“I have been called to testify before this committee, and I will do so on Monday,” Stirewalt said on NewsNation, where he serves as political editor.
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He told anchor Adrienne Bankert that he was “not in a position now to tell you what my testimony will be about,” but said that he wanted to make a full disclosure.
The committee already has indicated that it would explore how Donald Trump’s false election claims were spread in the media.
Stirewalt was dropped from Fox News in January 2021, in what the network said was a restructuring. But Stirewalt later wrote that he was fired from the network after defending the Fox News decision desk’s call of Arizona for Joe Biden on Election Night, the first major signal that Trump would lose his bid for re-election. That triggered a backlash against the network by Trump and his supporters. He’s authored an upcoming book, Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back, to be published in August.
A representative for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a piece that Stirewalt wrote for the Los Angeles Times after his departure, he wrote, “Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally. The lie that Trump won the 2020 election wasn’t nearly as much aimed at the opposing party as it was at the news outlets that stated the obvious, incontrovertible fact.”
He added, “What tugs at my mind after seeing a mob of enthusiastic ignoramuses sack the Capitol, though, is whether that sophistication will come quickly enough when outlets have the means to cater to every unhealthy craving of their consumers.”
On Thursday, as other broadcast and cable network pre-empted programming to carry the committee’s first primetime hearing, Fox News Channel stuck with its lineup of opinion hosts during the hearing itself, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, while anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum covered the event on Fox Business Network. Hannity’s name came up during the hearing, when the committee’s co-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) read a text that he sent to Kayleigh McEnany, then White House press secretary and now a Fox News contributor, in the aftermath of the Capitol attack.
Cheney said at the hearing, “Sean Hannity wrote in part: ‘Key now, no more crazy people.’ ‘No more stolen election talk.’ ‘Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.’ Ms. McEnany responded in part: ‘Love that. That’s the playbook.’”
Cheney’s point was that White House staff knew that Trump was spreading false conspiracies about the election and that he needed to be “cut off” from those who were spreading the theories.
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