House Democrats are determined to turn over every stone in the known universe just to find something that will justify their continuing investigations into President Donald Trump.
They are especially determined in the wake of the Mueller report, which has all-but-eliminated their greatest reason for existing in the first place. And yes, they’re trying their hardest to keep their collusion fantasies alive – trying their damnedest to run Attorney General William Barr’s name through the mud – but they know the writing is on the wall.
If they want to keep satisfying the thirsty #Resistance crowd, they’re going to need some fresh blood.
So it is that House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is slowly turning his attention to the old, tired Stormy Daniels story. But in demanding documents from a former Fox News Channel reporter, Cummings may have more in mind than simply dredging up this tabloid-level nonsense. At least one executive at Fox believes that Democrats want to start exercising “editorial oversight” on the conservative network.
The basis for Cummings’ demand comes from reporter Diana Falzone’s aborted story about the affair. As the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported last month (to great liberal fanfare), Fox News had some details about the Stormy Daniels situation even before the election. Mayer insinuated that the network had killed the story because it might damage Trump’s chances of winning.
Falzone, however, has come out to say that the reasons for abandoning the story had nothing to do with Fox’s support for Trump or lack thereof. Rather, she said, there were deep editorial concerns about the validity of the tale. This, she said, was not helped by the fact that Daniels was under an NDA and would not confirm the story on the record.
Cummings has written to Falzone to demand any documents she collected in relation to the story, but Fox News executive Ken LaCorte – the man who decided not to go with the reporting in 2016 – said that he would not allow Democrats to pry their congressional fingers into his editorial control.
“Falzone’s lawyer announced that she would comply with the committee. I won’t,” he wrote in an op-ed for Mediaite. “If House Oversight can launch an investigation based on the ridiculous notion that publishing, or even more bizarrely not publishing, a story can be construed as an in-kind campaign contribution, then no journalist in America is safe from government intimidation. It’s a vast overreach of power, and I won’t have any part of it.”
Cummings’ demands undeniably blur the line between appropriate fact-finding and an unconstitutional war on the First Amendment. If the network was any other than Fox News, Democrats would be just as outraged. But they’ve been wanting to get their grubby hands inside conservative media for a long time, and Cummings is using this as an excuse to do so.