A research unit at the Fox News Channel warned its journalists against using some claims made by the network’s own commentators regarding political events between the Trump administration and officials within the Ukrainian government, according to a document obtained by The Desk on Thursday.
The internal report compiled by an executive for the channel’s “Brain Room” said occasional Fox News contributor John Solomon played “an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.”
An excerpt of the document was first published earlier in the week by former Fox News producer Marcus DiPaola, who said he went to federal law enforcement officials with concerns unrelated to the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump.
DiPaola said he cooperated with federal investigators as a confidential informant from 2016 to 2019 until he revealed his status to the Fox News Channel, doing so only after learning the network had produced the Brain Room report. He provided a copy of the report to the Daily Beast, which published a story based on it late Thursday afternoon.
The full copy of the Brain Room report is being published for the first time by The Desk and is available to view by clicking or tapping here.
The document was produced by Bryan S. Murphy, a Fox News senior political affairs specialist. The version provided by DiPaola was last updated in December 2019; it is unclear if a newer version exists.
A spokesperson for the news network told Talking Points Memo that researchers within the Brain Room regularly produce briefing books for major stories, “which serves as a standing collection of extensive data on major topics for internal use by all those in editorial functions.”
“The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on Fox News and in many other outlets,” Mitchell Kweit, a senior executive with the news channel, told TPM. “The 200 page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to Fox News — instead it’s now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”
Those data points were collated into a 32-page list of sources that revealed little of the information contained in the timeline was gathered from Fox’s own reporting. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC News and the Washington Post were among the most-listed sources used for the Ukraine brief book