For non-office holding Republicans with political interests, there may not be a better job than Fox News personality.
Mike Huckabee has used his gig to promote and fundraise for his leadership PAC. Dick Morris regularly uses his "political analyst" position to fundraise for groups with which he has financial ties. And former Republican congressman John Kasich kept in the public spotlight by hosting Fox News programs before running for Ohio governor (Huckabee is following a similar model for 2012).
Yesterday, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich began his so-called "Real Jobs Summit" as "the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine attempts to force its secular-socialist model on Americans in the form of job-killing health, energy, and big labor legislation."
Fox News responded by heavily promoting the summit with round-the-clock coverage. Between 9pm yesterday and 4pm today, Fox News devoted more than 17 minutes to Gingrich on five different programs.* In addition to interviewing Gingrich, Fox News dispatched correspondent Jonathan Serrie to cover Gingrich -- "considered by some political analysts to be a potential 2012 presidential candidate" -- in Jackson, Mississippi.
Why the jobs summit? As Think Progress' Matt Corley noted, Gingrich is recycling the same tax breaks for the rich ideas he always proposes. And in a statement on his website and on last night's Hannity, Gingrich claimed that the Obama administration can't be trusted because "only 8 percent of the senior [Obama] appointees have a private sector background." But as PolitiFact.com reported, the private sector stat is "false" and the author of the graph "acknowledged fault" in compiling some of the data.
That, of course, hasn't stopped Fox News from treating the "real jobs summit" by one of its own as a major event.
*Hannity (9-10pm ET): 8 minutes, 30 seconds; America's Newsroom (9-11a.m. ET): 2 minutes, 30 seconds; Happening Now (11-1pm): 2 minutes; Live Desk (1-3pm): 2 minutes, 15 seconds; Studio B (3-4pm): 1 minute, 50 seconds)