A recent lawsuit is claiming that Fox News intentionally misquoted Rod Wheeler, the special investigator looking into the death of Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich. Rich is said by many to have been the leaker who gave Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s emails to the whistleblowing website, Wikileaks.
This situation is clustered, however, considering the lack of evidence in favor of the lawsuit. Other left leaning mainstream media outlets have also been branding the original story as “fake news,” when it looks like it’s a misquote at best.
*NOTE: It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume a mainstream media outlet pushed fake news. They have been caught red-handed lying to the public on numerous occasions before, it just appears to be a blanket term and overused, especially in this particular situation.
According to NPR, it all began May 16, the day the Fox News Channel broke what it called a “bombshell story” about an unsolved murder case: the fatal July 2016 shooting of 27-year-old Democratic Party staffer Seth Rich. Mainstream media outlets other than Fox News then immediately dubbed anyone seeking information on Rich’s untimely death as “conspiracy theorists” in an effort to discredit and kill all media stories so they could peddle back to the baseless Russian hacking lie. Fox reported that the leaks came from inside the party and not from hackers linked to Russia, a claim backed up by a Wikileaks operative but shunned in the mainstream media for not having enough support for the left-leaning narrative pushed in virtually every news segment in America. Even NPR stated that the Fox News report merely suggested that Democrats might have been connected to Rich’s death and that a cover-up had thwarted the official investigation.
Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich
The Fox News report that angered Democrats everywhere, including those in the media, relied heavily on Rod Wheeler, a former police detective, hired months earlier on behalf of the Riches by Republican ally, Ed Butowsky. Butowsky is a well-known Trump supporter. Once the report aired, Wheeler claimed words were put in his mouth, yet he continued to appear on Fox News shows and news segments, and backed up what he is now saying is “false quotations,” not “fake news.”
Fox’s president of news, Jay Wallace, told NPR on Monday there was no concrete evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by the reporter, Malia Zimmerman. Fox News declined to allow Zimmerman to comment for the NPR article. The original story featuring Wheeler, which first aired in May, was retracted by Fox News a week later.
Adding more fuel to the fire is the meeting between Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer at the White House with Wheeler and Butowsky to review the Rich story a month before Fox News ran the piece. Spicer admits to meeting with the two but denies claims that the president was involved in advancing the story.
“Ed’s been a longtime supporter of the president and asked to meet to catch up,” Spicer told NPR on Monday night. “I didn’t know who Rod Wheeler was. Once we got into my office, [Butowsky] said, ‘I’m sure you recognize Rod Wheeler from Fox News.’ ”
Spicer said Butowsky laid out what they had found about the case. “It had nothing to do with advancing the president’s domestic agenda — and there was no agenda,” Spicer says now. “They were just informing me of the [Fox] story.”
Spicer says he is not aware of any contact, direct or not, between Butowsky and Trump. And Butowsky now tells NPR he has never shared drafts of the story with Trump or his aides — that he was joking with a friend.
Instead, Butowsky repeatedly claimed that the meeting was set up to address Wheeler’s pleas for help landing a job for the Trump administration. Wheeler’s attorney, Doug Wigdor, says there is no evidence to support that claim.
In the suit, Wheeler alleges that Butowsky was using the White House references to pressure him. Of course, Rod Wheeler played his own role in furthering the story, which he never once alleged as “fake” only that he was misquoted. But he contends that he regretted it the same day it aired. His lawsuit alleges Fox News defamed him by manufacturing two false quotations, attributing them to him and ruining his reputation by blaming him when other media outlets began making “conspiracy theorist” claims about anyone seeking information into Rich’s murder.
Wheeler, who is African-American, is also suing Fox News for racial discrimination alleging he didn’t advance as quickly as his white counter parts at the network.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.