Gretchen Carlson repeatedly stated that Fox News will be "covering" the tea party protests, while Steve Doocy claimed "Fox isn't sponsoring" them. However, Fox News has labeled the protests "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties" and has aggressively encouraged participation in them. Additionally, The Fox Nation will reportedly "host a virtual tea party."
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On the April 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson repeatedly stated that Fox News will be "covering" tea party protests, planned across the country on April 15, while co-host Steve Doocy claimed, "Fox isn't sponsoring any of this stuff. We're just realizing there are a lot of people across the country who are not happy with the tax situation." However, Fox News is not simply "covering" the tea parties, which the channel has often described as primarily a response to President Obama's fiscal policies. For instance, Fox News' new website, The Fox Nation, will "host a virtual tea party" for those who "[c]an't get to a tea party," as Bill Hemmer noted on the April 11 edition of Fox News Watch. Fox News has also repeatedly labeled the protests "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties" and has aggressively encouraged participation in them. Indeed, during the April 13 segment, Doocy directed viewers to TheFoxNation.com, which he stated "details exactly where Fox will be on tax day, how you can get involved. It'll put you in touch with the local people, as well."
During the segment, Doocy also stated that Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, "who is on this program a lot ... has detailed a number of [the tea parties]." However, Doocy did not mention that Malkin is also among the "Tea Party Sponsors" listed on TaxDayTeaParty.com.
As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, in dozens of instances, Fox News has provided attendance and organizing information for future tea party protests, such as protest dates, locations and website addresses. Fox News websites have also posted information and publicity material for protests, and Fox News hosts have repeatedly encouraged viewers to join them at several April 15 protests that they are attending and covering. During the April 6 edition of Glenn Beck and the April 9 edition of Your World, on-screen text characterized these events as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties." Tea party organizers have also used the planned attendance of the Fox News hosts to promote their protests, and Fox News has also aired numerous interviews with protest organizers.
From the April 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: One of the things that people are doing to kind of combat feeling bad about this current situation is what's going to happen on tax day, April 15th. It's this week. Well, some people are organizing these tea parties now. They're going back to the past of 1773 when, of course, this actually happened in Boston when the colonists dumped all that tea over the sides, so Fox is actually going to be covering this.
Let's take a look at all the hit shows here at Fox that are going to be covering the tea parties across the country coming up on the 15th. We've got Neil Cavuto out in California. We've got Glenn Beck in San Antonio, Sean Hannity in Atlanta, and Greta Van Susteren in Washington, D.C.
PETER JOHNSON JR. (Fox News legal analyst): Hmm-mm. And I think you guys will be talking about it as well.
DOOCY: Absolutely, so check it out on Wednesday. Right here on Fox & Friends, we're going to be kicking things off throughout the day. And Fox isn't sponsoring any of this stuff. We're just realizing there are a lot of people across the country who are not happy with the tax situation, and it sounds like people are going to be taxed more going forward.
I think it really kind of started with that guy over at the money channel, Rick Santelli, who was talking about how it was unfair how, you know, with the bailout and people were being rewarded for bad behavior, and it was time for a new tea party. And then they started having them, different locations across the country. I know Michelle Malkin -- who is on this program a lot -- she has detailed a number of them.
And then a lot of them got together and said, why don't we coordinate, so that on tax day, we try to send a big message? And we know of at least 500 cities that are going to have tax tea parties on tax day.
CARLSON: But which politicians will show up? That's going to be the question, 'cause so far only two have had the guts, I guess you could say, to come forward and say that they're actually going to be there: Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Congressman John Culberson of Texas -- both Republicans -- who say, yes, they will be there to support these tea parties. Will the mainstream media cover these tea parties? I think they may be forced to --
DOOCY: Well, they are --
CARLSON: -- now.
DOOCY: They're making fun of them.
CARLSON: Well, we'll have -- so we'll have to see which slant they take for it. House speaker -- former House Speaker Newt Gingrich [R-GA] will also be in attendance at one of these tea parties. But it'll be interesting to see in the next couple of days how many other politicians decide to sign on. Are they treading lightly because they're waiting to see, "Hmm, I wonder how this is going to be taken?"
GUY: Well, I think it's touched a nerve in America.
JOHNSON: And a lot of people are speaking about this. I know a lot of people over the weekend in my house and people I was seeing were saying, you know, what's this really about? Is this going to catch on? Well, it's going to catch on in terms of people talking about the subject. No one is talking about a revolution. No one is talking --
JOHNSON: -- you know, about violence --
JOHNSON: -- in some fashion. People are talking about speaking out on this issue. And it's lighting up the Internet --
JOHNSON: -- online sales with regard to the products associated.
DOOCY: 'Cause there's a ton of them.
JOHNSON: You know, and people are just kind of going crazy with this. But they see it as an opportunity to speak out.
CARLSON: Yeah. A lot of it's grassroots effort, Peter.
CARLSON: I mean, I interviewed four moms who put together the whole thing in Orlando, Florida. They didn't know it was going to turn into a big deal. So they consider themselves just the average --
CARLSON: -- citizen.
JOHNSON: But we don't have primaries this year. And --
DOOCY: That's right.
JOHNSON: -- I think people were ignited by the primaries --
JOHNSON: -- and the opportunity to organize and to speak out --
JOHNSON: -- and I think that there's been a hiatus in that.
DOOCY: That's a good point.
JOHNSON: And people want to speak out in the area of so much frustration.
DOOCY: And we should point out it's on both sides. You know, organizers were not thrilled with the amount of money that George W. Bush spent as president. But then, when they look at, OK, Barack Obama is going to have -- this upcoming budget is $3.6 trillion, isn't that four times what George Bush had suggested?
So that's really fanned the flames. And if you -- if this really bugs you, go to our new website, it's called TheFoxNation.com. You know, we've got Fox News, where you have the news, and then you've got TheFoxNation.com, where it's all about opinion.
JOHNSON: It's exciting. It's exciting stuff.
DOOCY: And what do you think about it? It also details exactly where Fox will be on tax day, how you can get involved. It'll put you in touch with the local people, as well. So TheFoxNation.com.
From the April 11 edition of Fox News Watch:
HEMMER: April 15th is Wednesday. That's not just tax day this year in America. While the mainstream media has ignored the tea party movement, here at the Fox News Channel, we're gearing up to bring you special coverage of the events all across the country. Sean Hannity is in Atlanta. Glenn Beck is at the Alamo. Where else would he be? San Antonio. Neil Cavuto is live in Sacramento, and Greta is in Washington, D.C.
Can't get to a tea party? Fox Nation hosts a virtual tea party. You can check it out on the site for the location of a tea party in your area. Again, that is Wednesday, the 15th of April.
Plus, our coverage has already begun at FoxNews.com. We've got you covered. We hope you will be with us on April 15th.