Fox News Ethics: Contributor Monica Crowley Speaks At Anti-Obama Rallies

The Denver Post is reporting that Fox News contributor Monica Crowley spent Thursday speaking at rallies in Colorado sponsored by Americans for Prosperity as part of the group's “second statewide Obama's Failing Agenda Bus Tour.” Crowley's appearance adds to Fox's long history of ethics problems.   

Americans for Prosperity is a conservative advocacy group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. The New York Times reported in August that the group launched a $25 million anti-Obama ad campaign. 

In a press release announcing the bus tour, Americans for Prosperity indicated that it “includes three continuous buses crisscrossing the nation, giving a voice to the millions of Americans who oppose the policies of this administration.” 

From The Denver Post

So much for “fair and balanced.” Fox News Channel is doing the RNC's work on the ground in a key swing state. Note, AEP wouldn't use the word “stumping,” they're bashing Barack Obama, not promoting anyone else. 

According to a press release for the event, “this tour will educate Americans on the most harmful aspects of President Obama's big-government agenda...” The group adds that “The Failing Agenda bus tour is an issue advocacy effort by Americans for Prosperity and does not expressly advocate for the success or defeat of any candidate for public office.” But you get the drift. 

To be clear, AEP does not count itself a pro-Romney group. It's an anti-Obama group. There. 

This appearance by Crowley raises significant ethical questions since she regularly appears on Fox News' “fair and balanced” segments to opine on political issues, including the 2012 campaign and the Obama administration's policies.

However, this is not the first instance in which a Fox employee has appeared to cross the ethical line. 

Following a March 2012 Republican fundraiser at which party activists bid on the chance to take a tour of Fox News' New York studios with employee Dick Morris, media ethicists called for Morris' suspension. He was later reprimanded. 

Morris has also repeatedly appeared on Fox News to promote the campaigns of Republican senatorial candidates without noting that their campaigns have paid him to promote their candidates. 

Fox also continues to employ Karl Rove as a political analyst though he also doubles as an adviser to GOP super PAC American Crossroads, which is a conflict rarely mentioned on air. Fox, which also has a history of providing free advertising for Republican campaigns, even when those ads are filled with falsehoods, has aggressively promoted ads from American Crossroads.  

Sean Hannity has also faced his own ethical scandal. In 2010, Fox News executives were forced to pull him from a planned show filming/fundraiser for the Cincinnati Tea Party after numerous news veterans and watchdogs questioned it. That same year, Fox contributor Pat Caddell spoke at a high-priced conservative retreat sponsored by activist David Horowitz. 

An April 2010 Media Matters report found that Fox News personalities had endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates and causes, in more than 300 instances and in all 50 states. 

On the same day that Crowley's appearance at the anti-Obama rally was reported, Fox News promoted an American Crossroads ad that deceptively edited footage from Obama administration officials to continue distorting the administration's response to the Libya terror attack.