This morning, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson and guests Stuart Varney and Noelle Nikpour went right to work planting a seed in viewers' minds: Is President Obama's appointment of General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt as head of a new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness a "payback" or "pay off?"
Here's Varney kicking off the baseless accusations that Obama "paid off" Immelt for what Varney claimed was Immelt's "dutiful services running NBC for the Democrats":
VARNEY: You could also say this is a payoff. This is Mr. Immelt of GE, which owned, formerly, NBC, which was turned into an arm of the Democratic Party in the run-up to the elections of 2008 and for the next two years after that. Maybe he's being paid off for his dutiful services running NBC for the Democrats.
Later on Fox & Friends, Carlson adopted Varney's claim and used it to invite Nikpour, a Fox News contributor, to attack Obama. Echoing Varney, Carlson asked, "Is putting Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, payback -- because GE used to control NBC and NBC rooted very loudly for President Obama when he was campaigning. Is it payback?" Nikpour responded by saying, in part: "It's all about paying back someone who's helped you along the campaign. I mean, he's shown this with the unions and for everything else. It's payback. It's pay-to-play system; it's a Chicago-style of politics."
So, in Fox & Friends' world, it's not at all possible that Obama's selection of Immelt, as The Associated Press reported, "underscor[es] the administration's efforts to build stronger ties to the business community."
Nope. It's a "payoff" that's indicative of the administration's "Chicago-style of politics."