Fox News bosses told Hannity and other Trump defenders not to identify whistleblower
The right-wing media machine has been chomping at the bit to expose the identity of the intelligence community whistleblower. He/she has been at risk since filing a complaint with the Inspector General regarding Donald Trump's "quid pro quo" phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. That complaint led to Trump being pressured to release a "summary memo" of the phone call, that he falsely asserts is a verbatim transcript.
Ever since the complaint was filed, Trump has been rattled and fearful due to the obvious legal jeopardy that it puts him in. He has repeatedly tweeted "READ THE TRANSCRIPT" in an effort to exonerate himself. Nevermind that even his edited memo incriminates him further. Trump's desperate objections have wandered into deranged territory. And subsequent to the whistleblower's complaint, additional witnesses and evidence has emerged that make his/her account moot.
Nevertheless, Trump and his propagandist media continue to demand that the whistleblower's identity be revealed and that he/she testify in person before Congress. That would violate the security measures that the whistleblower statutes were designed to protect. And it would subject the whistleblower to potential harm. Consequently, Fox News found it necessary to advise their on-air "personalities" to refrain from reporting the alleged name of the whistleblower that has been floating around in wingnut media circles. CNN acquired a copy of the Fox News memo and reported that...
"...on October 31, a Fox executive sent an email to staffers that said the network had not 'independently confirmed [the] name or identification of the anonymous whistleblower.' A copy of the email was obtained by CNN Business."The executive further advised production staffers to 'NOT fulfill any video or graphic requests' related to the whistleblower's identity."
Among the hosts on Fox that were given these instructions was Sean Hannity. CNN reported that Hannity claimed to have "confirmed independently" the identity of the whistleblower, but declined, so far, to name the person on air. "But you know what?" Hannity said, "I will play the game for a little bit." Then he pretended to not be afraid of being sued by the whistleblower's attorney.
CNN's report also included a paragraph that should be required in every article about Fox News:
"Much of Fox effectively operates as a messaging arm of the White House. Its opinion hosts have defended the President at nearly every turn, and the network employs a stable of pro-Trump contributors who appear throughout the day to offer commentary. Fox's news anchors and journalists also frequently cover the day's news from angles beneficial to the Trump White House."
Well said. But Fox's admonition to it's personnel is not likely to be sufficient protection for the whistleblower. Hannity and others on the network have defied their bosses before, with little or no consequences. And people like Sen. Rand Paul are also claiming to know the whistleblower's identity and threatening to release it. The StormTrumpers are fully prepared to violate the whistleblower statute without concern for the his/her welfare, or for the principle of confidential reporting of wrongdoing in the government.
Their intention is to scare off any other potential whistleblowers who discover criminal or unethical behavior. Which is a pretty good indicator that there is more illegal activity that has yet to be revealed. Hopefully, the patriots in government will stand strong and do what's right despite these threats. They are a lifeline to keeping government honest and holding wrongdoers accountable.