How Fox Props Up The House Republicans' Impeachment Farce
Fox News propagandists are still eagerly shoveling Rep. James Comer’s (R-KY) slop to their viewers, nearly one year into the House Oversight Committee chair’s shambolic campaign to damage President Joe Biden’s political standing by focusing on his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Comer’s latest smear, unveiled Monday morning, alleges that bank records show that “Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden” and that entity “received payments from Chinese-state linked companies & other shady entities,” which purportedly proves that “Joe Biden knew & benefitted from his family's business schemes."
You may have noticed that Comer carefully avoided relating how many payments were made, how big those payments were, or what they were for. The reason why became obvious when journalists dug into the story.
What actually happened, the Washington Postreported, is that Joe Biden bought a truck for his son’s use in 2018 and Owasco PC, Hunter Biden’s law firm, subsequently made three monthly payments of $1,380 to repay Joe Biden’s initial payments on the vehicle. Joe Biden had taken over a number of expenses for his son and his son’s children at the time because Hunter was struggling financially due to his battle with drug addiction.
This is old news. The New York Postreported last year that Joe had paid Hunter’s bills when his son was suffering, including for the truck. But Comer is repackaging that old data point to insinuate that Joe Biden getting repaid $4,140 through one of his son’s companies — after leaving government service and before starting his run for the presidency — suggests that he is intimately knowledgeable of that company’s operations and somehow compromised by its Chinese clients and thus the Chinese government.
Reporters seem to have caught on to the fact that Comer is peddling a cruel farce; his effort is drawing headlines like “James Comer’s Biden claims do not deserve the benefit of the doubt,” “Comer’s Latest Biden ‘Bombshell’ Appears to Be Nothing More Than Hunter Repaying $4,000 in Car Payments,” “Comer Flops in Latest Attempt to Link Hunter Biden to Corruption,” and “The Huge, Hilarious Mistake in James Comer’s New Biden Corruption Claim.”
But Fox hacks like Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity have spent years pushing unsubstantiated allegations that Biden benefited from his son’s financial dealings and have no interest in revealing Comer’s con to their viewers.
Each host scoffed at the explanation that Hunter Biden was repaying Joe Biden for truck payments, instead arguing on their Monday broadcasts that Comer had revealed the president had been corrupted by Chinese funds.
Among the sticking points for this theory, of course, is that the amount of money involved is comically small for what it was supposed to accomplish. But like Comer, they solved that problem by simply not revealing that figure to their audiences.
Watters, fresh off of hosting a mafia hit man — who has admitted to being involved in more than a dozen murders — to accuse Hunter Biden of “mind-blowing” crimes, offered this gloss on Comer’s work: “China, after being threatened by Hunter, wired millions of dollars to him, and then Hunter started sending his dad payments, about $1,400.00 a month.”
But he never mentioned for how many months Hunter made the payments, thus concealing the paltry total.
Hannity went even further in hiding how little money Comer is talking about. He claimed the House Oversight chair had revealed that “not only did Joe Biden discuss his son's business ventures, but he also received direct payments from one of Hunter's corporations” — never mentioning anything about the size of those payments or how many were made.
(Note that Hannity, like Comer, alleges without anything resembling evidence that receiving these payments proves Joe Biden had knowledge of his son’s business dealings.)
Comer also did not give details about the payments when he appeared on Hannity’s show, instead incorporating them into his previously debunked claims to allege that “if you look at the last four payments that we found with ties directly to Joe Biden, they amount to a half a million dollars.”
The message Hannity wants his viewers to take away is clear.
“Let's look at Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution. The president, the vice president, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said on Monday. “Remember, Congress has a sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and check the executive branch. And now, there is more than enough evidence for a trial.”
House Republicans have apparently decided to impeach Joe Biden, evidence of wrongdoing be damned. Thanks to the work of the party’s media arm, its base has come to expect it. And Hannity and Watters will do everything they can to prepare the way for Comer and his ilk in the months to come.
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
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