Douglas Schoen

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  • Fox Isn't Partisan, Insists "Fox News Democrat" Who Fundraised For GOP

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    FoxNews.com today published an op-ed by self-described "Fox News Democrat" Doug Schoen defending Fox News from charges that it's "devoted primarily, if not entirely, to promoting Republican candidates and Republican talking points." Schoen's op-ed is riddled with false defenses of his employer.

    For starters, Schoen claims that "I can honestly say that there's never been an effort, organized or otherwise, to get me or to my knowledge anyone else to advance a particular point of view." But Fox News vice president and Washington managing editor Bill Sammon has been recently caught doing exactly that. Internal emails show that Sammon ordered his news staff to cast doubt on established climate science; directed his staff not to use the phrase "public option"; and a source with knowledge of the situation at Fox's Washington bureau told Media Matters that Sammon exerts "pressure" on his staff to "slant news to the right."

    Schoen also writes that "I understand that the point of view presented is not that of the left, but its also not that of the Republican National Committee." Yet Fox News regularly echoes Republican talking points and has been caught literally plagiarizing material from the GOP.

    Schoen adds that Fox News has "sought the highest quality Democrats," pointing to himself and Pat Caddell, among others, as two examples. But the presence of those two actually illustrates part of the problem. Schoen writes that he and Caddell "tend to be more moderate" than "a mainstream liberal" like Bob Beckel. That's one way of putting it -- as Media Matters has pointed out:

    Schoen donated to one GOP congressional candidate [last] cycle, and headlined a fundraiser for a second. In February [2010], Caddell was fired from the campaign of Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff after video emerged of Caddell at a conservative retreat saying that "[t]he whole idea of the environmental movement" is "to basically deconstruct capitalism."

    We're shown how on issue after issue, it's difficult to find daylight between the commentary of Schoen and Caddell and that of Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing figures. Caddell has accused Obama of conducting a "Potemkin village presidency" and "Chicago gangsterism." Schoen has claimed that the "real question" raised by the White House's actions is "Is this a democracy?" And on, and on, and on.

    In November 2010, Schoen and Caddell were scheduled to appear (.pdf) at a fundraising retreat benefiting conservative activist David Horowitz's organization. Caddell spoke as scheduled, but a note on FrontPageMag.com said that Schoen "got stuck in an airport and couldn't make" his scheduled panel.* Still, Schoen and Caddell are regularly put on Fox News to represent the Democratic side of an issue.

    Schoen concludes that Fox News is actually "just good television organized by smart executives, whose political perspective may not be my own, but whose commitment to professionalism and excellence appears clear and unambiguous." Clarity, it seems, is easy if you're getting a paycheck from Fox News.

    *Further information about the retreat added.

  • The Wash. Post and Fox's "leading Democratic political analysts"

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Let's get this out of the way: the reason Sunday's op-ed by Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell calling on President Obama not to seek another term is getting a lot of play is that The Washington Post helped them present themselves as mainstream Democrats selflessly acting for love of country. This portrayal is simply inaccurate.

    I've already pointed out how the Post neglected to mention that Schoen has repeatedly served as the pollster for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a position he would likely continue to enjoy if Bloomberg were to run for president in 2012. Thus, the Post gave him space to try to push his potential client's opponent out of the race.

    To their credit, the Post has now acknowledged that they should have disclosed Schoen's ties to Bloomberg. But that wasn't the only problem with how the Post characterized the pollsters.

    The Post also didn't disclose that Caddell and Schoen both work for Fox News, which spent the last election cycle pulling hard for Republicans, up to and including providing millions of dollars in donations from its parent company to GOP-linked groups. Indeed, today Fox reported on the op-ed from "two leading Democratic political analysts," with Schoen appearing to discuss opposite Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell:

    (Did you catch Schoen give a shout-out to Rendell's efforts with Bloomberg to "get together to reconcile our problems," without disclosing his own interest in the advancement of Bloomberg's career? Schoen's good.)

    The biographical information that the Post provided seems geared toward making the pair seem like model Democrats:

    Patrick H. Caddell, who was a pollster and senior adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is a political commentator. Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton, is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System."

