Despite Rupert Murdoch's statement that he doesn't think Fox “should be supporting the tea party,” Fox News and Fox Business have relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express in recent days, devoting numerous segments to the launch of its latest tour as well as hosting its chairman for softball interviews.
Murdoch: Fox News should not be “supporting the tea party”
Murdoch: “I don't think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party.” Asked by Media Matters about Fox News' role in promoting the tea party movement, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch stated: “I don't think we should be supporting the tea party or any other party.”
Yet Fox is relentlessly promoting latest Tea Party Express tour
Cameron promoted Tea Party Express tour launch in Reno, NV. On the October 18 edition of America's Newsroom, correspondent Carl Cameron stated: “The Tea Party Express is going to launch a tour here today, and it has been the most potent, most visible voice within the tea party movement across the country.” He added that "[t]his will be their fourth and final tour of the year. There have been three so far; they've spent millions of dollars around the country." Cameron later stated: “Ultimately, and I love this ... they end in Concord, New Hampshire -- just coincidentally my home state, but more importantly the home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.” Fox also aired a map of the Tea Party Express tour route:
Cameron hosted Tea Party Express chairman to promote tour. On the October 18 edition of Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott noted that “the Tea Party Express is kicking off a two-week national bus tour” and introduced Cameron by saying, “Carl, the tea party helped Sharron Angle get nominated there in Nevada. Can they help her win?” Cameron replied, “They're certainly going to try. The Tea Party Express' fourth and final bus tour of 2010 kicks off here from Reno, in just a matter of a couple of hours.” Cameron noted the tour's schedule and then introduced Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer and allowed her to give a “20-second synopsis for TV of what the Express accomplished in the primaries.” After allowing Kremer to promote the Tea Party Express, Cameron summarized her comments as “some very, very professional, very, very astute rhetoric.”
Fox Business' McDowell: “Tea party voters have a chance to jump on the bandwagon as the Tea Party Express weaves its way across the U.S.” On October 18, Fox Business also promoted the kickoff of the Tea Party Express tour. Fox Business co-host Dagen McDowell introduced the tour by stating: “Tea party voters have a chance to jump on the bandwagon as the Tea Party Express weaves its way across the U.S.” Fox Business also aired a map of the Tea Party Express tour route with text stating that Fox News contributor Sarah Palin “helped launch tea party bus rally in Reno, NV”:
Baier: “The Tea Party Express is coming to a parking lot near you.” On the October 18 edition of Special Report, host Bret Baier stated that “the Tea Party Express is coming to a parking lot near you.” In a subsequent report, Cameron highlighted Fox News contributor Sarah Palin's speech at the Tea Party Express rally in Reno earlier that day, calling her “the face of the Tea Party Express.” Cameron also highlighted the upcoming stops on the Tea Party Express tour.
Van Susteren hosted Palin to promote Tea Party Express. On the October 18 edition of On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren played a clip of Palin's speech at the Tea Party Express rally in Reno and aired a pre-recorded interview with Palin directly afterward. During the interview, conducted by correspondent Griff Jenkins, Palin promoted the “tea party American message of smaller, smarter government.” Jenkins asked Palin if she thought that the tea party movement “was going to get this big, that this movement was going to have the impact that it's had.” Palin claimed that the movement had been “slandered” and “lied about” by the “mainstream media.”
