UPDATE: Mediaite reported in an article following the publication of this post that Fox says Chao is no longer a Fox News contributor. Mediaite wrote: "We reached out to Fox and they replied that Chao is, in fact, not a Fox News contributor." Fox identified Chao as a Fox News contributor as recently as September 6 during an appearance on Fox Business.
If it's hard to differentiate Fox News contributors from members of the Romney campaign, it might be because they're sometimes one in the same.
Four Fox News contributors are serving as surrogates or advisers for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. In many instances, Fox News has failed to disclose its employees' ties to the Romney campaign while hosting them.
Another contributor, Karl Rove, is a co-founder and adviser for the super PAC American Crossroads, which is spending millions to defeat President Obama. Jay Sekulow frequently appears on Fox News to discuss legal issues and attack the Obama administration without being identified as a Romney legal adviser.
The following are the Fox News contributors who are also members of the Romney campaign.
Fox News has repeatedly hosted advisers to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney without disclosing that they are helping his campaign. Media Matters examined recent appearances by advisers John Bolton, Jay Sekulow, and Walid Phares, who have all appeared on Fox News and criticized the Obama administration.
Bolton and Phares are Fox News contributors, while Sekulow is a frequent Fox News guest.
Bolton, a Romney foreign policy adviser, said on Fox News that Obama's foreign policy is "confused and incoherent and incompetent" and defended Romney's foreign policy experience. Sekulow, a Romney legal adviser, has repeatedly appeared on Fox to attack the Obama administration on a variety of legal issues. And Phares, a member of Romney's foreign policy and national security advisory team, has criticized the Obama administration's handling of Syria and Afghanistan on Fox.
Fox News routinely violates journalistic ethics. Last week, Media Matters noted that Fox News has aggressively promoted Karl Rove's Super PAC American Crossroads, often without disclosing Rove's connection to either American Crossroads or Fox News.
From the February 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Fox News covered less than four minutes of a 26-minute press conference held by White House homeland security adviser John Brennan and press secretary Robert Gibbs to discuss the recent interception of explosives in cargo from Yemen. The press conference lasted more than 26 minutes, and CNN and MSNBC covered almost the entire press conference.
At one point while the press conference was occurring, Fox News host Neil Cavuto showed live footage of the press conference without audio and said: "I just want to bring people up to date here of Robert Gibbs, the White House press spokesman, is addressing reporters now along with the president's top security adviser. We are monitoring that, but I want to go back to" guest Walid Phares.
Phares went on to rehash an old attack against the government for not using the word "jihadist" -- an attack that we debunked when he previously made it on Fox & Friends:
While the press conference was occurring, Cavuto also had time to talk with Mike Huckabee, a Fox News contributor and the former Republican governor of Arkansas, and Bob Livingston, a former Republican congressman from Louisiana.
Fox & Friends criticized the Obama administration's "new national security strategy" because it will "no longer make references to radical Islamic extremism or jihad." However, this policy is not new; indeed, Bush administration officials discouraged the use of such terms, which they said "unintentionally legitimize" violent extremists.