There has long been an ethics problem at Fox News -- the network employs five potential Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Rick Santorum, and Sarah Palin. The presence of these potential candidates has raised questions about when it becomes inappropriate for Fox to continue paying contributors who are clearly benefiting from exposure on Fox. The unspoken deal seems to be that they can push their agendas and promote themselves on Fox, as long as they are not explicitly running for office. (Fox has allowed them almost unrestricted access to its airwaves.)
Ironically, Fox has exacerbated this ethics problem by continually speculating on its own employees' potential runs, especially Palin's. This speculation has become more and more concrete over time. Yesterday, Fox Nation posted the following:
Fox News seems as eager to put doubts about her candidacy to rest as any other news outlet. It even featured her on its "12 for 2012" series on presidential candidates, giving her "5 to 1" odds of getting the Republican nomination.
Media Matters has estimated that the time given to Fox's presidential candidates is equivalent to $55 million in free advertising.
When is this going to stop?