Fox & Friends hosts Kremer to explain “the mission of this tour.” On October 19, Fox & Friends hosted Kremer to promote the launch of the Tea Party Express tour. During the interview, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked Kremer, “What is the mission of this tour?” and asked Kremer to respond to an NAACP report that, in Carlson's words, “says that people in tea parties are extremists and racists.” Kremer called the NAACP report “ridiculous” and “political posturing.” During the segment, onscreen text read, “Party on! Tea Party Express hits the road”:
Fox & Friends repeatedly promoted Palin “lead[ing]” Tea Party Express. On October 19, Fox & Friends repeatedly promoted Palin's involvement with the Tea Party Express, airing a clip of Palin's On the Record interview with onscreen text stating, “Palin leads Tea Party Express.” Fox & Friends also repeatedly aired clips of Palin's Tea Party Express speech, and co-host Steve Doocy stated that Palin “had the soundbite of the day yesterday ... she said, quote, 'We can see 2012 from our houses.' ” From Fox & Friends:
Tea Party Express proposed to “boost” PAC through Fox
Consultant proposed the Express saying it would “give a boost to our PAC,” highlighted possible friendly coverage from “Fox commentators.” The Tea Party Express is a project of the Our Country Deserves Better Committee, an anti-Democratic PAC. In the original memo proposing the creation of the Tea Party Express, a consultant with Russo Marsh, Joe Wierzbicki, wrote that it could “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.” Wierzbicki also wrote that the effort could get “some mentions and possibly even promotion from conservative/pro-tea party bloggers, talk radio hosts, Fox News commentators, etc...”
Tea Party Express used Fox Nation's promotion of its video in a July 2009 fundraising email. From a July 29, 2009, email sent from the Our Country Deserves Better PAC:
Tea Party Express praised “great television news coverage” from Fox News. In a November 15, 2009, email to supporters, the Tea Party Express praised “some of the great television news coverage this effort has received. Media coverage is an important aspect of the Tea Party Express tours - it's all about getting our message out to millions of Americans - to inform them that there is an active political resistance against the socialist agenda of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.”
The Tea Party Express' examples of “great television news coverage” included links to numerous segments about its efforts on Fox News:
Fox heavily promoted previous three Tea Party Express tours
Fox Nation asked: “Will you join the Tea Party Express?” On July 28, 2009 Fox Nation posted a promotional ad for the Tea Party Express using the headline, “Will You Join the Tea Party Express?” From The Fox Nation:
Fox & Friends tells viewers “how you can join” Tea Party Express. During its August 19, 2009, broadcast, Fox & Friends hosted then Tea Party Express organizer and OCDB vice chairman Mark Williams, who has said Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and has compared “Obama's death panels” to Nazi experiments. During the segment, Fox News helped viewers find out “how you can join” the tour by noting the dates and locations of 22 upcoming stops.
Fox News anchor Bream: “We want to let folks know” Tea Party schedule so “they can be a part” of events. The August 23, 2009, edition of America's News HQ hosted Williams to promote the tour. During the segment, host Shannon Bream said of the tour's schedule:
BREAM: You do have a bit of a cohesive, at least organized schedule -- we want to let folks know you're going to be making -
BREAM: -- 34, 35 stops, I believe it is, all across the country, so if they want to come out and take part, they certainly can be a part of what you're doing, and, you know, this has definitely struck a chord with people.
Jenkins promotes upcoming Fox coverage on Greta. On the August 25, 2009, edition of On the Record, Jenkins promoted Fox News' coverage of the Tea Party Express, stating that “a Tea Party Express, which we will cover here, begins Friday in California, making its way all the way to Washington.”
Fox Business' Cavuto hosts Williams to promote tea parties. During the August 27, 2009, edition of Fox Business' Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto promoted the tour and interviewed Williams. During the segment, Fox Business ran a graphic map of the tour's path through the country and posted the tour's website address.
" 'Hannity' Hops the Tea Party Express!" In an August 27, 2009 post on Sean Hannity's FoxNews.com blog, a producer wrote that Hannity “will be along for the ride!” adding: “Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you.” From the post, titled, " 'Hannity' Hops the Tea Party Express!" (emphasis in original):
Starting tomorrow, the Tea Party Express will begin its 16-day, 35-city tour across the nation, rallying Americans to stand up against out-of-control government spending... and 'Hannity' will be along for the ride!
With video camera in hand, our own Griff Jenkins will be catching all the action on the road and filing reports for The Great American Blog as the Express makes its way from Sacramento, CA to the Taxpayer March on Washington, D.C. Sept. 12!
Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you.
And make sure to check back starting tomorrow to follow Griff on the road!