    The strategists note in their op-ed that "[i]t is no secret that we have been openly critical of the president in recent days." That isn't close to an adequate description of what they've been up to in recent days.

    Schoen donated to one GOP congressional candidate this cycle, and headlined a fundraiser for a second. In February, Caddell was fired from the campaign of Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff after video emerged of Caddell at a conservative retreat saying that "[t]he whole idea of the environmental movement" is "to basically deconstruct capitalism."

    We're shown how on issue after issue, it's difficult to find daylight between the commentary of Schoen and Caddell and that of Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing figures. Caddell has accused Obama of conducting a "Potemkin village presidency" and "Chicago gangsterism." Schoen has claimed that the "real question" raised by the White House's actions is "Is this a democracy?" And on, and on, and on.

    In their last three Post op-eds, Schoen was identified as "a pollster" and "the author of 'Political Fix.'" Caddell was identified as "a political commentator and former pollster." These identifiers, while vague, at least do not suggest that the authors' work for their most liberal clients is representative of their careers.

    Asked for comment on the shift, a Post spokesperson told Media Matters that while Sunday's piece was in the Outlook section, the previous op-eds "appeared on our editorial pages, which follow their own style and rules for content on their pages."

    I look forward to the Post's forthcoming op-ed by Dick Morris, "a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton." Oh, wait...

  • EXCLUSIVE: Wash. Post admits they should have identified Schoen as a former Bloomberg pollster

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Earlier today, I pointed out that the Washington Post published an op-ed by Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen calling on President Obama not to run for re-election, without disclosing that Schoen has been a pollster for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As Bloomberg is considered a possible third-party candidate for president in 2012, the Post basically gave Schoen space to try to push his potential client's opponent out of the race.

    A Washington Post spokesperson now tells Media Matters that the paper "should have also noted" Schoen's work for Bloomberg:

    Because the piece sought to give advice to President Obama, the Outlook editors thought it was important to highlight the authors' experience working for former presidents. In hindsight, given the speculation about Michael Bloomberg possibly seeking the presidency, we should have also noted that Schoen was a former pollster for Bloomberg.

  • Wash. Post helps Schoen hide his Bloomberg conflict of interest

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Imagine, if you will, that in 2006, Mark Penn wrote an op-ed calling on Sen. John McCain not to run for president for the good of the country. Imagine that The Washington Post published the piece, identifying Penn only as "a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton."

    That would be crazy, right? Penn was Hillary Clinton's pollster; the Post would be giving him space to urge his client's possible opponent in the 2008 presidential election to not run for the office. The Post would be ridiculed for not noting that obvious conflict of interest.

    And yet, that's essentially what the Post did on Sunday.

    The Post published an op-ed by Pat Cadell and Doug Schoen calling on President Obama not to run for re-election. Schoen was identified only as "a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton" and "the author of 'Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System."

    The Post didn't mention that Schoen was also New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pollster for all three of his mayoral races.

    In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, Schoen was repeatedly quoted discussing the possibility that Bloomberg might jump into the race as a third-party candidate. He also promoted Bloomberg's possible candidacy in his 2008 book, Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System.

    While Bloomberg has said he will not seek the presidency in 2012, rumors continue to swirl that he will eventually enter the race and spend up to $3 billion to try to win it. Some amount of that money would go to his pollster, who would likely be Schoen.

    Shouldn't the Post point that out while it's giving him op-ed space to try to push his potential client's opponent out of the race?

  • Fox News "Democratic strategists" tell Obama not to seek re-election

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Earlier this week, we reported that Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell -- who regularly appear on Fox News as "Democratic strategists" -- are attending this year's Restoration Weekend, the conservative retreat founded by activist David Horowitz.

    But before they join various Republican members of Congress and conservative commentators for a few days in South Florida, they're firing off this salvo in Sunday's Washington Post:

    This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.

    To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.

    If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock, at a time when we can ill afford it. But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.

    So Schoen and Caddell show up at a conference for Republican politicians and pundits. They regularly trash Democrats for being too liberal. Schoen, at least, supported Republican congressional campaigns this cycle. And -- in their second Obama-trashing appearance on the Post's op-ed pages in the past month -- they say President Obama shouldn't seek re-election because the recent elections were "a vote of no confidence in Obama and his party" and he "has almost no credibility left with Republicans and little with independents."

