Tag: brian kilmeade

Former Ukraine President Destroys Impeachment Claims As Fox Host Gawks

The White House is mocking a Fox News host who appeared stunned as the former president of Ukraine destroyed House Republicans’ impeachment case against President Joe Biden on live-air in real time.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, a supporter of Donald Trump, on Monday interviewed former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who served from 2014 to 2019. Kilmeade previously had interviewed Viktor Shokin, the former prosecutor general of Ukraine, who was fired in 2016 for not prosecuting corruption cases .

“I had a chance to talk to Viktor Shokin, a man who says he was friends of yours, who you asked to come back and help out during the transition after the previous regime,” Kilmeade told Poroshenko. “Here’s what he said on why he was fired by you. Listen.”

On previously recorded video, Shokin says: “Poroshenko fired me at the insistence of the then Vice President Biden, because I was investigating Burisma… There were no complaints whatsoever, no problems with how I was performing at my job, but because pressure was repeatedly put on President Poroshenko that is, what ended up in him firing me.”

Kilmeade then asks the former Ukrainian president, “Is that why he got fired, because of the billion dollars and the former vice president now president?”

“First of all, this is the completely crazy person,” Poroshenko says of Shokin, as Kilmeade grows increasingly stunned. “This is something wrong with him. Second, there is no one single word of truth. And third, I hate the idea to come to make any commands and to make any intervention in an American election. We have very much enjoyed the bipartisan support. And please do not use the such person like Shokin to undermine the trust between bipartisan support in Ukraine.”

Surprised, Kilmeade asks, “What do you mean, he’s not your friend?”

“I don’t see him maybe for years or something, at all,” Poroshenko tells Kilmeade, before getting a bit heated. “And I hate to have him, because [he] keep playing very dirty game, unfortunately.”

“Okay,” the surprised Fox News host says, before asking again. “So that is not true. You didn’t, you didn’t, he didn’t get fired because of Joe Biden?”

“He was fired,” Poroshenko replied. “But because of his own statement, and if you do not do that next day, Ukrainian parliament will fire him.”

HuffPost ’s political reporter Arthur Delaney, responding to the video, writes : “This is the centerpiece of the Republicans’ corruption allegation against Joe Biden.”

While debunked numerous times during Trump’s presidency, Republicans have resurfaced the false claim that then-Vice President Biden forced then-president Poroshenko to fire Shokin in an effort to protect Burisma. Shokin was not investigating Burisma, according to a CNN fact check.

“Poroshenko is absolutely right here and good for him for stating clearly how dangerous it is that this false story is being used to play political games within the U.S. Shokin’s claims have no basis in reality. He was fired for incompetence and failing to crack down on corruption,” writes the Financial Times ’ Ukraine correspondent Christopher Miller.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) mocked Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer, writing on social media, “Ummm @RepJamesComer call your office.”

White House spokesperson Ian Sams went further, while pointing out how the allegation just evaporated.

“Not only does he play a leading role in the conspiracy theories promoted by Fox News personalities – he is central to the conspiracy theories animating extreme House Republicans’ baseless, fact-free impeachment stunt against President Biden,” Sams wrote . “Yet another allegation goes *poof*”

Watch the video below or at this link .

Reprinted with permission from Alternet .

Fox 'Anti-Woke' Campaign Leads Network To Attacks Its Own Major Shareholders

Fox News' largest shareholders are not safe from its hosts’ “anti-woke” crusade that villainizes supposed “progressive” ideals and lambasts corporations that they dislike. In the midst of multiple lawsuits that could reveal Fox put shareholder investments at risk , the network is attacking those major shareholder companies for being “woke.”

Some of the network’s largest shareholders have found themselves stuck in the crossfire of Fox’s anti-”woke agenda . Primarily for their implementation of environmental, social, and governance ( ESG ) principles, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street — three of the network’s largest shareholders — have all been attacked and characterized as “woke” by Fox hosts and guests. ( Proponents of ESG have noted that sustainable investing isn’t political. It’s just “ smart business .”)

Here are just a few examples of Fox hosts and guests lambasting some of the company’s largest shareholders because of supposed “woke” policies:

