Demonstrating the entangled relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party, a new campaign ad for Rand Paul's (R-KY) Senate campaign features a clip of contributor Sarah Palin endorsing Paul on Fox News Sunday. Fox News last month demanded that YouTube remove a Democratic National Committee ad that featured Fox footage, raising the question of whether Fox News will take similar action over Paul's ad.
As Daily Kos' Jed Lewison noted, while Fox News had the DNC ad yanked, it ignored similar RNC videos that featured Fox clips:
Ordinarily, the inclusion of a clip from cable channel in a campaign ad would be unremarkable, but just last month, Fox demanded the DNC pull an ad from YouTube that included Fox footage. The DNC asserted that it was exercising its fair use rights to no avail; Fox stood by its demand, and YouTube pulled the clip.
Meanwhile, there are several clips from Fox on the RNC channel (example 1, 2, and 3). There's nothing wrong with that, but if Fox is going to allow the RNC and Rand Paul to use its video in their political campaigns, shouldn't they also let the DNC do the same?
Fox News' Fox Nation appears to have no problem with the ad, as the conservative website is touting it under the headline, “WATCH: Palin Stars in Ad for Tea Party Candidate.”
Fox News personalities routinely use their employment with the news channel to promote and tout their PAC-endorsed candidates and causes. In February, Mike Huckabee hosted and promoted Florida State Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R), who Huck PAC endorsed. In 2009, Huckabee repeatedly used Fox News to fundraise for his PAC on-air; Fox executives later reportedly asked Huckabee to stop the promotions. In February, Fox News contributor Rick Santorum touted the prospects of Rep. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) U.S. Senate campaign and attacked his Democratic opponent; Santorum's PAC endorsed and donated to Kirk.
Palin signed with Fox News on January 11. On January 26, Palin gave $2,000 to the Paul campaign. The campaign subsequently touted her donation on February 1, writing: “National political icon and conservative leader Sarah Palin has endorsed Dr. Rand Paul in his bid for United States Senate from Kentucky. The Paul campaign has received a generous donation from Governor Palin's PAC.”
Palin was asked to defend the endorsement on the February 7 edition of Fox News Sunday. Palin said that Paul wants limited government and added that “I respect that and I'm proud to support him.” (The Paul campaign ran this quote in its ad.)
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): You recently stirred up some controversy, as you often do, even your -- when you endorsed Rand Paul as the Senate -- he's running in the Senate primary for -- in Kentucky, the GOP Senate primary. And Bill Kristol, your longtime supporter, was upset with you because one of the things he pointed out -- Paul wants to close Guantanamo. He wants to send the detainees back to Afghanistan. He wants to repeal the Patriot Act. He wants to do away with any federal role in either gay marriage or drug laws, leave it to the states.
WALLACE: Why would you support a...
WALLACE: ... guy like that?
But nobody's ever going to find a perfect candidate. There are things that I don't agree with Rand Paul and yet his domestic policies, for the most part, I do agree with. He wants limited government. He wants the feds to start taking their hands off states' issues.
And I respect that and I'm proud to support him -- again, never finding a perfect candidate. No doubt, he disagrees with me on a whole lot of issues, but -- proud to support him and others whom I can believe in.
The Paul campaign then highlighted Palin's remarks on its website, writing: “Sarah Palin took to the airwaves Sunday on Fox News Channel in support of Rand Paul's U.S. Senate campaign.”
The following are images from the Paul campaign ad featuring Sarah Palin:
The following is a screenshot from the February 7 Fox News Sunday interview without the Fox News logo obscured:
The DNC ad featuring Fox News footage now displays: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Fox News Network, LLC.”