Fox News finds itself in an increasingly viscid ethical morass as no fewer than five of its employees are making serious noises about pursuing the Republican nomination for president in 2012, and remain on the Fox News payroll as the network reports on their presidential aspirations. As we've seen in the past, Fox News' way of dealing messes this sticky is to have equally fluid standards for ethical propriety.
With this in mind, we turn to Jim Pinkerton, a Fox News contributor and regular panelist on the network's media criticism program, Fox News Watch. On November 15, 2008, shortly after Obama's election, Pinkerton opined that MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who at the time was reported to be considering running for Senate in Pennsylvania, "should resign and not have a platform on the air":
Now fast forward to the October 9, 2010, edition of Fox News Watch, during which Alan Colmes brought up (to the obvious discomfort of host Jon Scott) the fact that Fox News employs several people who, by that point, were widely reported to be potential presidential candidates. Pinkerton responded by dismissing Colmes' point, saying "at most there's three" potential candidate working for Fox out of "at least fifteen Republicans" who were considering running:
So there you have it. In 2008, Pinkerton wanted Matthews to resign so he would "not have a platform on the air" to run for Senate. But in 2010, Pinkerton dismisses the fact that several Republican candidates work for Fox News because they represent only 20 percent of the total number of serious candidates.
At this point, the only thing more ridiculous than this wild and ongoing fracture of journalistic ethics is Fox News' effort to convince everyone it doesn't matter.