FOX NEWS FIRST: The lessons learned in rush to judgment in BuzzFeed, Covington controversies

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Developing now, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

RUSH TO JUDGMENT - AND ITS LESSONS: The much-discredited BuzzFeed story alleging that President Trump urged former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the viral video of the encounter between Covington High School students and Native American protestors in Washington, D.C. last weekend have two things in common and one very important lesson... Both were examples of the media's rush to judgment before the facts surfaced. And both illustrate the media's hatred of Trump and shows how that anti-Trump bias infects the way they cover the news.

BuzzFeed still stands by its report, even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said it was "not accurate." But as "Media Buzz" host Howard Kurtz points out, the damage had already been done, with several media outlets repeating the erroneous report, drumming the impeachment alarm, seemingly on loop, with the somewhat flimsy caveat "if true." Pundits and Democratic lawmakers followed in tow, on the airwaves and on social media.

Coverage of the encounter between the Covington students and Native American group - specifically student Nick Sandmann and activist Nathan Phillips -  was arguably much worse. Initial coverage, fed by an abbreviated video of the encounter and a rabid social media mob, portrayed Sandmann, a junior, and his classmates as young "MAGA" hat wearing, Trump-supporting racists who were taunting Native Americans and people of color. And people on both the left and the right jumped to condemn the students before a longer video told a different, more nuanced story.

Kneejerk pundits rushed to delete their kneejerk tweets. Some journalists, pundits and celebrities, like actress Jamie Lee Curtis, owned up to their own mistakes in rushing to judgment. But not everyone did. The lesson learned here, as Kurtz writes, is this: "There's no harm in waiting for more details before denouncing people based on fragmentary information, even if you have to restrain yourself from joining the hot-take crowd."


EXCLUSIVE: DONALD JR. ACCUSES TOP DEM OF LEAKING: Donald Trump Jr., in an exclusive interview Monday night with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, blasted the media for fueling BuzzFeed's discredited report on his father and accused House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff of orchestrating a series of inaccurate leaks aiming to damage the White House ... "They need it to be true, Laura," Trump Jr. said Monday on "The Ingraham Angle." "They've been pushing this nonsense for two years. They've found nothing. ... If you're not sure it's true, don't push it for 14 hours straight."

"This isn't the first time that happened," he continued. "You saw it right after I did my testimony, and they said, 'Oh, Donald Trump Jr. had the WikiLeaks information,' because presumably, Adam Schiff leaked it right after my testimony to them, and conveniently took out the one before the four, turning the 14th into the 4th, meaning I had it six days before the world saw it, as opposed to four days after the entire world saw it."

In late 2017, CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that Trump Jr. had received early, private access to WikiLeaks documents -- a story that turned out to be entirely false.

BILL TO END THE SHUTDOWN DESTINED TO BE SHUT DOWN: Amid the headlines about BuzzFeed and the Covington students-Native Americans encounter, there is still a partial government shutdown going on, one month and counting ... The Senate Appropriations Committee late Monday unveiled legislation that would provide $5.7 billion for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and fully fund the federal government through Sept. 30. The 1,301-page bill is the latest bid for a breakthrough that would end the partial government shutdown that has dragged on for about a month. However, it is doubtful the legislation will reach the usual 60-vote threshold needed for bills to advance in the Senate.

Both houses of Congress are scheduled to be back in session Tuesday, but senators — who will be given 24 hours notice ahead of any vote — have yet to be recalled to Washington. House Democrats, for their part, plan to push ahead with votes on their own legislation to re-open the government and add $1 billion for border security — including 75 more immigration judges and infrastructure improvements — but no funding for the wall.

KAMALA HARRIS 2020 UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: When Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. officially announced Monday that she is running for president, she joined the ever-growing field of potential Democratic challengers to President Trump in 2020 and arguably became an immediate frontrunner ... But her record as prosecutor and state attorney general are attracting new scrutiny. The perception that Harris, 54, acted as a “progressive prosecutor” during her tenure as the district attorney of San Francisco and then California’s attorney general contradict her actions, a University of San Francisco associate law professor argues in a recent op-ed piece.

