The reconstituted version of Reliable Sources from Darcy just shows it continues to defy its name.
With the departure of Brian Stelter one month ago, a lingering question has been what would become of his ward, Oliver Darcy? After all, the two were directly connected, with Ollie appearing frequently on his show as well as sharing duties on the Reliable Sources newsletter. But it was said at the time Darcy would be retained and then came word he was going to be producing a reconstituted version of that emailer.
Well, the re-debut has just taken place, and it was basically what we expected. This new RS version is a bit more streamlined from Brian’s more comprehensive offering, where Stelter covered a wide array of media. Oliver’s iteration seems to focus on a few primary stories, then filled with briefs on other happenings and filled in with bullet-point notices and links. It is breezier, but is it impactful?
The lead entry focuses on a new book release from former GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman, with supposedly explosive revelations from January 6. Riggleman was an advisor to the January 6 committee and had access to the investigation for a number of months. The big “reveal” here is that he says Sean Hannity’s producer contacted the White House over having intel regarding the 2020 election.
In early January 2021…the executive producer of Sean Hannity’s radio show sought to meet directly with then-President Donald Trump. The texts, which have not been previously reported, were published in “The Breach,” the new book out Tuesday from former Rep. Denver Riggleman, who served as a previous adviser to the January 6 committee.
It does not take long to see this revelation is less than incendiary. The producer, Lynda McLaughlin, contacted Mark Meadows asking to meet directly with Trump about some irrefutable proof she claimed to have shown the election was somehow compromised. But, like so many of the other alleged “bombshells” to derive from the J6 committee, this one does not detonate.
First, like so many of the past revelations we have been served by post-Trump books, the question has to be asked, why there was a delay in getting these details out to the public? If the new information is so truly explosive but was not previously reported – saved in reserve to be a book exclusive – it comes off as mere hype. Like Bob Woodward’s Covid quotes from Trump in “Peril” or Maggie Haberman’s nuggets in her brand new release, sitting on these details saps them of import.
This book release itself holds little in the way of drama. There had been little advance word and it was basically announced this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s release. But further draining impactfulness is that the committee is not endorsing the book. Part of this is due to the feeling that it is distracting away from the now-delayed return to primetime hearings, but there is no cooperation or even support from the committee. Most of the comments heard by members downplay Riggleman’s involvement or dismiss his revelations outright.
Even the reported story fails to gain traction. This McLaughlin-Hannity revelation has not been a headline generator. We even see the item itself wither with its own details. While it might be seen as gripping that a Hannity producer calls the White House with election data, it went nowhere. Meadows told McLaughlin to speak to Jim Jordan on the matter, then after she insisted on speaking directly to Trump it appears Meadows simply dropped the matter; “Meadows seemed to stop responding to McLaughlin later in the conversation.”
This, of course, did not dissuade Oliver Darcy from injecting his trademark condemnation of conservative media. This lone example of a single show producer contacting Mark Meadows gets extrapolated by Darcy as proof that all conservative media was behaving this way.
“The messages underscore the intimate relationship that Hannity, his team, and the right-wing media writ large shared with the Trump White House. The cozy relationship exposed in the messages lays bare that in many cases, right-wing media outlets and personalities not only positively covered the Trump White House, but actively worked arm-in-arm with it.”
There we see that this new Reliable Sources may have a new design and a new intended direction, but we are served up the same old partisan bickering and Fox obsession that Stelter was known for before his dismissal. At this time when CNN is altering its framework, Oliver Darcy shows an inability to change his tactics.