Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Four legs good, two legs better

Stop press! We're leading with Hannity's exclusive:

Damning emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman did not come from Russian hackers and the claim is being made to "delegitimize" Donald Trump, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview.

Hannity sat down with Assange in London's Ecuadorian embassy, where the Australian native has been holed up for five years battling extradition to Sweden on unrelated charges. Part I of the interview is set to air Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." 

That'll show the hysterical liberal media, huh?

In excerpts released prior to airing, Assange is adamant that the hacked emails his organization released of Clinton official John Podesta did not come from Russia, as the Obama administration has claimed.

“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange said.

Which, you have to admit, takes some of the exclusive out of "exclusive." Here's Fox from Nov. 3:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange insisted that the thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton, her State Department staff, close allies and the Democratic Party that the website has published didn’t come from the Russian government.

... “The Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything,” Assange said. “Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 US intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false – we can say that the Russian government is not the source.”

He does seem to be pretty consistent about it -- the Russian government wasn't the source. Whether they came from Russia or not seems to be a different question, but regardless, it's enough for Hannity:

Hannity told Fox News' Bill Hemmer "I believe everything (Assange) said," and praised the Internet activist for his commitment to government transparency. 

That has to be a relief, considering ... what's that, Fox News national security analyst (and Trump appointee) K.T. McFarland?
On Monday, Attorney General Holder proudly announced the U.S. government had shut down websites that sold pirated luxury goods or shared videos and songs. But shutting down a website that offers pirated secret government documents and damages United States' security? Not a chance.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange isn’t some well-meaning, anti-war protestor leaking documents in hopes of ending an unpopular war. He’s waging cyberwar on the United States and the global world order.

Mr. Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such.

Surely there were calmer heads at Fox back in 2010 -- Bill O'Reilly, for example:

Whoever leaked all those State Department documents to the WikiLeaks website is a traitor and should be executed or put in prison for life. As you may know, classified information is now floating around the globe, courtesy of the traitors and this despicable website which is based in Sweden.

The guy who runs the website is a sleazeball named Julian Assange, who is bent on damaging America. Since he's not a U.S. citizen, it's hard for American authorities to move against him. But we can prosecute those who leak the documents to Assange, an Australian.

Credibly,* President Obama did not speak about the situation today. Instead, he outlined some plans to cut spending. Why the president has remained silent on the WikiLeaks situation is very perplexing

Yes, very perplexing. It's almost as if Fox needed some -- I don't know, guidance from on high or something -- before it knew what to think about the usurper's actions.
There's an important for the whole "fake news" question at the end of the Hannity masterpiece:

Asked if the emails changed the outcome of the election, Assange said:

“Who knows, it’s impossible to tell. But if it did, the accusation is that the true statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, and the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, their true statements is what changed the election.”

Technically true, though in no way an issue of "government transparency" -- campaigns not being governments and all that. The challenge wasn't that the information was false; it was that the information made for fake news. Back to November:

As WikiLeaks gets ready to inevitably release more emails, sources told Fox News on Wednesday that the probe into the Clinton Foundation was now a “very high priority.”

"There is an avalanche of new information coming in every day," one source told Fox News, who added some of the new information is coming from the WikiLeaks documents and new emails.

FBI agents are "actively and aggressively pursuing this case," and will be going back and interviewing the same people again, some for the third time, sources said.

It's hard to blame the audience for hearing "emails" and thinking something was up involving the FBI and the Clinton Foundation. And the emails were, apparently, real emails. But they weren't news. They boiled down to the idea that Hillary Clinton had a political campaign and some of the people in it said stuff.

Master calls the tune, and Fox dances; that's what Fox does. You can't blame Fox because it worked. A portion of blame does lie, though, on any news organization that presented the emails as a matter of political or personal significance. You guys were taken.

* Best (sic) evar.

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