The discredited Fox story and the lawsuit

In between recent revelations about Donald Junior’s statement, another revelation was nearly forgotten. It concerns what happened to Seth C. Rich, who was fatally shot in July 2016.

Mr. Rich was a dedicated Democrat. He worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His murder is investigated by police.

That he was murdered must already have been awful for his colleagues, friends, family. But what happened next made matters far worse for them. It is an evil story.

Right-wing conspiracy theories were aired involving the murdered Mr. Rich. The worst one being that Mr. Rich had somehow been involved in the hack, theft, leak of DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

During the 2016 US election campaign, the DNC was attacked by Russian hackers. They managed to steal data which was published on various websites, including WikiLeaks and ones linked to Russian intelligence. Close associates of Donald Trump Senior tweeted about the publications well before these took place.

Right wing media and at least one Republican donor were involved in the creation of the fake story that Mr. Rich was involved in the hack. They did this willfully, purpose-fully, with malicious intent. Their evil aim was, to ensure the blame for the hacking and theft of DNC mails and information would point at the Democrats themselves.

The aim was also to “discredit the US intelligence community and its determination to proof that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and obtained the emails released by Wikileaks“. The probe by US intelligence predated the current Russia probe into collusion of Team Trump with Russia.

Despite Mr. Rich’s family and D.C. police claiming Mr. Rich was innocent and his murder had nothing to do with the DNC hack, despite intelligence sources stating Russian hackers were to blame, Foxnews published the fake story blaming the innocent Mr. Rich.

It took law enforcement, fact-checking websites (PolitiFact, Snopes, FactCheck) to uncover the evil fake-news story and related groundless theories. Media including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times revealed the truth.

Foxnews finally retracted the story – a week after publishing it. Foxnews refused to own up to the story being totally unfounded and totally fake, claiming instead it had been published “prematurely“.

Now one person, Rod Wheeler who is alive and can defend himself but was involved in creating the story, went to court. The filed papers reveal “… the plaintiff is Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former police detective, who claims he was misquoted as part of the effort to put the fake story together. 21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Republican donor Ed Butowsky are named as defendants.

The papers state: “The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election. … Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump’s agenda. Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Mr. Wheeler has suffered irreparable damage to his reputation and his career will likely never recover.

Media report that Rod Wheeler claims he met “… Sean Spicer on April 20, along with Ed Butowsky, a conservative financier who had been bankrolling Wheeler’s investigation of the Rich slaying. Butowsky is a frequent guest on Fox business programs. … Spicer acknowledged on Tuesday that he met with Butowsky and Wheeler in April and was told about the Rich story, despite telling reporters in May that he was unaware of it when Fox News ran several segments about it.

As usual, the White House denied involvement in this evil fake news story.
As usual, the White House denied the president knew anything about it.
Rod Wheeler is of course called “untrustworthy” by some journalists.

CNN Lawsuit: Fox News concocted story
Washington Post: Seth Rich Conspiracy lawsuit
UK Guardian: The strange case of Fox News, Trump, Seth Rich


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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