Tonight on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity made sure that his network's parent company was getting plenty of value out of its $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association. While hosting GOP pollster Frank Luntz, Hannity showed a television advertisement airing in the race between Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, and Republican challenger John Kasich, a former Fox News host:
Before airing the ad, Hannity described it as a "Kasich ad attacking Governor Strickland," but afterward, Luntz said, "That's a Republican Governors Association ad against Ted Strickland." Luntz is correct: The ad can be found on the RGA website.
This is a remarkable innovation, even for Fox News.
1. Fox News' parent company, News Corp., donates $1 million to the RGA in June.
2. The RGA produces an ad attacking the Democratic opponent of a former Fox News host who's running as a Republican.
3. Hannity airs the ad on Fox News, ensuring that one of the products of News Corp.'s investment in the RGA is seen by millions of people nationwide.
4. Hannity makes no mention of the fact that News Corp. is the largest corporate donor to the RGA.
During the segment, Luntz praised the ad profusely and used it to pivot to an attack on Democratic policies: "You never see a negative ad score so well among Republicans and Democrats alike. It didn't matter. They listened to the ad. And that last sentence, 'I wonder when [our jobs] will go,' is something that every American is thinking right now. 'When's it going to be my job on the line,' despite a trillion dollars of stimulus, despite bailouts of these companies."
You usually can't buy this sort of synergy in politics -- unless you're Fox News and the Republican Party. (News Corp.'s donation may even violate its own ethics policy.)
You know, Fox News should just get it over with and change its name to GOP TV.
Actually, scratch that. It would make more sense for the Republican Party to change its name to the Fox News Party.