Trump Decries Fox Anchor, Promotes ‘News’ Site With Known Accuracy Issues
President Donald Trump, in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, harped on Fox News anchor Shep Smith, and promoted a different news organization that’s been known to peddle in promoting far-right conspiracy theories with little accuracy behind some of its reporting.
Trump compared watching Smith to being worse than him watching CNN, which the president has frequently decried — mostly without legitimate reasons for doing so — as “fake news.”
“Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews,” Trump wrote in his tweet.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
It’s been noted in reporting, on HillReporter.com and elsewhere, that when Trump calls out news agencies as “fake,” it’s typically due to his not liking the content of those reports rather than them actually being inaccurate.
His attacks on Smith appear to be based on recent comments the Fox News anchor has made, bashing Trump’s denials regarding Russia’s continued attempts to interfere in U.S. elections, the Washington Examiner reported.
“It’s one of the more baffling things of a baffling presidency,” Smith recently said. “There is no doubt that they (Russians) are interfering, and yet, he goes, ‘Do you believe that?’ Yes, I believe it. I believe everyone in your government. I believe everyone is an intelligence apparatus. Of course I believe it.”
In addition to his loathing of the Fox News anchor in his tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Trump also promoted the One America News Network (OANN), a decidedly far-right news agency that has produced content with questionable reporting in the past.
One America News is an agency that purports to produce news content “that cares about a strong America.” It has a noticeably far-right bent in its reporting that isn’t always accurate, according to research from Media Bias/Fact Check.
Yet the company tries to suggest otherwise. “If you’re looking for credible news, then you’ve come to the right place,” says one of OANN’s anchors in a video on its about pages.
In practice, however, OANN is less-than-credible.
Per previous research from HillReporter.com, OANN has, in fact, peddled in promoting conspiracy theories as fact, or at the very least, worthy of consideration by its viewers. In once instance, OANN reporters alleged lawmakers in California had been attempting to ban the Bible, when there wasn’t any evidence to make that claim.
OANN also heavily promoted the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, which suggested Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton had the DNC staffer murdered, a blatantly false accusation. When it became clear that story’s validity was completely off, OANN deleted any trace of its reporting on the matter from its website.
In yet another example, OANN alleged that white genocide in South Africa, which itself is a myth, was supported by former President Barack Obama.
OANN appears to have become Trump’s new favorite reporting source, however, in spite of its inaccuracies (or perhaps because of them). Earlier on Wednesday, the president authored another tweet praising their work, in which they purported the Dayton, Ohio, mass shooter, who killed nine individuals this past weekend, was motivated by his far-left political leanings.
Police have not yet officially determined a motive by the suspect in those shootings, however, and it’s possible he was motivated by misogyny or familial disagreements instead.