Fox Downplays Employee Intimidation In Letter From CEO Attacking President Obama
Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP
Fox News promoted a letter from business owner David Siegel to his employees, which suggested that their jobs were at stake if President Obama is reelected and allows tax cuts for the rich to expire. Fox downplayed Siegel's letter by claiming he was not instructing his employees on how to vote, and by hiding his previous activism for GOP politicians.
On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Grechen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy reported on Siegel's letter to his employees warning them that their jobs would be in jeopardy if President Obama is reelected. Doocy downplayed Siegel's letter, claiming he didn't "say you have to vote for this guy or that guy, he just says this is what we are facing going forward."
But Siegel's letter contradicts Doocy's claim that he was merely predicting what might happen to the company in the future. While Siegel never mentions Mitt Romney or President Obama by name, he repeatedly suggests that his employees' jobs are dependent on Obama not being reelected. In the letter, confirmed by Gawker, Siegel states:
In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration.
So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone. So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.
You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Further discrediting Doocy's claim, a Forbes article quoted Siegel explaining:
I wanted my employees to be informed as to what could happen if the current President is reelected. It's not speculation, I have hindsight.
You can multiply my experience by millions of other small businesses and its [sic] not hard to predict what the future will hold if Obama is reelected. On the other hand, if Romney is elected businessmen like me would get a shot of adrenalin and will start hiring and growing the businesses and within a short period of time my company and this country will once again be prospering, at least I hope so.
This is also not the first time David Siegel has injected himself into politics by pressuring his employees. In August 2012, Bloomberg Businesweek reported that Siegel took credit for the election of George W. Bush in 2000 by including negative reports about Democratic candidate Al Gore with his workers' paychecks:
Here's Siegel's account of how he swung the election in Bush's favor: "Whenever I saw a negative article about [Al] Gore, I put it in with the paychecks of my 8,000 employees. I had my managers do a survey on every employee. If they liked Bush, we made them register to vote. But not if they liked Gore. The week before [the election] we made 80,000 phone calls through my call center--they were robo-calls. On Election Day, we made sure everyone who was voting for Bush got to the polls. I didn't know he would win by 527 votes. Afterward, we did a survey among the employees to find out who voted who wouldn't have otherwise. One thousand of them said so."