Today, in almost back-to-back segments, Fox & Friends assisted Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus by airing portions of a new RNC ad -- and then they aired a Fox montage supposedly "looking" at Obama's record ahead of tonight's State of the Union speech.
Can you tell which is which?
Here's one of the videos:
And here's the other:
It's not that easy to tell, is it? While the "Political Ad" text in the upper left-hand corner of the first clip is a giveaway that it's the real ad from the RNC, Fox & Friends' montage looks an awful lot like something a Republican organization would air.
This is hardly the first time Fox figures have behaved like RNC employees. Fox relentlessly promoted Republican candidates in the lead-up to the 2010 elections. They often hosted candidates for softball interviews and encouraged them to attack their opponents; sometimes Fox's cheerleading was so bad that the candidates themselves had to step in and correct them. Sean Hannity even hosted his April 7, 2010, show at the Minneapolis convention center where Rep. Michelle Bachmann had just finished a re-election rally.
In 2009 and 2010, Fox also aggressively hyped tea party rallies and the tea party movement -- in May 2011, in fact, Tea Party Express founder Sal Russo boasted that "there would not have been a tea party without Fox."
And in the past seven months, Fox has devoted an astonishing amount of time -- 86 hours and 37 minutes -- to hosting declared and potential GOP presidential candidates. Since June 1, Mitt Romney has clocked 7 hours and 11 minutes on Fox, while former Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich has received a whopping 11 hours and 18 minutes of softball interviews.