Fox News' political analyst "secretly plot[ting] vast network to reclaim power" for GOP

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

This morning, Politico's Mike Allen and Ken Vogel provide more detail on what should be considered an ethical crisis for Fox News:

The Republican Party's best-connected political operatives have quietly built a massive fundraising, organizing and advertising machine based on the model assembled by Democrats early in the decade, and with the same ambitious goal - to recapture Congress and the White House.

The new groups could give Republicans and their allies a powerful campaign apparatus separate from the Republican National Committee. Karl Rove, political architect of the Bush presidency, and Ed Gillespie, former Republican Party chairman, are the most prominent forces behind what is, in effect, a network of five overlapping groups, three of which were started in the past few months.

The operating assumption of Rove, Gillespie and the other organizers is that despite the historical dominance of Republican fundraising and organizing, the GOP has been outmaneuvered by Democrats and their allies in recent years, and it is time to strike back.

As I've noted, Fox News typically presents Rove as an impartial "political analyst," appearing unrebutted by a Democratic strategist to present what he claims are the facts about the political impact of legislation and events. Now, he'll also be able to use that position to push the candidates, themes, and ideas that are being promoted by the network of groups with whom he is working.

And given Fox News' past record in this area, we can assume that his ties to the group won't be disclosed on-air.

As far as I can tell, Fox News has yet to address Rove's work with the group, or publicly disclose any sort of safeguards that the network is putting in place to ensure that he isn't just channeling the campaign apparatus' work on their airwaves. Perhaps there should be some sort of memo...

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