Fox News and Fox Business are doing their part to help a newly launched super PAC, Special Operations for America (SOFA), carry out its mission of defeating President Obama. Fox hosted the group's chairman this week on three separate occasions and helped promote the PAC's website.
The group, chaired by Republican Montana State Senator and former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, officially launched on July 18. SOFA states that it “will advocate for the election of Mitt Romney and like-minded candidates” and it “stands against the core threats to National Security created and unchecked by the Obama administration. SOFA will strike to ensure that veterans and our families receive the care and benefits their sacrifice has earned.” SOFA reportedly hopes to air ads in swing states on veterans issues.
SOFA does not list any information about its advisory board on its website as of this posting, but its Twitter account states that Paul E. Vallely is a SOFA board member. Vallely, a Fox News contributor from 2001-2007, has lent support to birther theories. Vallely told birther hub WorldNetDaily last year: “His actual birth certificate has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there, Kapiolani hospital there, if it in fact did exist. ... We've had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document.”
Zinke started this week with a friendly appearance on the July 23 edition of Fox & Friends, during which co-host Steve Doocy asked Zinke to “give us a preview” of his argument that President Obama needs to be defeated. Zinke was also asked to respond to a quote from the Obama campaign attacking Mitt Romney and defending the president's record on veterans issues. During the interview, Zinke plugged the super PAC's website.
Lou Dobbs conducted a softball interview with Zinke on the July 26 edition of his Fox Business program Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs began the interview by saying: “He says President Obama is jeopardizing the safety of our troops and national security for political gain. Strong charges, senator. We are thrilled you're here. And that strong charge is being supported from some quarters. Why do you make it?” At the conclusion of the interview, Dobbs promoted the super PAC's website: “For more information, as the commander said, log onto SOforAmerica.org.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity also promoted SOFA on July 26. Hannity began the interview by noting that the group “is aimed at ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president”:
HANNITY: He jeopardized the safety of our troops, their families and our overall national security. Now a former member of the elite squad known as Navy SEAL Team 6 is going public. He has formed a “Super PAC” called “Special Operations for America,” that is aimed at ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president.
Joining me now with more on how Obama's policies are hurting our military and our country's national security, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member, Montana State Senator Ryan Zinke.
While Hannity spoke, Fox News promoted SOFA's website.
Hannity's questions to Zinke included:
- “All right, tell us what you are doing here?”
- "What about the fact that the president was wrong in rendition, black sites, Gitmo and enhanced interrogations. Without those, you don't have the intelligence to get Bin Laden? Why he can't he acknowledge that President Bush was right and he was wrong?
- “How much are you looking to raise? And is this going to be the ads, I assume the 'super PAC' is going to put out?”
While Zinke spoke, Fox News reminded viewers of the group's website:
Fox News has long been a friendly platform for Republican super PACs like American Crossroads, which is co-founded and advised by Fox News contributor Karl Rove.