Retiring Senator Zell Miller (D-GA), who supported President Bush's reelection, spoke at the Republican National Convention, and authored A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat (Stroud & Hall, 2003), will join FOX News Channel as a contributor. According to a FOX News spokesman, Miller's appearances on FOX News programs will begin on January 6, 2005, the Associated Press reported on December 14. In addition, the American Conservative Union has selected Miller to present its "Courage Under Fire" award to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which smeared presidential candidate John Kerry through a series of false attacks on his Vietnam War record.
FOX News is presumably untroubled by Miller's extensive record of prevarications and contradictions.
In his September 1, 2004, keynote address to the Republican National Convention, Miller contradicted his own previous statements about Kerry when he leveled misleading charges against the Democratic nominee, asserting that, "For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure." But just three years earlier, at the Democratic Party of Georgia 2001 Jefferson-Jackson dinner, Miller called Kerry "one of this nation's authentic heroes" and praised the work he had done in the Senate "to strengthen our military."
Miller also distorted Kerry's voting record on defense issues in his RNC speech, as some in the media -- but not FOX News -- pointed out. Several CNN hosts challenged Miller on his distortions of Kerry's record after the speech, noting as well that Vice President Dick Cheney, as secretary of defense under former President George H.W. Bush, opposed several of the same weapons systems Miller had accused Kerry of voting against. Media Matters for America corrected this distorted attack on Kerry's voting record when it was leveled by Republicans during the presidential campaign; as the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Political Fact Check explained: "Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995, and 1996 were not votes against specific weapons. And in fact, Kerry voted for Pentagon authorization bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate."
FOX News's plans for Miller, whom The Washington Post has described as "the Democrat Republicans love to love," recall the network's hiring of "former Democratic pollster" Pat Caddell, who is a FOX News contributor. Media Matters has noted that while FOX News identifies Caddell as a "Democrat" and frequently books him opposite Republicans, on almost every occasion, he issues harsh attacks against Democrats.