  • Fox prime-time host Laura Ingraham and Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade both celebrated BlackRock losing millions of dollars because it embraced ESG. Ingraham said it was “fantastic” that Missouri pulled pension funds from BlackRock (the state did so because of the company’s “woke political agenda”). Kilmeade was “so glad” Florida pulled money from the “woke corporation” BlackRock, “instead of just thinking about it and threatening.”
  • Ingraham has attacked BlackRock CEO Larry Fink multiple times for defending his company’s integration of ESG principles.
    • After criticizing BlackRock for having “an enormous amount of leverage to force other companies to go woke,” Ingraham mocked Fink for defending ESG: “How benevolent. What a humanitarian.”
    • Airing a clip of Fink describing BlackRock’s commitment to ESG, Ingraham then scoffed and said, “What a bunch of crap.” Later in the segment, Ingraham seemingly equated ESG to “leftist attacks,” and displayed a chyron that read, “Even Soap Isn’t Safe From Wokeness,” which also likened these efforts to “wokeness.”
    • Ingraham called Fink “a blowhard” after airing a clip of him advocating for ESG principles to be incorporated into investment strategy. Her guest, West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore, later boasted that “West Virginia was the first state to divest from BlackRock” because of its commitment to ESG, or as he described it, “woke capitalism.”
  • Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy specifically highlighted Vanguard and BlackRock during a segment dedicated to evaluating “high-risk” companies based on how “woke” they are. Campos-Duffy hosted the president of the organization who ranked these companies, Paul Fitzpatrick, and asked, “What can we do” to push back against these “woke” corporations.
  • Fox & Friends hosted GOP presidential candidate and anti-“woke” crusader Vivek Ramaswamy to educate viewers on how to know if they are “investing in wokeness.” Strike Asset Management’s Anson Frericks also joined the segment, and the panel criticized BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street for pushing “progressive values” onto firms they own.
  • Fox & Friends guest and CEO of Brave Books Trent Talbot blamed BlackRock and Vanguard for Scholastic “going woke.” Talbot claimed that Fox’s shareholders turned what was an “iconic and trusted brand” to a “woke” company that publishes “books like ‘Bye Bye Binary’ and ‘Anti-racist Baby.’”
  • FoxBusiness.com published a piece that attacked BlackRock’s “radical agenda” and “woke crusade” — or rather, BlackRock’s commitment to ESG.
  • FoxNews.com ran multiple opinion pieces that characterized BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street as “woke,” primarily because they embrace ESG principles.
  • FoxNews.com also published multiple articles stressing BlackRock’s “wokeness,” with one also mentioning two other Fox shareholders: State Street and Vanguard. These pieces were dedicated to either ranking “woke” companies or simply bashing these Fox shareholders for being “woke.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters .

The Impeccable Timing Of Chris Wallace's Departure

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

Forget about the homeless man who burned down Fox News’ metal Christmas tree last week. The network’s real troubles began December 13, when longtime host Chris Wallace announced his resignation on live TV, in order to jump to rival CNN. The network’s woes then exploded into full view Monday night when it was revealed a laundry list of Fox News hosts anxiously texted Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, on January 6, begging Trump to stop the deadly mob that was laying siege to the U.S. Capitol.

“Please get him on TV,” the network’s Brian Kilmeade messaged. “Destroying everything you have accomplished.” Pleaded Laura Ingraham: “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.” And from Sean Hannity, “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?”

For hours, Trump did nothing to stop the insurrection, before eventually issuing a bland, irrelevant statement on that very dark day.

The Sunday news flash about Wallace was a punch in the gut for Fox, mostly because it robs the network of its ability to point to the morning host as supposedly a ‘serious journalist’ when trying to knock down the obvious claim that the network is nothing more than a bigoted propaganda outlet.

“The abrupt departure of Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace stripped the network of its foremost fig leaf, and gave reality-based journalists clear license to stop the lame euphemisms and call Fox what it is: a propaganda and disinformation operation,” wrote media critic Dan Froomkin.

The second, more serious newsflash about the text messages ripped away the Fox veneer that’s been constructed since January 6, that the insurrection was no big deal (i.e. a bunch of grandparents marching around with placards), and that any investigation today represents a partisan witch hunt. Just last week, Kilmeade, who was privately beseeching for action on January 6, mocked news outlets for spending too much time reporting on the revelations that keep tumbling out about Trump’s coup attempt last winter, and about the widespread obstruction of justice on display.

Since everyone at Fox News operates without a moral compass, none of the millionaire hosts will have trouble sleeping despite their insurrection hypocrisy making headlines this week. Still, the network privately hates episodes like this, because it puts them on the defensive and it chips away at the preferred fantasy they push on Madison Avenue and within the Beltway that Fox is merely a conservative media outlet and that it actually employs a “news” division.

It was an awful 36 hours for Fox, and Wallace definitely picked a prime time to leave. I wonder if he knew the release of the Insurrection Day texts from his colleagues was imminent, and if that sped up what appeared to be his hasty exit from his TV home for 18 years. Either way, his move was a stinger for the network, for lots of reasons.

The exit, and how it was choreographed, came with an unmistakable scent of F.U. directed to Wallace’s former bosses. According to reports, virtually nobody inside Fox’s Washington D.C. bureau knew about the departure before Wallace announced it live on television. Worse, he’s jumping straight to Fox News’ most hated rival — CNN. That’s a poke in the eye for the right-wing network, which hates the fact that CNN doggedly details Fox’s dishonest ways. It’s unheard of for a high-profile Fox player like Wallace to pack their bags and head directly to CNN.

