(NewsNation Now) — Dan Abrams said Fox News hosts were being hypocritical when arguing that releasing their text messages to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 was an invasion of privacy.
“Apparently, they only believe that private texts are fair game if the private texts are someone else’s,” Abrams said.
Texts sent by Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade to Meadows implored then-President Donald Trump to speak out against the attack on the Capitol.
Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday the texts may have crossed the journalistic line, but he would have to see them in the context of the discussion taking place at the time.
“I wouldn’t have done it myself,” O’Reilly said on “Dan Abrams Live”. “I would have asked the question, ‘Say, are you guys going to make a statement? What are you going to do? Looks like things are out of control?’ I don’t think I would have advocated; that’s not what journalists do. But it was in a very intense, quick-breaking situation. So I’m not going to condemn anybody here.”
The messages were released this week by House Select Committee member Liz Cheney.
“Is there any privacy in this country anymore?” Hannity asked on Fox News Tuesday. “Or do they get to release thousands more of individual private citizens’ texts?”
Some of the hosts also blamed Cheney for the messages, which had been lawfully obtained by congressional subpoena.
“Liz Cheney and her off-the-wall obsession with text messages to Mark Meadows,” Ingraham said on Fox News Tuesday.
“We now live in a country where none of your private communications are safe from the eyes of power-drunk politicians like Liz Cheney,” Tucker Carlson said.
The Mediaite Moment, a daily segment on “Dan Abrams Live,” strives to hold cable news shows accountable by scrutinizing clips from multiple networks. On Wednesday, Dan aired clips of Fox News hosts discussing other private messages.
“Fox News has now obtained the text messages between the FBI agent Peter Peter Strzok and his FBI lawyer girlfriend Lisa Page,” Hannity said on Dec. 12, 2017.
Chris Cuomo’s personal text messages to his brother’s aide were reported on Kilmeade’s show “Fox and Friends” just this month. And who could forget the Hunter Biden messages mysteriously leaked from his laptop?
“Senator, your reaction to that story from the New York Post today, based on emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma officials,” Ingraham said on Oct. 15, 2020.
As for their own leaked messages, all the hosts defended their efforts to try to get Trump to stop the attack on the Capitol, but still implied that the messages were released in an effort to smear them.
“I think the Fox News hosts did the right thing in writing to Meadows, but you just can’t have it both ways,” Abrams said.