In case you needed evidence that Fox News employs “experts” of dubious qualifications, here you go.
CNN is reporting that Wayne Simmons, who is a semi-regular guest on the
fair and balanced fairly unbalanced network as a “terrorism expert,” was arrested and charged with lying about his CIA service. Simmons has been identified on his Fox appearances as a “former CIA operative.” He claimed that he worked for the CIA from 1973 to 2000.
But a grand jury determined that Simmons had lied about his connections to the CIA. He was also indicted for using his claim to gain a security clearance and obtain a job as a defense contractor.
Federal prosecutors allege that the 62-year old Simmons has a significant criminal history, including convictions for a crime of violence and firearms offenses, and is believed to have had an ongoing association with firearms notwithstanding those felony convictions.
The indictment was kept sealed until Simmons was arrested. Prosecutors argued in front of a federal judge that Simmons “has a history of acting in an aggressive manner, and is likely aware of the imminent nature of the charges in this case.”
Simmons’ website claims that while in the navy he was recruited to work with the CIA “to became part of an Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Group.” According to CNN, the Fox News website lists a number of appearances on various Fox shows, including those of Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto. Simmons has a history of making questionable claims on Fox, such as a January statement that there were “at least 19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States.”
Simmons was arrested on charges of major fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government. Now Fox is engaged in furious ass covering.
In April, Simmons spoke with Brian Kilmeade on his Fox News radio show, Kilmeade and Friends, where Simmons said that the Obama administration is the “worst the country will have ever known.” At that time, Kilmeade identified Simmons as a “Fox News contributor.” But The Huffington Post reports that a Fox News spokesperson told them, “Kilmeade falsely identified Simmons as a contributor in April.” Adding that Simmons “was a guest only and is not a paid commentator for the network, nor has he ever been.”
At this point, links to Simmons’ appearances on various Fox programs are still available on the Fox News website. But will the network come out and admit that they had been presenting to viewers a man who was supposedly an expert on terrorism, but who was apparently nothing more than another right-wing blowhard.
Featured image via Fox News/CNN