Fox News host Lawrence Jones canceled his appearance at an upcoming Republican fundraiser after Media Matters noted it conflicted with the network’s claim that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” Jones’ withdrawal is at least the 11th instance of a Fox host scheduling and then cancelling a GOP-aligned speaking engagement this year.
Jones is a Fox Nation host who was recently elevated “to a regular substitute host and co-host role” with the network; Fox News host Sean Hannity has identified Jones as an “investigative reporter” and “correspondent” for the network. He was set to speak at a February 21, 2020, fundraiser for the Snohomish County Republican Party in Washington state, as Media Matters reported on November 6.
On November 9, the Snohomish GOP announced that “we received notification from the Representative for Lawrence Jones, because of a new Fox News employee policy, he can no longer speak at our Lincoln Day Dinner. We are looking into another speaker and as soon as we are confirmed, we will let everyone know.” The organization similarly wrote on its website: “Our original Keynote Speaker Lawrence B Jones, III has canceled due to a new Fox News employee Policy. Employees can no longer speak at political organizations.”
At least 11 Fox figures’ appearances at GOP-aligned events have been canceled this year following Media Matters’ reporting. The others include seven planned appearances by Jeanine Pirro; and one each by Jones, Shannon Bream, Pete Hegseth, and Brian Kilmeade.
Meanwhile, Fox News host Mark Levin has indicated he would defy Fox’s purported policy in the future. Media Matters recently documented that Levin has done Republican campaign events while working for Fox. Levin responded by attacking Media Matters and claiming that he didn't violate any rules. The conservative talker added that he’ll do campaign events if he wants to and “nobody on this planet is going to stop me. No corporation, no left-wing group, … nobody.” Fox News declined to comment to CNN about Levin’s remarks.
Fox Nation hosts such as Rachel Campos-Duffy, Diamond and Silk, Gregg Jarrett, and David Webb have also helped campaign for Republicans.
Fox News hosts have banked big money by speaking at Republican events over the years; Pirro has received over $230,000 in speaking fees, while Hegseth has taken over $50,000. Hegseth spoke at the Snohomish GOP’s 2017 fundraiser and received $5,547.60.