Fox Doesn't Disclose Romney-Boosting Financial Guest Is A Republican Official
Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
Fox News recently hosted businessman Thomas Belesis twice to analyze the 2012 elections and President Obama's handling of the economy. Belesis attacked Obama's economic record and praised Mitt Romney. During both segments, Fox identified Belesis as the CEO of John Thomas Financial but didn't disclose that he's also an official for the New York State Republican Party.
According to the biography on his website, Belesis "is currently Co-Chairman of the New York State Republican Finance Committee." A July 2011 press release states that he "was a key backer of the State Party's efforts in the 2010 election and has also been an active supporter of the Republican National Committee over the last election cycle."
During today's Fox & Friends Saturday, Belesis claimed there's "no doubt" that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's win "sparked" a stock rally. He added that "when Romney" wins the election, "you're going to see a huge rally in the market that will go on probably over the next several years."
Belesis' effusive praise of Romney prompted co-host Dave Briggs to say, "You're obviously a Romney supporter" to which he replied, "Very big Romney supporter." During the segment, Belesis' Republican ties were never disclosed.
Belesis also appeared on the May 1 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss the presidential campaign. Fox News again did not identify him as a Republican official.
During that appearance, Belesis attacked Obama for a recent ad criticizing Mitt Romney and claimed Obama "failed miserably" creating jobs and has a "horrible track record" on the economy. Belesis said Romney is a "very competent man and everything he's done has been a success from the Olympics, to governor, to businessman." Obama, by contrast, can only argue he's good at "speechmaking" and he needs to "step aside."
Cavuto asked Belesis if he thinks Republicans or Democrats are better for the stock market. The Republican official replied that he preferred Republicans.
Fox News has repeatedly hosted Romney advisers John Bolton, Jay Sekulow and Walid Phares without disclosing that they are helping his campaign. Fox has also heavily promoted contributor Karl Rove's anti-Obama super PAC efforts and hosted him to promote his group's message.