Chaos Reigns At Fox News As Employees Want Heads To Roll Over Seth Rich Conspiracy Reporting

Sean Hannity, Austan Goolsbee

Sean Hannity better watch out.

After all, he was the one who pushed the Seth Rich conspiracy theory the most. He even continued doing so after Fox News retracted the original story.

The Seth Rich conspiracy roared back into the headlines this week after it was revealed that Donald Trump personally approved of Fox’s effort to blame Rich for the DNC leaks to Wikileaks in order to absolve Trump and Russia from any wrongdoing.

As we all know, Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 Election, with Trump even going so far as to urge Russia to continue hacking the DNC to find damaging emails.

A wealthy Trump supporter and Fox News guest named Ed Butowsky hired detective and frequent Fox News guest Rod Wheeler to investigate Rich’s murder. A Fox News reporter ran with the story and misquoted Wheeler to make it appear that Rich released the emails to Wikileaks instead of Russia, contradicting the consensus agreement of American intelligence agencies.

According to the lawsuit filed against Fox News by Wheeler, Butowsky even bragged via text message that Trump read the story and demanded that it be published immediately. Thus, Trump is now implicated in a conspiracy with Fox News to publish a false story designed to help him derail the Russia investigation.

It has been months since Fox was forced to retract the story, but no one has been punished for it. And CNN reports that it is only causing more chaos within Fox News as employees begin to question why nobody has been fired yet for such a blatant violation of journalistic principles.

“People need to start getting canned over the [Seth Rich] thing,” an employee told CNN. “What a mess.”

“They don’t want to acknowledge that they f**ked up,” a senior Fox News employee said, explaining that either a top editor didn’t see the story before publication, as would be typical procedure, or a top editor saw the article and approved it. “Both situations are really bad.”

The sources who spoke with CNN said they felt that the significant misstep on the Rich story continues to haunt the network, and to put a cloud over their own work. And the lawsuit filed Tuesday, full of its stunning allegations, has breathed new life into the controversy.

“If it’s true, it’s really messed up,” one on-air personality told CNN of the allegations in the lawsuit.

“It stirs up the same embarrassment as when the story first got peddled,” added another on-air personality. “It makes people doubt Fox.”

According to CNN, the senior Fox News employee further slammed the conservative network.

“It really forces the question, how much journalistic integrity does Fox News really have? Because most other news outlets, these situations come up, but they are dealt with appropriately. People are held accountable. People are fired, they are disciplined or whatever. But this is like classic Fox. No one ever gets fired from Fox for publishing a story that isn’t true.”

Indeed, CNN forced three journalists to resign after they voluntarily retracted a story involving recently fired Trump lackey Anthony Scaramucci. The internal investigation was quick and thorough, and punishment was delivered in a timely manner.

Fox News’ own investigation, however, has been slow and no one has faced any consequences whatsoever.

Upon hearing of the retraction, Scaramucci praised CNN for “doing the right thing” and called it a “classy move.”

It remains to be seen if Fox News will do the right thing, which would mean firing the Fox News reporter who wrote the story, and firing Sean Hannity for continuing to push it even after it was retracted. Fox News should also profusely apologize to the family of Seth Rich and to the intelligence community for trying to contradict facts with bold-faced lies.

Featured image via Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

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