The feedback loop between Fox News, the right-wing media, and President Trump was in full effect Wednesday morning. Fox News kicked off the cycle with a story published on its website, and quickly hyped on its morning programming, based on newly-released text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The piece focused on a September 2, 2016 message from Page saying that then-President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.” Fox connected that statement with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, implying that Obama was meddling in the investigation for political reasons.
The story was quickly picked up by pro-Trump outlets like Breitbart and Gateway Pundit, and the president himself weighed in on Twitter, writing, “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” The text messages in question were released Wednesday by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who also connected Obama’s interest to the Clinton investigation.
But reporting by journalists from other outlets, including the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, soon cast doubt on that interpretation. The Clinton probe wasn’t active in September of 2016, and Obama was scheduled to meet with Vladimir Putin days later, when he would raise the issue of Russian meddling in the election. An associate of the FBI employees told the Journal that the text “refers to preparation to brief Mr. Obama about Russian interference in that year’s election.”
The pattern that played out yesterday, involving over-hyped conspiracy theories lacking in context quickly amplified by a pro-Trump echo
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/fbi-texts-bombshell-fox-news.php