Another undisclosed conflict of interest means Fox's Dick Morris problem continues

In June, Media Matters noted that Dick Morris was leading a fundraiser for Bill McCollum, who was in a Republican primary race for Florida governor (while falsely claiming that he rarely endorsed candidates).

Afterward, Morris appeared on Fox News twice -- on August 9 and August 23 -- to tout McCollum and attack his opponent, Rick Scott (who ultimately defeated McCollum in the August 24 primary). In neither appearance did Morris disclose that he had taken part in a fundraiser for McCollum.

As the invitation to the June 23 fundraiser shows – obtained by Media Matters from Morris' mailing list -- Morris was no passive participant. He is listed as one of two hosts for it, and he also starred in a “VIP Reception” area where, for a $300 donation, donors had the opportunity for a “VIP Photo Op With Dick Morris.”

morris mccollum

Hosting the reception with Morris was Christopher Ruddy, editor and CEO of Newsmax. In an August 26 column, Ruddy noted that he “join[ed] Bill McCollum on election night in Orlando” -- but not that he raised money for McCollum.

Ruddy didn't stop there, though. Newsmax endorsed McCollum in a rare editorial, and its “news” coverage of the race was heavily slanted toward McCollum and against Scott.

This isn't the first time Ruddy has let his favorite political candidates drive his website's news coverage. In 2003, Newsmax published an article laudatory of then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) two days after Ruddy donated $1,000 to Foley's campaign.

Morris has a long history of this kind of blatant conflict of interest. He has repeatedly used his Fox News perch to promote candidates and organizations with which he is affiliated without disclosing that affiliation, and he uses whatever credibility his Fox appeaerances confer on him to shill for Newsmax's financial schemes.

After all these years, Fox News continues to have a Dick Morris problem -- which it has shown little interest in doing anything about.