Not to be outdone by its competitors, the Fox News Network is doing its bit to cash in on impeachment mania. Fox posted the following sub-headline on its web page this morning:

"NatSec military man expected to deliver damaging Trump testimony in Dem's closed-door inquiry."

Whoa! To read that one might think this dude is about to drop a nuke on Trump by revealing some new information that is going to rock this impeachment thing into high gear and threaten the very presidency of Donald J. Trump!

Yeah, not so quick.

Read the story. Too many folks just read the headlines and think they are good to go. That's what the fake news media wants you to do.

In case you were in a rush and didn't read the story I read it for you. Here is what you missed: NOTHING!

What this fluffernutter actually says is that "Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a director of national security affairs at the National Security Council, is expected to testify Tuesday that he listened to the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Situation Room, and reported his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel."

In a written statement Fox claims to have obtained, Vindman wrote: “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

So where's the beef, Lt. Colonel?

First off, more than a dozen people monitored that phone call, not just Lt. Col. Vindman, and it appears to have passed the smell test with all of them. Secondly, the transcript of that phone call has been public record for weeks now and nowhere in that transcript can one find a "demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen." It just ain't there. 

The national media assumes we are all fools and treats us as such. This is why it is so important not to take what is reported at face value. Headlines are designed to help you to form an opinion. Since most people don't bother to read the story, their impression has been formed by the headline.

Once you read the piece and discover that the headline doesn't fit with the content of the story, you realize that you have been played. The headline serves as the hook. Would you have clicked if the headline read "Lt. Col. expected to offer nothing new to assist with impeachment process?" Not likely.

Don't be a victim of the fake news media. Read the article and weigh the information against what you already know to be true. In this case, just read the transcript of the phone call.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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