MSNBC, Stephen King Spread False Claim That Fox News Won’t Air Mueller Hearings

Here we go again with the fake news.

Over the weekend, MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney appointed by Barack Obama who is now an MSNBC legal contributor, said Fox News will not be airing the testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller, set to appear before the House.

“Fox isn’t showing Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. Trump is afraid of what will happen if his base gets to hear Mueller’s testimony for themselves,” Vance wrote on Twitter to her 337,000 followers.

 

She later claimed she was simply joking. “Y’all, a kind friend pointed out my goofy sense of humor doesn’t always translate onto Twitter. I know most of you get the irony by now. Sorry for the sarcasm gap. I always forget Twitter doesn’t capture tone.”

But it was all too late — the fake news was out there, alive on the internet.

On Monday, MSNBC guest Rick Wilson repeated the erroneous claim. “Now Fox isn’t covering the hearings,” Wilson said about Mueller’s testimony. “They’re apparently not going to take them live. Everybody else is taking them live.”

MSNBC anchor Nicole Wallace did not correct him, saying “Really?”


Later on Monday, horror author Stephen King jumped into the fray, repeating the falsehood to his more than 5 million followers on Twitter — a post that is still there.

“FOX news shows the president’s rallies but won’t show Robert Mueller’s testimony? What happened to “Fair and Balanced?” King tweeted.

His post has been retweeted more than 6,800 times and has more than 36,000 “likes.”
Still later, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus also tweeted the falsehood: “The fact that Fox News won’t cover the Mueller hearings tells you everything you need to know.”
But Fox News on Tuesday set the record straight. “Fox News will not only air the testimony, anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, but its primetime lineup will provide a thorough analysis of the event as well,” the network said in an article.
Fox also tapped an expert to expose Vance’s explanation that she was joking and to illustrate how quickly such false information can spread.
“The original tweet from Vance includes nothing that would indicate sarcasm and has no sourcing. This was clearly irresponsible and inappropriate for a contributor to a news organization,” DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News.
“That this false claim has circulated extensively shows how the digital sphere can churn out nonsense so quickly, particularly among people predisposed to believe what they want to believe without additional confirmation,” McCall said. “This also shows the power of traditional media to infuse the news agenda. One news channel contributor tweets a falsehood and it shows up elsewhere on the channel’s content, furthering the misinformation.”
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