Elections

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  • Fox answers my question about their coverage of Rove's GOP slush fund

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    On Tuesday, I noted that two nonpartisan campaign finance watchdogs had asked the IRS to investigate whether Crossroads GPS -- a GOP slush fund promoted by Karl Rove -- had violated its tax status through excessive electioneering. I concluded the post by saying, "It will be interesting to see if Fox chooses to ignore this story altogether, or bring Rove on to spin for his group."

    Well, Fox fooled me; they did neither. Instead, the network's Megyn Kelly hosted Dana Perino -- not only Rove's current colleague at Fox News, but also his former colleague at the Bush White House -- to discuss the allegations. Rove has reportedly praised Perino as "one of the most talented professionals I've seen."

    Oh, and of course, neither Kelly nor Perino mentioned the allegations by the campaign finance groups, who issued similar calls for action after the 2004 election against Democratic-linked groups, resulting in more than $1 million in fines.

    Instead, they focused on identical allegations by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. That way, you see, they could call it a politically-motivated smear tactic.

    Seems like a tactic straight from the Rove playbook.

  • Damage control: Fox defends Rove's GOP slush fund from potential IRS audit

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Fox's Megyn Kelly hosted Dana Perino to portray calls for an IRS audit of a Republican slush fund promoted by Karl Rove as a politically motivated "conspiracy," ignoring that such calls have been issued by non-partisan organizations that called for similar audits of Democratic-leaning groups in 2004. They also furthered the bogus claim that the White House illegally accessed the tax information of Koch Industries.

  • Fox News "Democrat" Schoen to do fundraiser ... for a Republican

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    On Fox News, where hosts and "political analysts" openly endorse and raise money for Republicans, even the "Democratic" side is raising money for the GOP.

    Today, the congressional campaign of John Gomez (R-NY) announced that it will hold a fundraiser this weekend featuring "top political strategist Doug Schoen." Schoen is a Fox News contributor who is usually identified as a "Democratic pollster" or "Democratic consultant." A brief look:

    During this election cycle, Schoen has been on television and in the opinion pages purporting to give Democrats advice on how they can help their election chances. For instance, his most recent op-ed on FoxNews.com is titled, "What Dems Must Do If They Want to Hold the Senate." In April, "Democratic pollsters" Schoen and Pat Caddell - himself a Fox News "Democrat" -- took to the Washington Post to urge Democrats to "start embracing an agenda that speaks to the broad concerns of the American electorate ... the agenda that is driving the Tea Party movement and one that has the capacity to motivate a broadly based segment of the electorate."

    Schoen's Gomez event appears to be yet another appearance linked to Fox News host Sean Hannity. As Media Matters previously documented, Hannity reportedly promised New York Republican and Conservative Party leaders he would "do all he could" to promote Gomez, help him fundraise and bring in headliners for events if they gave Gomez their party nods. In September, Newsday reported that "Gomez arranged [Fox News contributor Newt] Gingrich's [fundraising] visit through childhood friend and TV host Sean Hannity." Gomez has also drawn support from Hannity pals Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sarah Palin, and Mark Levin.

    Schoen is a frequent guest on Hannity's Fox News program. According to a search of Nexis, Schoen has appeared on Hannity's Fox News program 27 times in the past year.

    So now that Schoen is fundraising for the GOP, will Fox News still identify him as a "Democratic pollster"?

  • FoxPAC: Santorum forms Iowa PAC

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Another Fox News employee who apparently has their eye on the 2012 GOP presidential nomination is reportedly taking a hand in Iowa politics. According to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, Fox News contributor Rick Santorum is forming a political action committee in Iowa to boost Republican candidates there.

    Maybe Santorum -- and fellow Fox employees Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich, all of whom have spent time there in recent months -- just really, really likes the state of Iowa and thinks the state's GOP deserves special attention.

    But it seems far more likely that Santorum -- as well as Palin, Huckabee, and Gingrich - is trying to improve his position for a 2012 presidential run, and thus is raising his profile for Iowa's first-in-the-nation primary.

    Together with John Bolton, Fox has five potential GOP presidential candidates on the payroll, "speak[ing] through" the network and raising money for Republican candidates. And yesterday, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch explained that his company gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association because of his "friendship with John Kasich" - the former Fox host currently running for governor of Ohio.

    FoxPAC just keeps rolling along.

  • Like clockwork: Conservatives return to baseless voter fraud allegations

    ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    Continuing a pattern in which media conservatives stoke fears about election fraud by Democrats, Bill O'Reilly baselessly raised the specter of voter fraud in Washington state and Illinois in the midterm elections. In fact, voter fraud occurs infrequently, and many of the past claims by the conservative media that election fraud took place have been false.

  • Gasparino becomes third Fox Business personality to debut a 2010 election platform

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Appearing on Fox News' Happening Now, Fox Business' Charles Gasparino explained what he felt should be the criteria for voters to make their electoral choices this November:

    Gasparino says that while he doesn't "endorse parties," voters should support candidates who voted "against the bank bailouts" and "believe we should have lower taxes," and let markets run the show, not government run the show." This makes Gasparino the third Fox Business hostto lay out a platform that details how he feels voters should make their decisions this fall.

    A few days ago Fox Senior VP for Business News Neil Cavuto debuted his "2010 Platform," while Fox Business anchor David Asman has been asking guests to sign on to the "Scoreboard Pledge." All three platforms are of a conservative nature, asking for such initiatives as "no new taxes" (Asman), "lower taxes" (Gasparino), and "raising retirement age for Social Security" (Cavuto).

  • UPDATED: Fox News ethics watch: Does Palin have a presidential endorsement quid pro quo in place?

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    On August 20, Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller in the Alaskan Republican senatorial primary, which Miller went on to win.

    Yesterday, Alaska-based progressive blogger Jeanne Devon released what she said was a leaked e-mail from Sarah Palin's husband Todd to Miller and Sarah Palin PAC treasurer Tim Crawford. In the e-mail Palin appears to respond negatively to Miller's non-answer after Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked him during a September 19 interview, "Do you think that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and would you like to see her run?"

    In the e-mail, Palin says:

    Hold off on any letter for Joe. Sarah put her ass on the line for Joe and yet he can't answer a simple question "is Sarah Palin Qualified to be President". I DON'T KNOW IF SHE IS.

    Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided.

    This raises a few questions and concerns about Sarah Palin and her role at Fox News. For instance, here is Palin touting Joe Miller during an August 30 appearance on Fox News' Hannity:

    The e-mail from Todd Palin, if authentic, seems to confirm that Sarah Palin is at least doing some early work towards running for president in 2012, while being employed by and regularly appearing on Fox News as a political analyst. At the same time, Palin is promoting candidates like Miller on-air at Fox, and according to the email, her husband at least seems to expect that when asked (by a Fox anchor) if Palin is qualified to be president, they should be answering in the affirmative.

    If that's the case, it would mean Fox News is employing and promoting a presidential candidate while also providing a forum for endorsements of Palin by candidates she promotes on Fox News. There isn't any way such an arrangement could remotely be considered ethical.

    And it gets even worse. According to conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, a source "close to Palin" suggests that the e-mail was leaked from within the Miller campaign by what McCain calls "Huckabee loyalists" in order to discredit Palin. That would be Mike Huckabee, possible 2012 presidential candidate... and Fox News analyst/host.

    Combined with Fox parent News Corp.'s donations to the Republican Governors Association and the Republican-leaning Chamber of Commerce, this is ethics quicksand.

    UPDATE: In a release to The Weekly Standard, Todd Palin confirms the authenticity of the e-mail.