When Rupert Morduch’s network on Sunday released a perfunctory statement about Wallace, it was clear the two did not leave on good terms, which is rather stunning considering he’s been among their most recognizable faces for nearly two decades.

That personnel headache was soon superseded by the insurrection controversy, when Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the House select committee investigating January 6, read the Fox News texts aloud Monday night during a primetime hearing. Of course Fox News stonewalled the insurrection text news for 24 hours, refusing to acknowledge that its horrified hosts desperately communicated with Trump’s top aide in real time on January 6, trying to get the president to stop the deranged coup attempt.

They ignored the blockbuster news because Fox employees today are paid to whitewash the insurrection. Last summer, Ingraham o penly mocked Capitol Police officers who testified before Congress about the chaos and trauma of Insurrection Day, when law enforcement was attacked and many thought they would die.

And just last month, “Fox News host Tucker Carlson produced a documentary, “Patriot Purge,” for the Fox Nation streaming platform that included the baseless claim that the deadly attack was a “false flag” operation intended to demonize conservatives,” Huff Post notes . Carlson infamously told viewers in September that the Capitol rioters “don’t look like terrorists. They look like tourists.”

The lingering, pungent stench from episodes like this might be why Wallace walked away this week. His timing was impeccable

Fox News Posts — And Then Deletes — Anti-Semitic Soros Cartoon

Fox News is trying to paper over its use of antisemitic imagery in promoting conspiracy theories against liberal philanthropist George Soros, after deleting a political cartoon it had posted on social media depicting him as the “puppet master” supposedly manipulating Democratic officials to create “lawlessness” and “chaos.” But the invocations of his name as a destroyer of all things good and American are still continuing from the network’s on-air talent.

The lesson here is very simple: In response to any given public outrage against the network’s content, Fox will do what it believes is the minimum necessary to deal with the immediate problem — and then just continue the rest of its bad behavior. The Daily Beast reported that Fox had deleted an offensive cartoon from its Facebook and Instagram accounts, after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had tweeted that it “conjures up longstanding anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish power.”

Around 45 minutes before the ADL demanded the cartoon’s removal, Fox News contributor Leo Terrell claimed on the “straight news” program America Reports that a supposed crime wave was part of a deliberate political conspiracy by “left-leaning, George Soros Democratic prosecutors” to entrap police.

“I think the police department is being set up,” Terrell said. “All it takes, Trace, is one — one disputed shooting, one disputed arrest — and excuse my language, all hell’s going to break loose. And all this is going to be — those liberal prosecutors are to go after the police. The police department, they know what’s going on, and these individuals are being released because of left-leaning, George Soros Democratic prosecutors.”

Fox anchor Trace Gallagher then told Terrell that he had made “a very good point there, Leo.”

The invective also continued on Thursday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends , during a segment on organized retail thefts and other crimes that the show attributed to “soft-on-crime policies” in “liberal cities,” which co-host Brian Kilmeade said aligned with Soros’ purported efforts to “knock America down” in ways that a foreign enemy could not have accomplished.

It must be noted, however, that the premise of all these segments was wrong in the first place. A report this week in the Los Angeles Times found that organized retail thefts could amount to as little as 0.07% of total sales — with their notoriety coming from online visibility and the easy dissemination of surveillance camera videos, rather than constituting any genuine crisis or pattern of new criminal behavior. In addition, CNN has noted that recent increases in homicides still put the murder rate in major U.S. cities at only just over half of what it had been back in the mid-1990s.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): So there’s smash-and-grab, and there’s also murders, which are up everywhere. And mainly, most cops will tell you, focus on the DAs. And who put those DAs there? George Soros and his fund, was out there to put liberal DAs, empty your prisons, and not prosecute crime. I mean, China could not have — or Russia, or Iran — could not have scripted a better formula to knock America down at its foundation. You don't have law and order, you don't have a country, and we don't have law and order.”

Kilmeade's description of Soros was also similar to a segment last week from Fox prime-time host Tucker Carlson, who aired a parody video featuring Soros’ face alongside a graphic declaring: “We Kill America!”

Soros has long been a focus of right-wing media attacks for his role in funding progressive political candidates and organizations. Those attacks often feature anti-Semitic overtones , and network personalities have smeared Soros with the overtly racist “puppet master” slur for more than a decade . The anti-Soros smears cover topics ranging from the manifestly silly to the outright dangerous. Fox News has spent years promoting dangerous lies tying Soros to migrant caravans in Mexico and suggesting he is funding refugee resettlement groups as part of a planned “great replacement” of white Americans. (This smear in particular motivated a man to murder 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018.)

Article reprinted with permission from Media Matters