Fox News Plagiarizes RNC's Hillary Clinton Attack Campaign
From The RNC To FNC: The Conservative Media Pipeline For GOP Attacks
Fox & Friends ripped off the Republican National Committee's latest hit job on Hillary Clinton, building an entire segment around the GOP's specious “Where's Hillary?” campaign without disclosing the source.
“Where in the world is Hillary Clinton?” Fox & Friends co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Thursday. “It's been 204 days since her last press conference and 186 days since her last interview,” and according to Hasselbeck, “Hillary seems to be in hiding.”
Hasselbeck's report is ripped straight from a Republican National Committee (RNC) memo announcing its “Hillary's Hiding” campaign. That campaign, launched two days before the Fox & Friends segment, purports to “keep asking, 'Where's Hillary?'” and focuses on the number of days since Clinton's last press conference and interview. At no point did Hasselbeck credit the RNC for the concept that framed her segment.
As Slate noted, the RNC's campaign got “a rather large unpaid push from” right-wing media, which quickly adopted the campaign's attacks. The conservative Drudge Report, Washington Free Beacon and Weekly Standard blog amplified the RNC attacks. Rush Limbaugh mimicked the attacks, while Fox News' Sean Hannity even credited himself with inspiring the RNC's ads.
Fox News has a history of adopting GOP talking points as their own. In October 2013, Fox & Friends aired a video attacking the Obama administration over the faulty launch of Healthcare.gov that was strikingly similar to a then just-released RNC attack.
The Republican opposition research group America Rising launched a campaign similar to the RNC's on February 6 entitled, “Hiding Hillary.” As Politico noted, “the similarity indicates Republicans' universal wish to combat Clinton's candidacy early on.”