The former editorial head at Fox News is trying to clear the air on the accusation spiraling that the channel sidestepped on the Stormy Daniels story ahead of the 2016 presidential election — he’s saying there wasn’t enough proof to publish.
The New Yorker article written by Jane Mayer claimed Fox News had conclusive evidence about the affair between President Donald Trump and Daniels, and that the channel didn’t publish in order to advance Trump in the 2016 presidential race, as IJR Blue noted.
However, former Fox News editor Ken LaCorte rebuked those claims in an op-ed with Mediate on Friday, sharing what he claims went down.
“Two weeks before the 2016 presidential election … I reviewed a draft news story that said porn actress Stormy Daniels had confirmed having an affair with Donald Trump a decade earlier,” LaCorte wrote. “The only problem was … Stormy hadn’t said that.”
According to LaCorte, Daniels and her associates were “playing a bizarre cat-and-mouse game” with Fox News and other media outlets but “ultimately, without enough proof to publish.”
“We and others practiced solid journalism,” LaCorte declared. “Now, that’s being spun in an effort to prove the opposite.”
LaCorte went on to explain that “The Dirty,” a gossip website that alleged the affair in 2011, was issued a cease-and-desist letter sent by Daniels’ attorneys the next day.
In October of 2018, LaCorte said he reviewed Fox News reporter Diana Falzone’s story but it was a “9-paragraph story that sorely needed backup.”
“It lacked: any mention of payments, a hush money contract or any corroborating evidence beyond the two secondhand accounts. On top of that, Stormy Daniels herself had publicly denied the whole thing, a denial she would maintain for another year. The story wasn’t close to being publishable, and my decision to hold it was a no-brainer.”
LaCorte’s decision of not publishing wasn’t to boost Trump in 2016, he claims.
“… No one has questioned why Stormy would try to leak an anti-Trump story exclusively to Fox News, seen by virtually everyone as a pro-Trump outlet,” he said. “In reality, she was actually talking to a handful of others as well.”
LaCorte spoke with The New Yorker in December of 2018 but was never asked about the Daniels story before later receiving a question from a fact checker on a quote from a secondhand source.
“I find it odd that [Jane Mayer] spoke to multiple others about the event, but didn’t have a single question for me, the person who unilaterally made the decision,” he wrote. “… In her 11,635 word piece, she didn’t find room to mention the paucity of evidence we had, the conflicting statements nor the other outlets which responded exactly as we did.”
LaCorte blasted the media’s circulation of The New Yorker piece as an attack on Fox News.
“The ultimate irony is that in its zeal to hang Fox News for journalistic malfeasance, the media tossed journalistic standards in the trash can and gave readers the 100 percent wrong impression of Fox and the Stormy Daniels story.”
“Journalists: these are the reasons why half of America believes Donald Trump when he calls us ‘fake,'” LaCorte concluded.