Gibson aired Santorum ad attacking Casey and stated "it's safe to say that Casey hit Santorum just as hard" -- but didn't air Casey ad

››› ››› KURT DONALDSON

Discussing negative campaign ads on The Big Story, John Gibson aired a clip by Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign attacking his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., without including an ad or even a response from the Casey campaign.

On the September 28 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson aired a campaign advertisement by Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sen. Rick Santorum attacking his Democratic opponent, Robert Casey Jr., without airing an ad or a response from the Casey campaign. Instead, Gibson simply stated: "[I]t's safe to say that Casey hit Santorum just as hard."

Gibson broached the subject of campaign advertising by stating: "Negative campaign ads. It's pretty bad this year. Take a look at this one." Gibson then aired a Santorum campaign ad showing billboard workers changing a Casey campaign slogan from "Bobby Casey for Auditor General" to "Bobby Casey for Governor" to "Bobby Casey for State Treasurer," and finally, to "Bobby Casey for U.S. Senate," while an announcer stated:

ANNOUNCER: Bobby Casey loves running for office. Showing up to do the job -- that's a different story. As auditor general, Casey skipped so much work running for governor, he never completed over 800 audits and lost anyhow. So, he announced for treasurer where he has skipped work almost half the time campaigning for Senate. Bobby Casey -- before running for a new job, shouldn't he show up for the one we already pay him for?

When the ad ended, Gibson stated, "[I]t's safe to say that Casey hit Santorum just as hard," but did not present an ad or even a response from the Casey campaign. He did, however, ask Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers, "[S]hould we expect anything else?" Powers responded, "No, it's an election and this is what goes on," before changing the subject.

By contrast, in a September 12 report on National Public Radio's All Things Considered by NPR senior political correspondent Mara Liasson, audio clips from both Santorum and Casey campaign ads were aired for comparison:

LIASSON: That line of attack shows up in Santorum's television ad.

ANNOUNCER [audio clip]: Bobby Casey -- before running for a new job, shouldn't he show up for the one we already pay him for?

LIASSON: Those ads are effective, says political scientist Harry Madonna, who directs the Keystone poll in Pennsylvania.

MADONNA: The senator has scratched and literally clawed his way back into this race, not so much by improving his own standing with the voters of the state, but rather by sort of pulling Casey down to him.

[...]

LIASSON: With twice as much money as Casey, Santorum has been able to spend heavily on political advertising over the last few months, but now, Casey is beginning to attack Santorum on television, too.

ANNOUNCER [audio clip]: Rick Santorum's record: voted three times to give himself a pay raise, while voting 13 times against raising the minimum wage. And he votes 98 percent of the time with George Bush.

Gibson could have chosen from a number of Casey ads to counter the free advertising he provided the Santorum campaign. Other Casey ads Gibson might have aired can be viewed here, here, here, and here.

From the September 28 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: Negative campaign ads. It's pretty bad this year. Take a look at this one. It's a -- a Rick Santorum ad -- running against Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.

[begin video clip]

SANTORUM: I'm Rick Santorum and I approve this message.

ANNOUNCER: Bobby Casey loves running for office. Showing up to do the job -- that's a different story. As auditor general, Casey skipped so much work running for governor, he never completed over 800 audits and lost anyhow. So, he announced for treasurer where he has skipped work almost half the time campaigning for Senate. Bobby Casey -- before running for a new job, shouldn't he show up for the one we already pay him for?

[end video clip]

GIBSON: All right now, the -- I -- it's safe to say that Casey hit Santorum just as hard. Kirsten, should we expect anything else?

POWERS: No, it's an election and this is what goes on.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, NPR
Person
John Gibson
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson, All Things Considered
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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