help me hold fox news accountable for its lies
Last week I launched a crowdfunding campaign to fight Fox News and hold them accountable for their malicious, reckless lies about me. You can view the crowdfunding page here.
It took me a while to come to this decision. I spoke to a lot of lawyers and spent many hours with a team that painstakingly documented the lies Fox told about me to tens of millions of their viewers.
What you see in the video I’ve embedded above is a small fraction of Fox’s statements. They’ve lied about me over 400 times. They weren’t simply cherry-picking statements of mine out of context or insulting me, though they did plenty of both. The majority of the time they showed or referenced my statements—usually tweets from long before I was a government official, and in many cases long before I had any sort of platform—they openly lied about them. The biggest cable news network in the world ought to have good enough reading comprehension to get through 280 characters and accurately summarize them, but it seems they do not.
Fox News also wasn't merely covering the lies that politicians were telling about me out of newsworthiness; the vast majority of their false statements of fact about me were made by Fox personalities themselves. And their campaign against me has continued for over ten months. I was in government for ten weeks. This is disproportionate. Malicious. Reckless.
But what really shifted the needle for me in pursuing this legal action was recognizing, in stark relief, how my life has been irrevocably changed because of Fox’s coverage.
On Monday, March 6, Representative Jim Jordan subpoenaed me before his new Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Federal Government. (Unlike Jim Jordan, I respect the institution of Congress, so I will be complying with the subpoena.) Jordan has lied about me, my body of work, the Disinformation Governance Board, and the job I was hired to do at DHS. I have had to retain a lawyer who specializes in Congressional investigations to help me navigate this situation.
In the past few weeks, I obtained a protective order against one of my more persistent individual harassers; I needed an attorney to help with that proceeding. I have also had to hire a firm to represent me in a frivolous lawsuit in which I have been named as a result of the lies about me. That has already resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
My daily life and safety have been affected, too. Recently, I was having coffee with a colleague at a local cafe. After our meeting ended, a man came up and introduced himself as a “fan.” Later, I found this “fan” had posted two pictures of my meeting—including my location and my name—on Twitter to his tens of thousands of followers in real time. He had previously posted harassing messages about me and regularly shares information from Fox News. Later, another man posted on Twitter that he saw me walking on Capitol Hill and—I’m paraphrasing because I don’t want to amplify him—wrote that it was difficult for him not to assault me. I’m grateful my infant son was elsewhere during both of these encounters.
You can read more about the past year of my life in this POLITICO article by Heidi Przybyla.
I now recognize that my life will never be the same, and I am committed to pursuing justice against those who have engendered this wave of hatred, not only for me, but for all those who come after me. All of the challenges I outlined above—the Congressional investigation, the cyber harasser, the real-life privacy invasions—are due to Fox’s coverage. This behavior is unacceptable, it is ugly, and it is anti-democratic.
After just over a week, the campaign has already raised over $35,000, and the average donation is just $59. This show of support has been so very heartwarming after a year in which I often felt alone. I hope you’ll join me and hold Fox accountable either by donating to the campaign or sharing the page with your network. Thank you.