Scully, the C-SPAN host who was selected to moderate the now-canceled town hall event, went viral on Thursday night after a tweet sent from his account indicated he had reached out to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, something he later alleged was the result of being hacked.
Despite the controversy driving social media over the previous 24 hours, none of the major news networks covered the alleged hacking scandal. CNN and MSNBC didn’t touch the subject, nor did any of the three broadcast networks on their morning and evening newscasts.
The New York Times buried the Scully Saga in its “2020 Election Live Updates” report and insisting it was simply “some supporters of Mr. Trump” who “seized” on Scully’s tweet.
The Washington Post’s only acknowledgment was a regurgitation of a report from The Associated Press. ABC News did the same on its website.
According to a statement from C-SPAN, Scully “did not originate the tweet” in question. The statement added that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was investigating the incident “with the help of authorities.”
CPD later stated that “it had reported the apparent hack to the FBI and Twitter” as part of its investigation.
A spokesperson for Twitter told Fox News “We’ve no comment” when asked to confirm whether or not Scully’s account was hacked.
Scully, who has not yet publicly addressed the controversy himself and could not be reached for comment, has a history of blaming “hackers” for posts made on his Twitter account, dating back to 2012 and 2013.
The CPD had selected Scully to moderate the second presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden scheduled for Oct. 15. That debate was canceled Friday night after Trump pulled out following the CPD’s announcement that the event would be virtual. Biden subsequently withdrew from the debate and has since scheduled an ABC News town hall for the night that the debate was supposed to take place.
Frank Fahrenkopf, a co-chairman of the commission, first made the hacking claim to Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” Friday morning.
“Steve is a man of great integrity, okay?” Fahrenkopf said. “I don’t know this question about whether he tweeted something out or not, I do know, and you’ll probably pick up on it in a minute, that he was hacked … Apparently, there’s something now that’s been on television and the radio saying that he talked to Scaramucci … He was hacked. It didn’t happen.”
Scully’s initial tweet caused confusion and fury among critics, with many concluding the moderator meant to send his message to Scaramucci privately.
Scaramucci responded by telling Scully: “Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
Scaramucci told Kilmeade on Friday that he thought Scully’s tweet was real, prompting his own response Thursday night. He also tweeted later Friday that he has taken Scully’s hacking claim “at his word,” adding, “Let’s not cancel anymore [sic] people from our culture for absolutely something like this. It’s insignificant. He is an objective journalist.”
Scully’s credibility as an unbiased debate moderator was initially questioned after it became known that he previously worked as an intern for then-Sen. Biden and served as a staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.
During the 2016 campaign, Scully shared a New York Times op-ed headlined, “No, Not Trump, Not Ever.”