Continuing Fox's non-stop attacks on the Wisconsin protestors -- which included Fox & Friends' reversing Gallup poll results to falsely claim most Americans side with Republican Governor Scott Walker -- Fox & Friends tried a new tactic during today's broadcast, claiming that the "union protestors" are "attacking the free market."
Here's how the co-hosts got that idea. Some protestors in Wisconsin are circulating flyers that call for a boycott of businesses that made, or whose owners made, donations to Walker's 2010 campaign. The Fox & Friends co-hosts didn't try to claim that these businesses did not donate to Walker, or that this boycott is somehow illegal or unethical. Instead, co-host Steve Doocy teased the story this way:
DOOCY: Union protesters in Wisconsin now encouraging people to boycott small business owners. Why are they dragging the free market into that debate?
On-screen text was aired that read, "Targeting the free market." Doocy repeated the tease later in the show with a slight change, asking fellow co-host Brian Kilmeade, "Why are they attacking the free market?"
As evidence that the protesters are "attacking the free market" and "encouraging people to boycott small business owners," Kilmeade later interviewed Gary Reynolds, CEO of GMR Marketing. Reynolds took offense to his inclusion on the boycott list, saying:
REYNOLDS: Well, actually, I got an e-mail over the weekend saying that this flier was being passed around and we, you know, basically was going to kind of slough it off but, you know, the more I thought about it, the more kind of upset I got about it. It was simply one of the -- one of the reasons that I've never really contributed to Scott Walker through the company. I've done that individually. And so somehow, somebody is now going back into the contributors' list and syncing that up with where they are employed or what businesses they run and boycotting them from there.
The boycotters "somehow" went through the "contributors' list?" This isn't a mystery -- bi-annual campaign finance disclosures are required by Wisconsin law. A simple Google search turns up the donors to Walker's campaign. Voila: Gary Reynolds' $10,000 in donations to Scott Walker, complete with disclosure of his occupation and employer! So what we have here is group of individuals legally using public information to call for a boycott. I'm not sure this qualifies as "attacking the free market."
But let's go back to Fox's other claim -- that this boycott is targeting small businesses and hurting small business owners. If that's the case, then Fox should have picked a better example than Gary Reynolds and GMR Marketing. The company has 24 offices in 12 countries. Its website boasts that their clients have included Sony, Microsoft, Levi's, Bank of America, Hershey's, and Visa. GMR themselves claim they are the "world's largest engagement marketing agency."
I'd say that doesn't sound like a "small business."
This isn't the first time during the Wisconsin protests that Fox has brought on guests posing as concerned citizens who are actually GOP officials or activists. Earlier this month, Your World guest host Chris Cotter interviewed "Wisconsin parent" Dave Westlake, but didn't mention that Westlake ran for Senate in the 2010 GOP primary. And yesterday, Fox & Friends interviewed "upset Wisconsin parent" Amber Hahn without mentioning that she is a local GOP official.
Why is Fox hiding their guests' backgrounds to make them seem like average Americans? Maybe it's to hide the fact that most average Americans, unlike Fox, back the Wisconsin protestors on collective bargaining.