Fox News host Sean Hannity called the mainstream media “one of the biggest losers” in former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday, while highlighting the ever-worsening “massive credibility crisis” for the media.
CNN issued a correction following statements Comey made during the hearing that flatly contradicted its own reporting. ABC News updated one of its stories following the testimony. And The New York Times came under direct and repeated fire for a February story claiming that campaign officials for President Donald Trump had frequent contact with Russian intelligence officials. Comey insisted, “In the main, it was not true,” and agreed that the story was “almost entirely wrong.”
“So in a shocking turn of events, one of the biggest losers from yesterday’s much-anticipated Comey testimony was the ‘destroy-Trump propaganda media,'” Hannity said. “Now, we’re going to break down just how James Comey humiliated the mainstream press and why they’re now facing a massive credibility crisis in tonight’s mini monologue.”
The Fox News host noted that one of the media’s favorite narratives is the Russia collusion narrative that the president or his associates conspired with the Russians to help him win the 2016 presidential election. Even though no conclusive evidence has yet been brought forward, the media and Democrats haven’t given up on the narrative.
But these agendas, Hannity said, “have now come apart at the seams” with Comey’s testimony.
Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a frequent and vocal Trump critic, admitted Thursday on the network that the former FBI director’s statements didn’t bode well for the press.
“The big story to me has always been … the assumption of the critics of the president — of his pursuers, you might say — is that somewhere along the line in the last year the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians, something to [give] a helping hand, encouraging them, feeding their desire to affect the decision in some way,” Matthews said. “And yet, what came apart this morning was that theory in two regards.”
And Hannity was all too delighted to point that admission out to his viewers.
“Now, it’s all been wrong. They’ve been lying to you, the American people,” Hannity said. “Despite some widespread embarrassment for all these people in the destroy-Trump media following the Comey testimony, do you think we can ever expect them to stop spreading their fake news? In other words, land the black helicopters, get back to reality? Or will their crisis in credibility continue to grow?”
The Fox News host’s assessment came after two recent polls emerged indicating that the American people’s faith in the press has plummeted once again after it rose during the first few months of the Trump administration.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday — the day before Comey’s hearing — found that approximately six in 10 Americans are displeased with the media’s reporting, saying the media made them feel either “dissatisfied” or “angry.” Fifty-two percent of the poll’s respondents said they believe Trump “has changed American attitudes towards the news media … for the worse.”
A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday also found that “after a brief bump in viewer trust between December and April, cable news’ credibility among the general public is back to where it was late last year.”
Although 56 percent of viewers from both sides of the political aisle find MSNBC credible, that number dropped from 59 percent at the end of April. While 60 percent of total viewers trust CNN, 63 percent trusted the network at the end of April. Even Fox News experienced a credibility dip among its viewers: from 60 percent to 56 percent.