DAVOS 2019 BEGINS: It’s that time of year again, when the who’s who of the international business world descend upon the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain hamlet of Davos to discuss pressing global issues ... This year's summit at Davos may be noted for the world leaders who are absent as President Trump chose to stay in Washington to deal with the partial government shutdown, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces uncertainty with Brexit talks and French President Emmanuel Macron is responding to yellow-vest protests. Still, more than 60 heads of state or government will gather at this week's annual meeting, starting Tuesday.


UNFAIR AND UNBALANCED - "You would have the government reopened right now if we had a fair media in this country." – Jesse Watters, on "The Five", arguing that the press has been too focused on President Trump's stance on the wall and have not pressed Democrats on their views on border security. WATCH

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On Fox Nation:

No Interruption with Tomi Lahren, Thursday, Jan. 24: "Military Wives" - After honorably serving their country, two American heroes now face war crime charges. Tomi sits down with their families to discuss the nightmare they are currently living, lack of evidence, and questionable motivations behind these allegations.

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On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, talks about the border wall funding; Andrew Roberts, a historian, talks about his upcoming book, “Churchill: Walking With Destiny”; Steve Leser, a Democratic strategist, joins the panel to discuss Trump’s presidency; Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ senior judicial analyst; Kelsey Harkness, a senior news producer at the Daily Signal, talks about media bias in the Covington High School students and BuzzFeed controversies; Ramiro Pena, a Texas pastor who is one of Trump’s most prominent Hispanic Evangelical supporters; Jill Hamlin, chaperone mom who witnessed the Covington encounter; Stuart Varney, host of “Varney & Co.” talks about China’s economic growth; David Webb, host of “Reality Check with David Webb” on Fox Nation.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guests include: House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.; Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst; William McGurn, columnist at the Wall Street Journal; Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page; Mary O’Grady, editor of the Wall Street Journal; Juan Williams, a co-host of “The Five.”

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Tentative guests include: Tammy Bruce, Fox News contributor and president of Independent Women's Voice; Deroy Murdock, contributing editor with the National Review Online and Fox News contributor.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Mark Levin, host of "Life, Liberty & Levin"; Gregg Jarrett, Fox News legal analyst; Jesse Watters, co-host of "The Five"; Jessica Tarlov, Fox News contributor.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Maria Bartiromo will be live from Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, starting Tuesday! Special guests include: Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon Communications; David Abney, CEO of United Parcel Service; Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, 3 p.m. ET: Special guests include: Mohamed Aly El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: In a rare public statement, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a public statement on Friday disputing a BuzzFeed report that President Trump directed his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley weighs in. The 2020 presidential campaign is already bringing in a field of female candidates, with two already announcing runs for president and two forming exploratoty committees. Anna Palmer, senior Washington correspondent for Politico, discusses the Democratic candidates for 2020. Plus, commentary by Christian Whiton, senior fellow for strategy and public diplomacy at the Center for the National Interest and Fox News contributor.

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The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Neil Cavuto on the markets, China trade talks and the state of the U.S. economy; former U.S. Rep. Allen west on the latest news from Syria; Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst, on Kamala Harris joining the 2020 race and the shutdown latest; Charles Hurt, Washington Times opinion editor, on the shutdown standoff; and Steve Cannon, CEO of the Arthur M. Blank Group (AMB Group), on the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII.

The Todd Starnes Show, Noon ET: Todd Starnes will have the latest developments on what could happen to the Covington Catholic High School students.

Benson & Harf, 6 p.m. ET: Fox News' Chad Pergram with the latest on the shutdown and Howard Kurtz on the BuzzFeed backlash.

1973: The U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalizes abortions using a trimester approach.
1998: Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty in Sacramento, Calif., to being the "Unabomber" responsible for three deaths and 29 injuries in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole.
2018: President Trump signs a bill reopening the government after a 69-hour shutdown.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Wednesday morning.