Hannity: Griff Jenkins will “stop every single place.” On the August 27, 2009 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Hannity said:
HANNITY: And now, starting this weekend, by the way, the Tea Party Express tour kicks off, where Americans from all over the country are going to hit the streets to voice their grievances over government spending and, of course, universal government health care. And our own Griff Jenkins is going to stop every single place, and he's starting this weekend and he's going to be checking in and giving us an update and blogging with the latest video on our Great, Great American Blog, and we'll also be checking in with him in our -- all throughout the next week, so that's coming up.
Fox News reported live from Tea Party Express kickoff. On August 28, 2009, Fox News dispatched Jenkins and reporter William La Jeunesse to the Tea Party Express kickoff in Sacramento. Between 8 a.m. and noon ET, La Jeunesse filed two live reports for Fox News and one for Fox Business.
La Jeunesse: “Hopefully Washington will listen to their concerns.” During the August 28, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, La Jeunesse reported live from Sacramento on the kickoff of the Tea Party Express. At the conclusion of his report, La Jeunesse said of the tour's concerns: "[T]hey believe, collectively, that they at least have a voice, and hopefully Washington will listen to their concerns."
La Jeunesse interviewed Williams. During the August 28, 2009, edition of America's Newsroom, La Jeunesse interviewed Williams. La Jeunesse asked Williams, “critics like Speaker Pelosi say this is Astroturf, that basically Republican operatives like yourself are organizing this with one goal in mind, to unseat Democrats.” Williams responded:
WILLIAMS: Well, the Republican Party right now is in a coma. I wish they were helping. I wish they had the capability to help with something like this. No, this is democracy. These are working stiff, taxpaying citizens, who are being abused horribly by their government. You will see that here today in Sacramento where the emphasis will be on the Central Valley and water rights and such, so you'll be seeing guys taking breaks from their fields to come here.
Fox Nation: “Will You Join the Tea Party Express II?” On October 13, 2009, the Fox Nation promoted the tea Party Express II with two separate posts. From the Fox Nation homepage:
Fox & Friends Sunday hosted Williams to promote the “Bigger & Better” Tea Party Express II. On the October 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Dave Briggs described the Tea Party Express by saying that “the bus tour that took the country by storm is back by popular demand.” The show hosted Williams and the composer of the Tea Party's anthem Lloyd Marcus to promote the second Tea Party Express tour. The on-screen text during the segment highlighted the new tour as “Bigger & Better.”
Doocy highlights “major grassroots support” of the Tea Party Express II tour. On the November 12 edition of Fox & Friends, Mark Williams appeared on the show to discuss the conclusion of the Tea Party Express II tour. Carlson noted that the tour “focused on small town U.S.A.,” while Doocy lauded the tour for its “major grassroots support.”
Fox provides unending coverage of Tea Party Express III kick-off rally. Fox News provided all-day coverage of the March 27 kickoff rally for the Tea Party Express III bus tour, with the network's hosts and on-site reporter Casey Stegall frequently praising the rally's participants. For example, Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Clayton Morris previewed the network's coverage by saying it was a “huge day for the tea party... they're firing up, filling up the tanks with gas, 23 states getting ready to rumble,” Neil Cavuto said of the activists, “God bless these folks,” and Stegall said that there is “a real energy that you feel from the people who are out here.”
Fox News asks if rally is “Conservative Woodstock.” Shannon Bream opened the noon ET hour of America's News HQ by stating of the Tea Party Express' March 27 rally, “Organizers are hoping it will be a conservative Woodstock as thousands of tea party activists converge on Harry Reid's small town of Searchlight, Nevada.” Bream also aired the following graphic:
Fox promotes, lauds “rock star” Palin's keynote address. Palin was the event's keynote speaker. After Fox's anchors repeatedly promoted her speech, Fox News aired it live in its entirety. Stegall subsequently lauded the address, calling Palin “the rock star here” and saying that Palin was “no doubt very, very big, she was the big draw of this event.”
Special Report declares Tea Party Express protest the “21st century version” of the Boston Tea Party. On the April 14 edition of Special Report, Baier led in to a report on the Tea Party Express's rally in Boston by claiming that the groups' event was the “21st century version” of the Boston Tea Party.