Last week a California jury issued a verdict in one of the anti-immigrant right’s most closely watched cases — the murder case against Mexican national Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. Garcia Zarate is a felon who has been deported from the United States on multiple occasions, and who was accused of the 2015 murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle.
The case has been on the radar at the White House, too. On December 1 Donald Trump tweeted this:
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
And of course the GOP’s state-run media, aka Fox News, has had plenty to say about it, including recently accusing other media outlets, specifically MSNBC, of ignoring the verdict. On Sunday, Fox and Friends weekend host Pete Hegseth, who wants to be as dumb as regular host Steve Doocy when he grows up, featured blogger Bre Payton, who writes for the ultra-right-wing site The Federalist. The two were incredulous that MSNBC completely “ignored” Friday’s verdict in the Steinle case.
Fast forward to Monday, and a Fox and Friends appearance by White House advisor Kellyanne Conway. Near the end of what was mainly an anti-media tirade Conway decided the time was right to attack the so-called “liberal” MSNBC by repeating the claim. “MSNBC didn’t even cover the Kate Steinle murder verdict. Not a single minute, even according to your graphic,” she said on the split screen, as Doocy shook his head and clucked disapprovingly.
A shocking claim, that a major US news network would completely ignore the verdict in a trial that had captured the attention of many Americans. And a complete lie. The media monitoring site TV Eyes shows that in fact MSNBC covered the story several times on Friday, as well as briefly again over the weekend.
So once again a member of the Trump administration has been caught in an easily disproved falsehood. But this time the process was backwards. Instead of the lie starting at the White House and then being supported and propagated by Fox News, this lie started with the
fairly unbalanced “fair and balanced” network and was picked up by Conway.
Maybe the funniest thing about this incident is that, after making his claim about MSNBC, Hegseth and his partners in crime featured a discussion about “fake news” on Sunday’s “after the show show.” Seriously. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Here’s poor delusional Kellyanne, following the Fox and Friends lead, via Fox News: