Fox News has another ethics problem to not care about.
According to Federal Election Commission records, the congressional campaign of Beth Anne Rankin (R-AR) paid Dick Morris $10,000 for a speech fee. Morris spoke at Rankin rallies on October 15. In the week following the paid speech, Morris used his Fox News position to tout Rankin's electoral prospects on three separate appearances without disclosing he was paid by her campaign.
Rankin, who Morris said is "probably going to beat" incumbent Rep. Mike Ross, lost her race by 17.4 points. (An October 14 poll from Talk Business Research and Hendrix College -- the only polling group listed on Real Clear Politics polling data page -- showed Ross with an 18 point lead.)
Here's how the Morris-Fox News corruption went down:
- October 15: Morris appears at three political rallies for Rankin.
- October 18: Morris appears on Hannity and says: "There are a lot of races which nobody put on the vulnerable list that now are really, really vulnerable. Beth Anne Rankin is running very strong against Mike Ross."
- October 19: The Rankin campaign disburses $10,000 to Dick Morris' firm, Triangulation Strategies, for a "speech honorarium."
- October 19: Morris appears on Fox & Friends and says that Rankin "is really running a very strong campaign and I think she's probably going to beat him."
- October 25: Morris appears on Hannity and again suggests Rankin will win her race. Morris said:
MORRIS: Well, Gene Taylor is a very special case. There are two guys who are basically the leaders of the blue dog caucus. Three really. Boyd from Florida, Taylor from Mississippi and Ross from Arkansas. And all three of those folks are behind right now.
Boyd to a guy named Sutherland, Taylor to a guy named Palazzo and Ross to a woman named Rankin. And I think that the blue dog is going to join the snail (INAUDIBLE) on the endangered species list.
This isn't the first time Morris has touted a Republican cause without disclosing that they paid him. Morris has done similar things with Americans for New Leadership and National Republican Trust PAC.
To a news organization, this would be an ethical problem. This, however, is Fox News.
Morris on October 18:
Morris on October 19:
Morris on October 25: