Conservative Media Paid Ben Carson Hundreds Of Thousands While Bolstering His Political Career

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was paid between $200,000 and $2,000,000 by Fox News and The Washington Times. Carson used his job at both outlets to help build his profile among conservatives prior to entering the presidential race.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that between the start of 2014 and last month, Carson “drew between $200,000 and $2 million from his positions as a contributor at the Washington Times and Fox News,” according to disclosure documents reviewed by the paper. (Those numbers likely exclude several months of his contracts at both outlets -- Carson joined the Times in July 2013, and was signed by Fox in October of that year.)

According to the Journal, Carson earned more than $4 million in speaking fees and $6 million in book royalties, numbers that were surely inflated thanks to conservative outlets helping to turn the retired neurosurgeon into a right-wing political celebrity.

Carson not only benefited financially from his employment at conservative media outlets -- he can thank Fox News and the Washington Times for essentially turning him into a political candidate. Fox News in particular repeatedly presented him to viewers as a viable potential presidential contender, with prominent network personalities fawning over him.

Fox News has routinely paid would-be politicians large sums while simultaneously boosting their political careers. The network gave contributor Scott Brown more than $136,000 while he used the network as a launching pad for his unsuccessful New Hampshire Senate run. (After he lost, Brown was rehired by Fox.) Former Fox News contributor Rick Santorum, who left the network to run for president in the 2012 election, was paid more than $239,000 by the network. Mike Huckabee was reportedly making as much as $500,000 per year from Fox News, as of 2011 -- like Carson, he left Fox News earlier this year to run for president.