Everyone knows that there can be several stories written about Fox News lies each and every day of the week. You would think by now that they would be embarrassed by being repeatedly caught in lies, and would have made moves to fix the problem. But, the folks at Fox are smart about their audience, and they know how to spread disinformation, and also cover their butts when accused of lying.
On Wednesday, February 11, Fox News host Megyn Kelly presented a segment on the American withdrawal from Yemen. As Al Jazeera reported on February 10, the U.S. ordered its embassy in Yemen closed, and all U.S. personnel were ordered out of the country, due to a rapidly deteriorating security situation there. On Wednesday night’s “The Kelly File,” Megyn Kelly was joined by Pete Hegseth to talk about what had happened. Hegseth is CEO of Concerned Veterans For America, a group that has been identified as being funded almost completely by the Koch brothers.
Kelly introduces the segment:
Growing outrage, as the U.S. abandons another embassy in the Arab world. And this time, American marines are forced to surrender their weapons and evacuate unarmed.
After a brief summary of the situation in Yemen, an angry Kelly says, in a voice trembling with rage, that a “senior defense official” had told Fox News that, “American marines were directed to turn over their weapons, before they were allowed to leave. According to one source, the order came from the U.S. State Department.”
Kelly brings in Hegseth to help with her outrage. He tells her,
So, we’re surrendering around the world, we’re surrendering our embassy, and now we’re asking U.S. Marines to surrender their dignity, give up oaths that they made, creeds that they live by, and surrender their rifle.
Who came up with this plan? Who truly believed it was the right thing to send marines to the airport, have them surrender their rifles, first take out the firing pin so it’s inoperable, then hand over their rifle to a Yemeni official.
“We do know tonight, thanks to our own reporting, that it was the state department that gave the order,” Kelly responds.
In their reporting, designed to make the Obama administration look weak on this issue, at no time did Fox mention that the British and French also evacuated their embassies in Yemen at the same time the U.S. left.
Here’s how that exchange played out:
A little later in the broadcast, a different story from Kelly.
So, the story was out, and all the little “Foxbots” had likely switched off Kelly and rushed to their computers to spread the lies that had just been offered up by Kelly and Hegseth. So, you have to wonder how many were still watching, later in the broadcast, when Kelly came back with this “correction.”
Initial reports were that they [marines] were directed to surrender their weapons. The marines now clarifying that no crew served weapons were turned over to anyone, but were instead destroyed at the embassy before it was evacuated. They say, however, their personal weapons were not destroyed at the embassy. They were instead, quote, ‘rendered inoperable’ at the airport. And they say the destroyed components were left behind at the airport.
Here’s a video of Kelly’s “correction.”
While the correction gets a little closer to the truth, it still doesn’t quite match the statement issued by the Marine Corps, which reads as follows:
The Marine Security Force left the American embassy in Yemen for the movement to the airfield as part of the “ordered departure” with only personal weapons. All crew served weapons were destroyed at the embassy prior to movement. None of them were ‘handed over’ in any way to anyone. The destruction of weapons at the embassy and the airport was carried out in accordance with an approved destruction plan.
Upon arrival at the airfield, all personal weapons were rendered inoperable in accordance with advance planning. Specifically, each bolt was removed from its weapons body and rendered inoperable by smashing with sledgehammers. The weapons bodies, minus the bolts, were then separately smashed with sledgehammers. All of these destroyed components were left at the airport — and components were scattered; no usable weapon was taken from any Marine at Sana’a airport.
To be clear: No Marine handed a weapon to a Houthi, or had one taken from him.
Once again, this highlights how Fox News functions. They throw out an outrageous lie, then, a little later, after the lie has been spread, they walk it back, to an extent. But, they know that the damage has been done, and, since they do this sort of thing over and over, it is quite plain that they couldn’t care less.
Image via screen shot from Fox News/Crooks and Liars