Claytoonz: Fox News knew as anchors weighed on Trump to stop Jan. 6 riot
You may have noticed I draw a lot of cartoons on Fox News. But it’s not my fault. It’s Fox News’ fault. When Fox News stops making itself a part of the news, I’ll stop drawing them.
Here’s the thing, kids: Journalists are not supposed to be a part of the story. Journalists are supposed to tell the story. Legitimate news outlets fire journalists who make themselves a part of the story, which we saw recently when CNN fired Chris Cuomo.
Fox News has been making itself a part of the story since at least 2015 when Trump began running for president. Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, would have one-on-one meetings with Donald Trump as an unofficial adviser. His employed goons didn’t attend rallies to cover them, but to be a part of the rallies. Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are two who spoke from Trump’s podium at his hate rallies while journalists from CNN and MSNBC needed security to escort them out of the building. Hannity had late-night strategy sessions with Donald Trump during while he was occupying the White House, which Hannity would use for his show and Trump would use for his messaging (tweeting and barking at rallies).
Fox News was an outlet of the Trump administration which is why a lot of people call them “Trump TV.” It’s why journalists like Chris Wallace are bailing on Fox News.
Fox News is not news.
Now we have learned that it wasn’t just Republicans in Congress texting Trump’s chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows, before and during the attack on the Capitol complex in order to overturn an election and install Donald Trump as a dictator, but TV hosts from Fox News were also texting him.
What’s even more of an outrage is that the Fox News hosts were texting Hannity to try to get Donald Trump to call off his MAGA mob of white nationalists while they were pushing the narrative on air that it was a false flag conducted by Democrats and Antifa. They may have known this was going to happen days before the attack. Don’t forget those late-night Hannity/Trump strategy sessions.
The Trump goons set up an office in a Washington hotel (paid for by Trump supporters) to plan and coordinate the white nationalist attack. Were Fox News hosts in contact with these unsavory individuals during the meetings? We need to know this.
Before Mark Meadows stopped cooperating with the House Committee investigating the white nationalist attack on the Capitol, he gave them documents and text messages. Liz Cheney revealed Monday night that Meadows had received texts from Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Laura Ingraham pleading with him to convince Donald Trump to call off his MAGA goon mob of white nationalists. Brian Kilmeade even texted that the rioters are “destroying everything you have accomplished.”
Instead of calling off the mob, Trump was watching the attack on TV and celebrating the insurrection. He praised the racist goons when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called pleading with him to all off the mob that was attacking Capitol Police and defecating in the halls of Congress. Trump told McCarthy that the racist rioters cared more about the election than he did.
Donald Trump refused to call off the mob even when they were storming through the Capitol with nooses while chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”
Even Donald Trump Jr texted Meadows to get his dad to call off the mob. Why didn’t he text his dad directly…or go talk to him since he was probably in the same room as his father? Jr texted Meadows, “He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP!” To be fair, maybe Jr had to text Meadows as his father wasn’t in the habit of listening to him.
Laura Ingraham, who was pushing the Antifa lie on the same day, texted Meadows, “The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us.” All of us? That right there shows she and Fox News were a part of the Trump administration. “All of us.” I’m a political cartoonist and even then, there’s no “us” I’m a part of with any politician, campaign, or party.
It also reveals she knew she was lying on the air. That’s a fireable offense. She told her viewers that the rioters were “not all Trump supporters.” She pushed the Antifa bullshit. She also claimed it was only about three dozen people attacking the Capitol.
Laura Ingraham knew she was lying. I repeat, she knew she was lying. Do you realize what an outrage it is for a journalist to go on the air and knowingly report false information? Even Fox News should have an ethical guideline on that which shouldn’t be crossed. Fox News should fire Laura Ingraham. She shouldn’t receive probation or suspension. She should be fired.
Journalists get things wrong all the time but they do not report false information. Not firing Ingraham for this is further proof Fox News is not news but propaganda.
What Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade did is just the same as lying. They knew it was a Trump mob attacking the Capitol. Their texts prove that. Yet, they never mentioned that on air. They never mentioned what was actually happening when they knew what was going on. They never mentioned their contacts with Mark Meadows. They knew this attack was so bad that it even made Don Jr. realize it.
I saw someone post this morning that you know Trump sucks with this when Fox News and Donald Trump Jr are the voices of reason. But they weren’t the voices of reason. If they had any reason they would have made their pleas public instead of constantly defending the man who refused to call off his mob.
Why didn’t Ingraham, Hannity, and Kilmeade make their pleas on the air? If they had done that, Trump would have stopped the mob immediately. It would have put pressure on him. Why didn’t Jr go to a reporter and make the plea? Was he afraid his daddy would cut him off?
Donald Trump didn’t just call of his mob, he instigated it. He tweeted for them to be there. He should be liable for this. If a politician invited al-Qaida to visit New York to check out the skyscrapers and then they flew planes into those skyscrapers, you would hold that politician accountable. Donald Trump invited terrorists to Washington.
Trump invited his terrorists and told them it would be “wild.” He held a rally for his hate mob and told them to go to the Capitol. He said he’d be there with them (which he wasn’t as it would have involved walking). Then he joyfully watched the proceedings on TV ignoring pleas from aides and others to stop the assault. Then, he made a video telling his mob of racist terrorists that he “loved them” and they were “very special.”
The January 6 committee needs to take off the kid gloves and go after these people hard. Subpoena Donald Trump and don’t stop there. Subpoena Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Laura Ingraham. Subpoena Trump Jr. Mark Meadows’ texts prove they’re witnesses. Ivanka was a witness so subpoena her too
If the Fox News people want to be a part of the story, then make them a part of the story. Subpoena them.
Also, Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Laura Ingraham going to prison for sedition would be a great story.
Music note: Today’s drawing music was the Black Keyes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (my playlist was going in alphabetical order).
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.