    And these are Fox News' Democrats.

    Question: Do you think Karl Rove is defending their Democratic credentials because they're good for Democrats, or because they're good for Republicans? And what does one have to do to no longer be considered a "Democratic strategist"?

  • In Wash. Post op-ed, Fox News Democrats Schoen, Caddell liken Obama to Nixon

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    As we've previously noted, Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell present themselves as Democrats yet do nothing but attack President Obama and his administration -- which, needless to say, gets them prodigious face time on Fox News. And, for some reason, this shtick gets them space in the mainstream media as well.

    Which brings us to their latest bit of conservative concern-trolling, an October 30 Washington Post op-ed in which they incredulously liken President Obama to none other than Richard Nixon. No, really:

    We can think of only one other recent president who would display such indifference to the majesty of his office: Richard Nixon.

    [...]

    Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon's role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and - directly from the stump - candidates running for offices below his own. He has criticized the American people suggesting that they are "reacting just to fear" and faulted his own base for "sitting on their hands complaining."

    [...]

    We are also disturbed that the office of the president is mounting attacks on private individuals, such as the founders of the group Americans for Prosperity. Having been forged politically during Watergate - one of us was the youngest member of Nixon's enemies list - we are chilled by the prospect of any U.S. president willing to marshal the power of his office against a private citizen.

    Even more incredibly, Schoen and Caddell want you to believe, against all evidence, that they're "traditional liberal Democrats":

    We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion. Like many Americans, we had hoped that Obama would maintain the spirit in which he campaigned. Instead, since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity. The culture of attack politics and demonization risks compromising our ability to address our most important issues -- and the stature of our nation's highest office.

    Actual "traditional liberal Democrats" would not be running to the pages of The Washington Post and Fox News to repeatedly denounce the party they claim to be a part of and the president who carries their party banner. And it's not like this is limited to a dispute with Obama. As we've shown, Caddell has attacked Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, and the Democratic Party itself over the years. With these continual attacks, Schoen and Caddell demonstrate over and over again why they're Fox News Democrats.

    It's understandable that Fox News would not dare to challenge Schoen and Caddell's faux Democratic credentials -- it has a vested interest in perpetuating the lie. But why should the Post take part in forwarding their dishonesty?

  • Fox News still identifying GOP fundraiser Schoen as a "Democratic pollster"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    On October 7, the campaign of Republican New York congressional candidate John Gomez announced that Fox News contributor Doug Schoen would appear at an October 10 fundraiser. Since that announcement, Schoen has appeared on Fox News three times, each time labeled as a "Democratic pollster."

    Gomez is apparently not the only Republican Schoen has supported this election cycle. According to Federal Election Commission records, a "Doug Schoen" in New York donated $500 to Angela McGlowan in March. Schoen's occupation is listed as a "consultant" and has the same address as previous contributions listing the employer Penn, Schoen & Berland (the consulting firm where Schoen served as a partner). McGlowan is a Fox News contributor who briefly left the network to run for congress in Mississippi. Schoen and McGlowan have appeared together on television.

    Today, on America's Newsroom, co-anchor Bill Hemmer and on-screen text identified Schoen as a "Democratic pollster." During the segment, Schoen trashed Democrats as not "having a record" and running simply on attacking Republicans. Schoen was paired against Republican consultant Brad Blakeman.

    On Friday, Schoen appeared on On the Record. Host Greta Van Susteren also introduced Schoen as a "Democratic pollster." Schoen - shockingly -- used the segment to bash Democrats.

    And last night, Sean Hannity hosted Schoen and introduced him as a "Democratic pollster." Hannity and Gomez are childhood friends, and Hannity has publicized and promoted Gomez. As previously noted, Hannity also reportedly promised to bring in event headliners for Gomez's campaign. Indeed, Newsday reported that fellow Fox News contributor and frequent Hannity guest Newt Gingrich headlined a fundraiser for Gomez through Hannity.

    In none of the appearances did Fox News mention Schoen's Gomez fundraiser, or his apparent donation to McGlowan.

    On Monday, Schoen was awarded "Worst Person in the World" bronze by Keith Olbermann.