The Republican National Committee exclusively released its new attack ad hitting Hillary Clinton to Fox News' Fox & Friends, which repeatedly aired and praised it, effectively providing the GOP with approximately $157,197.12 of free advertising.
Former Secretary of State Clinton is expected to launch her 2016 campaign for president over the weekend, according to a Business Insider report on April 9.
The next morning, Fox & Friends repeatedly aired an RNC attack ad titled "Stop Hillary" to kick off the network's coverage of her expected announcement. The ad was "released exclusively to Fox & Friends this morning," the co-hosts bragged, calling it "probably one of the most effective ads out there right now." The RNC's 30-second ad aired three times during the Fox program. According to TVEyes' "national publicity value," which estimates the value of 30-second slots on any given program, such coverage carries a value of approximately $157,197.12 worth of free airtime to the GOP.
Fox has served as a free mouthpiece for the GOP for years -- The network once plagiarized an RNC ad based off of the party committee's "Hillary's Hiding" campaign without acknowledging the source, and has even cribbed research and graphics from a National Republican Congressional Committee press release in order to attack President Obama. In 2013, after Fox deceptively edited a 2011 speech by Obama to twist his stance on budget cuts, the RNC quickly followed suit with an ad following the network's lead.