Hypocritical Fox News Millionaires Attack “Six Figure” Union Salaries

In their ongoing attempt to smear unions, Fox News hosts and contributors have frequently criticized the annual salaries of union workers and union bosses. Yet most of these Fox News critics and their colleagues make several million dollars a year, while attacking union members for making considerably less.

Fox News Criticize Union Salaries And Benefits

Fox & Friends Criticizes Union Boss Salaries. During the March 4 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts aired a segment on the salaries and benefits of union heads and criticized them for earning six-figure salaries. Co-host Gretchen Carlson asked viewers, “So you've got to wonder about this whole fight then. Is it really for the rights of those workers? I mean, yes, part of it is, but is it also the fight to keep these organizations in power, when you see the kind of money that they are, not only making personally, but they are donating to political parties?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/4/11]

Multimillionaire Glenn Beck Decides “Realistic” Teacher Salaries. During the March 1 edition of his radio program, Glenn Beck stated that public workers like teachers, policemen and firemen “must be realistic” in their expectations of wages. He said, “Who doesn't want their teachers to make the most amount of money, but in a realistic, free enterprise sort of way?” [Media Matters, 3/1/11]

Hannity Calls Union Salaries And Benefits “Pretty Generous.” On the February 22 broadcast of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity hosted Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R-WI) to discuss the ongoing Wisconsin labor union conflict. During the interview, Hannity described the salaries and benefits of union workers as “pretty generous” and allowed Kleefisch to compare his salary to that of union workers. From the broadcast:

HANNITY: Yes. Well, it seems to me though that, you know, based on the salary figures that I'm looking at, are the people in the union, the unions that were [sic] talking about, do they get more than their private sector counterparts or less in terms of salary and benefits? Because seems like they have pretty generous benefits and salary.

KLEEFISCH: They do. And Sean, you and I know from working in the private sector that it would be ludicrous for you or I to go to our employer and ask our employer to pay both our employee and employer share of our 401(k). Something like that would be laughable in the private sector. Yet, it is happening everyday for government workers. We are asking for pension contribution of 5.8 percent. That is modest when it comes to the private sector. In addition to that, we are asking for health care contribution of 12.6 percent, that is half of the national average. And when you look at our cost drivers right now, our health care costs have risen 90 percent since 2002.

HANNITY: All right. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/22/11, accessed via Nexis]

Yet Fox News Employees Make Millions Of Dollars A Year

News Corp's Roger Ailes Reportedly Made Nearly $24 Million In 2008. In a September 2009 Bloomberg Businessweek article, it was reported that Fox News president Roger Ailes “collected almost $24 million last year in salary, bonuses, stock grants and other benefits - nearly $2 million more than Murdoch himself.” [Bloomberg, 9/15/09]

Bill O'Reilly Renewed His Contract In 2008 To The Tune Of $10 Million A Year. An October 2008 article in The Washington Post reported that Bill O'Reilly renewed his contract “for several more years.” The contract will pay O'Reilly “more than $10 million a year.” [The Washington Post, 10/22/08]

New York Magazine Reports That Glenn Beck Made $32 Million In 2009. In an April 2010 article, New York Magazine reported that Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts host Glenn Beck “pulled in $32 million in the twelve months ending March 1 [2010].” [Media Matters, 7/23/09; New York Magazine, 4/7/10]

Fox News Host Sean Hannity Reportedly Makes More Than $20 Million Per Year. A 2008 New York Daily News article titled, “Sean Hannity to stay with Fox News through 2012,” stated that the host reportedly signed a “multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract that is believed to keep Hannity tied to the top-rated cable news network through the 2012 election cycle.” Although Hannity's “multimillion-dollar” Fox News contract numbers were not revealed, the article does state that Hannity “recently signed at $20 million-a-year deal to do his radio show.” [Daily News, 10/8/08]

Fox Business Host Eric Bolling Reportedly Makes Between $10 And $15 Million Annually. A 2007 post on the financial blog Stockpitcher.com reported Fox Business host Eric Bolling's annual salary as being between $10 and $15 million. [Stockpitcher.com, 8/22/07]