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David Folkenflik on Seth Rich Lawsuit: Fox Journalistically Doesn’t ‘Have Any Ground to Stand On’

On Tuesday morning, NPR’s David Folkenflik exclusively reported on an explosive new lawsuit alleging in part that Fox News published fabricated quotes to bolster a conspiracy theory surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. And after having reported the story, Folkenflik is now offering some pointed criticism of Fox News.

Speaking with Katy Tur on MSNBC, Folkenflik called the retracted Foxnews.com story “hermetically sealed,” in that it was essentially facilitated by Ed Butowski, a Republican surrogate. And its key claims were voiced by Rod Wheeler, the man who is now suing the network. Wheeler was hired by Butowski to investigate the Rich murder.

“It’s almost a hermetically sealed Fox universe, this little story…What Ed Butowski does is, he, among other things, gets a meeting with Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary on April 20, about four weeks before this story is published in mid-May. And he sits down with Rod Wheeler, and the two of them brief the president’s chief spokesman about what they’ve found.”

Folkenflik added that “the Fox News reporter put two key quotations in the mouth of the investigator. Tur interjected by saying, “According to Wheeler.” And Folkenflik said:

Fox News doesn’t dispute this. There is no actual journalistic defense being offered here… They don’t have an affirmative defense. They’re defending themselves claims of a political agenda. But journalistically, they don’t have any ground to stand on, at least so far.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo