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Fox News Sued by Rod Wheeler for fabricating Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory Story

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 Seth Rich (DNC)

A longtime Fox news commentator has filed a lawsuit against the network, alleging it used him to deflect attention from investigations about the Trump camp’s alleged ties with the Russian Government.

In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, it’s alleged that the Trump White House reviewed and signed off on a concocted Fox News story, which claimed slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been in direct contact with Wikileaks.

The lawsuit was filed against Fox News by Rod Wheeler, a longtime Fox contributor who was quoted in a Fox story about his so-called “investigation” into the Rich murder.

Mr. Wheeler states that he was falsely quoted in the article published on May 16, as stating that his investigation found “some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks;” and that his investigation showed “someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward.”

Wheeler who worked on the Seth Rich case claims Fox News fabricated quotes, which implicated the Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal.  As a result of the investigation—it is alleged that the investigator coordinated with the Trump administration to concoct a believable story.

The investigator, Rod Wheeler, sued Fox for defamation. His lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New York, sheds light on Trump allies conspiring to push a false narrative to deflect from the Russian collusion probe.  Taking the pressure off the president was the main objective in coordinating with a news organization, such as FOX— who was all too willing to share the fabricated story to President Trump before it was published.

Fox said accusations that reporter’s Malia Zimmerman’s story was published to detract from the Russian investigation is “completely erroneous.” Jay Wallace, Fox’s news president, said the story is still being investigated and that Fox has no evidence that Wheeler was misquoted.

In the complaint, Mr. Wheeler states that the author of the Fox article, Malia Zimmerman, worked closely with Mr. Butowsky, a Trump supporter and occasional Fox News commentator who pushed a fake article to advance the president’s agenda. The suit states that in April, Mr. Butowsky met with Sean Spicer, the president’s first press secretary, about the investigation into the death of Mr. Rich

Wheeler, a Fox contributor who investigated Rich’s July 2016 murder for the family, was brought into the case by Ed Butowsky, a Texas man and Trump supporter who appeared frequently on Fox, as noted in the lawsuit. Butowsky referred to by many as a conspiracy theorist was intent on establishing a link between Rich, who was murdered in July 2016 in what Washington police believe was a botched robbery, amid the WikiLeaks scandal.

Mary Rich, the mother of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, speaks at a press conference on Aug. 1, 2016. A lawsuit alleges Fox News and a wealthy Trump supporter intended to deflect public attention from growing concern about the administration’s ties to the Russian government by concocting a story about Seth Rich’s death. Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post/Getty Images.  

Wheeler was quoted in the May 16 story on Fox’s web site saying there had been contact between Rich and WikiLeaks, whose dump of DNC emails proved a major detriment to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He also said he was quoted falsely saying that someone—possibly Democrats or Clinton campaign officials—was blocking an investigation into Rich’s murder.

In a phone conversation two days before the Fox article was published, Butowsky was told that Trump had read the article and wanted it published immediately, according to information cited in the lawsuit.

Wheeler also alleges he was told false statements on his behalf were injected into the story because Trump requested the comments included. Wheeler states he and Butowsky had met with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and showed Spicer notes on Wheeler’s investigation. Spicer asked to be kept informed of the probe, as cited in the lawsuit.

Fox removed the story from its website a week after it was published, saying that “it was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all of our reporting.” With the removal of the story, Fox News’ Sean Hannity was forced to back away from aggressively pushing the story on the air.

Wheeler has been a Fox contributor since 2005, is also suing Fox for racial discrimination. He said similar law enforcement experts who are white were given higher pay and more opportunities. Fox’s Wallace denied the accusations.

In a statement, the family of Mr. Rich said:

“While we can’t speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that this brings an end to what has been the most emotionally difficult time in our lives and an end to conspiracy theories surrounding our beloved Seth.”

Ms. Zimmerman and Mr. Butowsky, who are also defendants in the suit, as of this reporting have not responded to the allegations.

By LeNora Millen  08-01-17

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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Business

TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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