On Fox's Special Report tonight, anchor Bret Baier explained Fox News' relationship with frequent "terrorism expert" Wayne Simmons - who was arrested today for falsely presenting himself as a former CIA officer. But Baier left out some key information.
As I posted earlier, Simmons is a torture-loving liar who pretended to have worked for the CIA for 27 years and got hired under that pretense as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel overseas. He also appeared for years as an expert on Fox News. He was such a regular that Fox's own Brian Kilmeade mistakenly thought Simmons was a paid contributor.
On Special Report tonight, Baier clarified:
BAIER: Government contractor and occasional Fox News guest Wayne Simmons has been charged with lying about his supposed career with the C.I.A. Prosecutors say Simmons broke the law by lying about his credentials on applications for consulting work. Simmons made appearances on Fox as a national security and terrorism expert. However, he was never employed by the channel and was never paid by Fox.
But here's what Baier didn't explain: how did Fox get rooked by this guy and why did they find him credible? Simmons appeared on Fox dozens of times since 2004 as an expert. Besides his phony credentials, Simmons was obviously challenged by reality. In addition to endorsing torture (a plus for Fox News), Simmons wanted "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh executed by firing squad even after the Bush administration dropped terrorism charges against him, claimed there are "at least 19 paramlitary Muslim training facilities in the US... using paramilitary exercises to plan and execute" Charlie Hebdo-type attacks all over the country, and claimed, in 2005, "if the Democrats come into power ...we'll have 911s unabated."
The answer is clear to me: Fox liked what Simmons was saying and thus never cared to look too hard at his credentials or credibility.Maybe Fox has a better explanation but I doubt it.
(Cross-posted at Newshounds.us)