Fox's Tyrus is hosting a GOP wrestling fundraiser -- and a campaign invite says Fox will be “covering” it


Citation Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Update (2/19/20): As the Daily Beast's Justin Baragona first noted on Twitter, the Rodimer campaign has removed references to Tyrus from its event ticket page. It also deleted a video of Tyrus promoting the fundraiser and the reference to Fox Nation covering the event. Both Fox News and the campaign do not appear to have publicly commented on whether Tyrus is still involved in the event and both have not responded to requests for comment.

Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Fox News has claimed that its personalities are prohibited from participating in campaign events and has reportedly said that it’s addressed the issue with its staff. This week, Fox Nation host and reported sexual harasser Tyrus is hosting a wrestling fundraiser for a GOP congressional candidate, and an invitation to the event says Fox will be “covering” it.

George “Tyrus” Murdoch is a former WWE wrestler who is now a Fox Nation host and Fox News contributor. He previously co-hosted the show Un-PC but was quietly removed from the program last year after then-co-host Britt McHenry reported him for sexual harassment. Fox, which has a terrible history of addressing sexual misconduct, subsequently gave Tyrus his own Fox Nation program and declined to suspend or fire him, claiming that it conducted an independent investigation. In December, McHenry sued Fox News and Tyrus. 

On Sunday, Tyrus will host a campaign event for former WWE wrestler and Nevada congressional candidate Daniel Rodimer, who is running to be the Republican nominee to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Susie Lee. Her congressional district is considered “among the most competitive in the country.” 

Rodimer has been accused of assault multiple times. The Daily Beast detailed a 2010 incident which reportedly included him “harassing” a group of women at a Waffle House and then attacking a man who defended them: 

According to the documents, Rodimer was at a Waffle House in Naples, Florida, near his law school—the conservative Ave Maria—early in the morning of Nov. 1, 2010. Around 2:30 a.m., Rodimer began to bother a group of women at the restaurant, according to a statement from one of the women, who described Rodimer as “a large man with a boisterous attitude.” Rodimer was “harassing” the women, according to the police report.

Rodimer—then 32, and just three years out from the stalled WWE career that one sports blog described as one of WWE’s biggest “superstar busts”—stood a hefty 6 foot 7 inches and weighed 270 pounds. When a male friend of the women asked Rodimer to stop bothering them, Rodimer allegedly threw the man into a chair and onto the ground.

A warrant for Rodimer’s arrest was issued six months later, in May 2011, and Rodimer was arrested in August 2011. In exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement that required him to go through an anger-management course, the charge was eventually dropped. 

The Associated Press reported on that incident and “two additional incidents from 2011 and 2013 in which Rodimer was accused of assault. In both cases, Rodimer was accused of punching other men at or outside of nightclubs. It's not clear why neither resulted in criminal charges.”

Rodimer’s campaign is throwing a “Wrestle for Your Rights” fundraiser in Las Vegas on February 23 with most tickets ranging from $25 to $100. The campaign states that attendees can potentially attend “the exclusive Tyrus Smash wrestling school.” The campaign is also selling two VIP tickets for $1,500.00 plus a $92.94 fee, which gets purchasers “a ringside table, VIP photos and dinner with Tyrus and Dan.” 

Tyrus filmed a video advertising the event, with Rodimer’s campaign identifying him as a “Fox News host.” 

The campaign has also stated in its invitation that “FOX Nation will be covering the event.” Media Matters asked Fox News for comment and clarification, including whether the network is footing the bill to fly Tyrus out to Las Vegas for the campaign event given Fox Nation's apparent participation (Tyrus reportedly resides in Louisiana and much of his Fox News work is filmed in New York City). The network did not reply by posting time. 

Fox News previously claimed in November 2018 that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” and The Washington Post reported in December 2019 that a “spokeswoman said the network has addressed the issue with its contributors and hosts.” Still, Media Matters has documented that numerous hosts and contributors have still been campaigning for Republican candidates, including the president, since Fox initially made that statement.