Why Did Fox News Allow Former Bush Secretary To Promote Business Interests Without Disclosure?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Fox News hosted former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to promote the importance of companies paying attention to cybersecurity without disclosing that Ridge heads lobbying and consulting firms that work on cybersecurity.

Ridge appeared as a guest on the January 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends. Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked him about "one of your real expertise ... what about cybersecurity as it compares to Al Qaeda?" Ridge responded that cybersecurity is a threat and "companies have to pay a lot more attention at the C-suite level to make sure that they are prepared to deal with it because it's happening every day."  

Ridge heads several companies that work on cybersecurity:

  • Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global, which "offers international expertise across a scope of risk management and core business concerns, including security and infrastructure protection." The company promoted Ridge's Fox appearance on its Twitter account.
  • Ridge is a partner at Ridge Policy Group, a consulting and lobbying firm that "provides insight into areas such as economic development and cyber-security."
  • In March 2013 Ridge formed Ridge Schmidt Cyber LLC, a firm that "provides strategic and advisory services that help leaders in business and government navigate the increasing demands of cybersecurity."

Ridge is also the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Security Task Force, which "is responsible for the development and advancement of Chamber policy related to homeland security and national security" including on "priorities related to cyber security."

Additionally, Ridge sits on the advisory board of TaaSERA, "a cyber security company" that "builds runtime behavior detection solutions used by the world's leading companies and government agencies."

As Media Matters and others have documented, the media has routinely failed to provide basic disclosure about its guests when it comes to their consulting practices.

Posted In
Ethics, National Security & Foreign Policy
Fox News Channel
Brian Kilmeade
FOX & Friends
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