Chris Cuomo Blasts Fox News for Peddling Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory: ‘Exposed as Hungry Helpers of the Russian Cause’
CNN’s Chris Cuomo pulled no punches in blasting his cable network rival Fox News over that channel’s seminal role in floating and spreading a vicious conspiracy theory about the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
“You know the name. But why you know it goes to the ugliest kind of BS conspiracy spin there is,” Cuomo said in his show’s closing segment Tuesday night. “Fox was all over this. Along with fringe righty sites. Hollow notions that deserve no repeating here. Why did they do it? To distract from Russian interference and tar Hillary Clinton.”
Cuomo’s soliloquy was sparked by a new exclusive report from Yahoo News, that found the Russian intelligence service, SVR, was the original source behind a concocted story that Rich was assassinated for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. That false account, Yahoo says, bubbled through extremist right-wing websites before being picked up by Republican dirty trickster and former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone. And then finally, the false story went mainstream on Fox News after a local Fox affiliate claimed to have evidence that Rich was in contact in Wikileaks. That account quickly fell apart under scrutiny and Fox News had to issue a retraction.
“They can qualify it with all the language they want. They knew what they were doing,” Cuomo said after playing numerous clips of Fox News pundits as well as Republican guests giving credence to the baseless smears about Rich. “Fox News eventually had to issue a retraction. The claim is debunked over and over, including by the Mueller report. Did they apologize? No. They said it wasn’t up to their standards editorially, but it was all protected by the First Amendment. But this isn’t about what’s legally right, it’s about doing what’s right. You have some really self-satisfied sorts over there who love to judge others and see attacking others as currency.”
Sean Hannity, who repeatedly pushed the false conspiracies about Seth Rich’s murder, and Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, who cryptically implied that Rich was his source of DNC emails, have never apologized for their roles in polluting the discourse with disinformation, even after their tinfoil theories were officially and finally debunked by the Mueller report this past spring. In addition, Fox News has failed to publicly announce the results of an investigation it said it would undertake into Hannity’s conduct in fomenting the smear campaign.
“People who support this president attack anyone with anything they can. They’re quick to cry foul when exposed. Quick to see themselves victims of those who return their vitriol. Quick to blame the political opponents for being the bad guy,” Cuomo pointed out. “They never had any law enforcement buy-in or support for their stories and their punditry. They had to back off. And now, unless it’s yet another grand conspiracy, they have been exposed as hungry helpers of the Russian cause. Maybe now they’ll own the reality of Russian interference and the obvious efforts that continue. The same that they were only too anxious to empower. Oh, the irony. Or they can do what they do best. Attack me and others for calling it out. Blame it on another conspiracy against them and wait for the next nonsense to pounce on. But know this, as Yahoo makes plain for all to see, what was done was ugly and obvious. And everyone knows it.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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