Fox News provides MA Sen. candidate Brown a forum to raise funds and misinform

››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

In recent days, Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat, has made numerous appearances on Fox News to raise funds for his campaign, solicit volunteers, and peddle misinformation. In the wake of the November 2009 elections, Fox News provided airtime to GOP and conservative candidates, and its on-air personalities celebrated and shilled for them.

In Fox News appearances, Brown encouraged viewers to visit his website

On Fox, Brown encouraged viewers to visit his campaign website to find out "how to help with donating and volunteering." In appearances on America's Newsroom, On the Record, and Hannity, Brown pointed viewers to his campaign website, solicited funds for his campaign, and also cited RedInvadesBlue.com, where, he said, "we have a money bomb right now that's hitting ... and you can help me fight back against the machine." Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Greta Van Susteren said they invited Democratic candidate Martha Coakley to appear on their Fox News shows.

Brown said Fox viewers "can learn more" by visiting campaign website. From the January 12 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

BROWN: There's political chicanery. I'm used to it in Massachusetts. And people can go to BrownForUSSenate.com, they can learn more about that and how to help with donating and volunteering.

Brown tells Fox viewers where to find his campaign's "money bomb right now that's hitting." From the January 11 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:

BROWN: Martha's a good person, but she's wrong on all the issues. And the people of Massachusetts are upset at the taxing, the spending, the backroom deals. Martha Coakley's position on terror -- it's outrageous. She said tonight that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan. That's the type of person who has a policy that is very scary, especially when we're trying to provide the tools and resources for our soldiers to keep them safe. And if people want to learn more, they can certainly go to BrownForUSSenate.com.

But we have a money bomb right now that's hitting, and you can go to RedInvadesBlue.com, and you can help me fight back against the machine, because the negative ads -- the second I walked off the stage, the negative ads have started. And you all around the country can make a big, big difference in this race.

Brown to Fox viewers: "If people are kind of fed up ... they can go to brownforussenate.com." From the January 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

BROWN: If people are kind of fed up with the way things are going, they can go to BrownForUSSenate.com, and they can make a difference and they can stop the business as usual -- not only in Massachusetts, but more importantly nationally. They can give me a chance to go down there and bring some common sense back to Washington.

Van Susteren allowed Brown to falsely suggest health reform will limit mammograms, cervical cancer screenings

Van Susteren allowed Brown to advance the false suggestion that the health care reform bills would prevent women from receiving mammograms and pap smears. In his January 11 appearance on Van Susteren's show, Brown stated that "[t]here are a whole lot of things that are just bad" in the health care reform bills and listed among them "having mammograms go from, you know, 40 to 50 and pap smear testing." In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations on mammograms are not legally binding. The Senate health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires insurance companies only to cover screenings that the USPSTF recommends, those rated as an A or B recommendation; it does not require insurers to adopt guidelines that recommend against preventive screenings. Similarly, the House health care reform bill, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, requires insurance companies to cover the A or B recommendations of a new task force, the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services, but does not require insurers to adopt recommendations against preventive services. Further, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' cervical cancer screening guidelines are not binding and are in no way connected to health care reform.

Fox "political analyst" Morris uses position to fundraise for Brown

"Please, please help" Brown, Morris urges viewers. During the January 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, political analyst Dick Morris urged viewers to "go to DickMorris.com ... to help elect Brown," because if "we win this fight, then there will never be another victory for Obama." DickMorris.com includes a fundraising plea "to help us raise $300,000 for a last minute media buy to push Brown and the Republicans to victory"; Fox News executives allow Morris to solicit funds for Republican efforts despite reportedly telling colleague Mike Huckabee to cease conflict-of-interest promotions that help his political action committee.

Fox provided airtime to GOP and conservative candidates in November '09 elections, and on-air personalities celebrated and shilled for them

Conservative candidates stump on Fox during lead-up to elections. In the two weeks leading up to the November 3, 2009, elections, Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell appeared on Fox News and its personalities' radio shows at least 16 times for live interviews lasting a total of 114 minutes and 36 seconds. Christie made at least five appearances, totaling almost 37 minutes on Fox News and its personalities' radio shows; McDonnell made at least three appearances totaling 18 minutes; and Hoffman made at least seven appearances totaling almost 60 minutes.

Fox News hosts, political analysts spend Election Day celebrating and shilling for conservatives and GOPers. On November 4, 2009, numerous Fox News hosts and political analysts encouraged voters to donate to and volunteer and vote for GOP and conservative candidates, including Christie, McDonnell, and Hoffman. The Fox News personalities included Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tammy Bruce, and Eric Bolling.

Leading up to elections, Fox personalities promoted conservative and GOP candidates and helped fundraise for them. Fox News hosts and analysts offered support for McDonnell, Christie, and Hoffman and their fundraising efforts leading up to the elections. For example, on his November 2, 2009, Fox News show, Hannity told Hoffman, "I hope I'm on the air this time tomorrow night and I'll be able to declare you the winner." On November 3, 2009, on Twitter, Fox News contributor Karl Rove encouraged his followers to donate to the Republican Governor's Association in order to help Christie's campaign. On two Fox News shows in October 2009, Huckabee directed viewers to "go to balancecutsave.com," urging them to sign a petition telling Congress to "balance the budget," "cut their spending," and "save American families"; however, balancecutsave.com redirected visitors to Huckabee's political action committee, which financially supports Republican candidates. Subsequently, Huck PAC apparently emailed petition signers -- who were required to provide an email address in order to sign the "balancecutsave" petition -- a "newsletter" urging political action on behalf of Republican-backed candidates Bob McDonnell, David Harmer, and Doug Hoffman.

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