“Fox News…Republican fundraiser…Fox News…Republican fundraiser.” Oh, and “…no journalistic full disclosure” on any of this.
I understand the rule. I understand what it means to break it. I believe everyone should face the same treatment under that rule. I also personally believe that the point has been made and we should have Keith back hosting Countdown.
Here’s the larger point, though, that’s going mysteriously missing from the right-wing cackling and old media cluck-cluck-clucking: I know everyone likes to say, “Oh, cable news, it’s all the same. Fox and MSNBC — mirror images of each other. But if you look at the long history of Fox hosts not just giving money to candidates, but actively endorsing campaigns and raising millions of dollars for politicians and political parties — whether it’s Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee — and you’ll see that we can lay that old false equivalency to rest forever. There are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you’re looking at a significant portion of the entire Republican lineup of potential contenders for 2012.
They can do that because there’s no rule against that at Fox. Their network is run as a political operation. Ours isn’t. Yeah, Keith’s a liberal, and so am I. But we’re not a political operation — Fox is. We’re a news operation. The rules around here are part of how you know that.
In sum, Fox News is not a journalistic operation, is not ethical, is not “news.” It’s a Republican political operation, through and through, and should be treated as such by everyone – viewers, regulators, the rest of the media, the IRS, whoever. As for Rachel Maddow’s network, they certainly have their flaws (big time), but as Maddow points out, there’s absolutely not comparison to the breathtaking scale of Fox’s utter lack of journalistic integrity, including having its on-air employees interviewing people without disclosing the fact that, days or weeks earlier, they gave them large sums of cash. If that’s not unethical, I don’t know what is.