Fox News fundraising

Another conflict of interest raises serious questions about Fox’s mission and integrity

Last Thursday, Sean Hannity had the taping of his Fox News program canceled by Fox executives. It was scheduled to take place at a Cincinnati Tea Party event that charged twenty dollars for âÄúpremium reserved seating by the Hannity show” âÄî that was fifteen dollars more than the general admission price, and all proceeds from the ticket sales would have gone directly to the Cincinnati Tea Party. It is one thing for hosts on FoxâÄôs opinion shows to donate privately to Republican candidates, and another thing for them to openly favor a certain political party âÄî a recent analysis by Media Matters for America found over 300 instances of âÄúFox News hosts and contributors endorsing, raising money, and campaigning for Republican candidates or causesâÄù âÄî but it is entirely inappropriate for Fox News staff to use their official affiliation to funnel money to political causes. HannityâÄôs taping was canceled in time to avoid the appearance of an egregious conflict of interest, and those who bought tickets to see Hannity can ask for reimbursements. But some of the money from people paying to see Hannity will still go to the Cincinnati Tea Party. This is another example in the long line of financial conflicts of interest at Fox News. Mike Huckabee had to be told to stop on-air promoting of a website that immediately redirected to his political action committee. Dick Morris repeatedly promoted a political action committee on air that had paid $24,000 a company with financial ties to him. As the Media Matters report shows, fundraisers attended by Fox hosts frequently tout their affiliation with Fox News. It is frightening enough that a news organization blatantly favors certain political causes on air. But when its members begin overtly raising funds for those causes âÄî is it really a news channel anymore?