorant because they rely on outlets like Fox News) and by equally irresponsible GOP politicians who hope to exploit the same prejudices for their political benefit.
By the time the truth is told — if it is ever told — it will be too late.
If Bret Baier had any integrity at all, he would resign. If Fox News had any integrity at all, Mr. Baier would be fired. The real story this week is the flagrant corruption of Republican officials such as James Comey and the brazen lies of Fox News.
That real story is not being told. We have hundreds of channels and tens of thousands of media outlets — and too many Americans remain ignorant, uninformed, and convinced of things that are absolutely false.