The recent flap over “fake news” is proving to be a boon for the right, even though they are the ones who are largely responsible for creating most of it. Now, thanks to “fake news” claims, if you see a story you don’t like, simply label it “fake news” and move on.
That’s exactly what Fox’s Sean Hannity did on Tuesday. Speaking about the recent reports that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic email accounts, Hannity declared they were fake news. Why? Because according to him, “we don’t have 17 intelligence agencies.”
Hannity got on the subject when he became engaged in a discussion with a caller about his Julian Assange interview. As the two wandered from conspiracy theory to conspiracy theory Hannity made the claim that there aren’t 17 intelligence agencies in the U.S. No, that number was just made up, according to him, to bolster Democratic accusations of Russian malfeasance.
A little bit later he came back to the claim again, saying,
We’ve been told 17 of our intelligence agencies are sure that the computers of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were hacked by Russians, under the direct orders of Putin himself.
The only problem is, we don’t have 17 intelligence agencies, so now we’ve got fake news stories to bolster the claim of the president and the Democrats losing the election.
Except we do have 17 intelligence agencies. And they all did say Russia was behind the hacking. If Hannity had used The Google he even could have found the official webpage that lists them.
There are only 16 agencies listed there. That’s because the seventeenth is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Hannity actually entertained the caller’s notions that DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered by someone connected to the Democratic party (hint, hint — the Clintons). Then he declared stories about 17 intelligence agencies agreeing the Russians interfered in the election to be “fake news.” File this as another story from the department of “we couldn’t make this up if we had wanted to.”
Here’s what Hannity said, via Media Matters: