UPDATED: Fox News Promotes RNC's "Rising Stars"September 17, 2013 12:34 PM EDT ››› ELLIE SANDMEYER
Fox News echoed a Republican plan to promote "rising stars" in the party, debuting a week-long Fox & Friends segment that shares a name with a Republican National Committee initiative to highlight new Republican voices.
On August 15, the RNC announced its new "Rising Stars" program, which would "regularly spotlight and actively promote Republican individuals who are new voices in the party." Fox's Sean Hannity was quick to highlight the RNC initiative, echoing RNC chairman Reince Priebus to note that it was "an effort to attract a wider range of voters by promoting new Republican individuals and talent within the party" and welcoming two of the RNC's new stars, T.W. Shannon and Karin Agness, onto the August 15 edition of his show.
A month later, Fox followed up on the RNC's initiative with its own week-long "Rising Stars" series. On September 16, Fox host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced on Fox & Friends that "[t]his week, we are meeting some rising political stars on track to reshaping our nation's future." She then welcomed Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon -- who was listed as one of the RNC's "Rising Stars" -- as Fox's first featured guest. During the segment, on-air text promoted Shannon as a "new face of the GOP."
The second installment of Fox's "Rising Stars" series featured Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican whom Fox had promoted during her 2010 campaign, and who had touted her close relationship with Fox News hosts to voters. Ignoring the recent controversy -- and Bondi's later apology -- over her decision to have an execution rescheduled because it conflicted with one of her political fundraisers, Fox hyped her as a "superhero" who "burst on the national scene" with her attacks on the Affordable Care Act. At the end of the segment, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck mentioned Bondi's upcoming reelection campaign and wished her luck.
Though Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed on September 16 that Fox's "Rising Stars" series would include "rising political stars from both sides of the aisle," Fox's preview of its September 18 segment featured yet another Republican:
UPDATE: On September 19, Fox & Friends hosted a Democrat, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, for its "Rising Stars" segment. Co-host Brian Kilmeade announced the show's next guest for this series would be Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, another Democrat.