Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, a prominent anti-immigration advocate who recently formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for Congress, is a frequent guest on Fox News, and has used his platform to promote and fundraise for his potential congressional bid. Babeu is just the latest in a long line of Republican candidates that Fox News has enthusiastically promoted.
Babeu Appears Frequently On Fox
Babeu Announces Exploratory Committee For Congressional Run.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who quickly rose to national prominence as a leading advocate of tough border security and immigration enforcement and more recently gained attention as a sharp critic of President Barack Obama's administration over the “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling scandal, announced Monday that he is considering running for Congress.
Babeu is the first Republican to announce that he may run in a redrawn district that is expected to cover most of rural western Arizona and is expected to heavily favor Republicans. The congressional map is being redrawn as part of the decennial redistricting process. [The Arizona Republic, 10/24/11]
Babeu Is A Frequent Fox News Guest. A Media Matters study found that Babeu appeared on Fox at least 30 times between April 2010 and June 2011. Since June 2011, Babeu has appeared at least another seven times. [Media Matters, 10/27/11, 10/27/11]
Fox's Bolling Calls Babeu “America's Sheriff.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 6/21/11]
Babeu Appeared On Fox To Discuss His Possible Congressional Run. From the October 25 edition of Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Why do you want to go to Washington? You got your hands full out there in Arizona.
BABEU: We do. We're tired of getting punched in the gut out here in Arizona. And not only to stand up for the rule of law, I have another experience, an army officer, I've had the honor to command soldiers at the border in Yuma, where we've helped actually reduce illegal entries by 96%. So I know a little bit more about border security and what it takes to secure that border than Janet Napolitano.
GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Well, I guess you could argue that because you're in that state doing that every single day.
BABEU: I don't think [Democrats] like Fox News. But we love Fox News, we're going to continue to watch and be great fans of yours out here in Arizona. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/11]
Fox's Bolling to Babeu: “You're Right For The Job. I Say Go For It.” Interviewing Babeu about his possible congressional run, Eric Bolling said, “So you're looking at an exploratory committee. Listen, I'll be your committee. You're right for the job. I say go for it.” [Fox Business, Follow The Money, 10/25/11]
Arizona Republic Columnist: Babeu Gained “Great Exposure” From Being “A Staple On The Talk Shows Of Fox News.” Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini wrote:
If the current redistricting model holds, Babeu will seek office in a district that covers much of rural western Arizona and has a big Republican voter advantage. He'll likely have some competition, but no one with more name recognition.
“It would be easy for me to stay and continue to get re-elected (as sheriff),” he said. “But I have been moved to explore this opportunity. . . . I won't ever lose the fact that I served as a sheriff. I will always have that as the core of my identity. So, with me, if a sheriff goes to Washington and I am behind closed doors, people here won't have to question whether I am the strongest voice in the room for them. Or what my opinion will be.”
Babeu has become a staple on the talk shows of Fox News. It's great exposure. But name recognition is like a blank check; it's only valuable if you cash it.
Babeu is headed to the bank. [The Arizona Republic, 10/28/11]
Babeu Has A Strong Anti-Immigrant Stance
Babeu Calls For Militarizing U.S./Mexico Border. From the April 21 edition of Fox & Friends:
BABEU: The real thing we need to do: secure the border first. Then we can have a reasonable, dispassionate discussion about what we do. Instead of calling elected sheriffs liars on national TV, why don't we talk about truly what we're going to do to secure the border. And it's going to take armed soldiers. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/21/11]
Babeu Appeared On Fox To Call For “6,000 Armed Soldiers” To Be Sent To U.S./Mexico Border. From the May 10 edition of Glenn Beck:
BABEU: What we need is 6,000 armed soldiers to be deployed to the border for two years to immediately stop the flow of not just illegal immigration, but the drug smuggling, the cartels that have resulted in 35,000 people killed, with the government of Mexico fighting the cartels it has nearly toppled their government. To stop them from coming across and we build this double barrier fence across about 700 miles of the 2,000 mile border. The president's simply wrong. He's the one who stopped the fence from getting built. We've hardly built any fence. So he doesn't even have the facts straight. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/10/11]
Fox Has A History Of Promoting Conservative Candidates On-Air
September 2010: Fox News Hosts, Contributors Endorsed, Touted O'Donnell
September 2: Cavuto Tells O'Donnell, “The Tea Party Saw Something In You, Galvanized Its Efforts And Away We Go.” In a September 2 interview on Your World (retrieved from Nexis), host Neil Cavuto said to O'Donnell: “You know, it was sort of like you became like an overnight emerging force. And I don't know whether it had to do with what was going on, you know, in Alaska, but bottom line, the Tea Party saw something in you, galvanized its efforts and away we go.” [Fox News, Your World, 9/2/10, via Nexis]
September 8: Malkin Tells Hannity, “I Endorsed Christine O'Donnell.” On the September 8 edition of Hannity (retrieved from Nexis), Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said, “I endorsed Christine O'Donnell. I met her over the past couple of weeks in D.C.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/8/10, via Nexis]
September 9: Palin Endorses O'Donnell On Hannity's Radio Show. On the September 9 edition of Sean Hannity's radio show, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin endorsed O'Donnell, after having earlier re-tweeted a positive statement about O'Donnell from radio host Tammy Bruce. [Huffington Post, 9/9/10; The Hill, 9/8/10]
September 13: Van Susteren Airs Palin's Endorsement Of O'Donnell. On the September 13 edition of On the Record (retrieved from Nexis), host Greta Van Susteren said “O'Donnell has Governor Palin in her corner,” then aired the endorsement robocall Palin made for O'Donnell's campaign. [Fox News, On the Record, 9/13/10, via Nexis]
Post-Election: O'Donnell Credits Fox Figures And Movements For Win As Network Celebrates Her Victory
O'Donnell Cites Palin, Groups With Ties To Fox News During Victory Speech. In her primary victory speech, O'Donnell thanked Palin and the Tea Party Express for their support. O'Donnell also thanked the Glenn Beck inspired 9-12 movement for “laying the foundation and stirring things up.” [Media Matters, 9/15/10]
Hannity Touted His Support For O'Donnell. On the September 14, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Hannity highlighted how “talk radio, including myself and Mark Levin and Rush and others ... got involved in the Delaware primary and people's awareness went up.” He declared that O'Donnell's success was another sign that “we are seeing the establishment being beaten by the tea party movement and by conservatives that are saying, you know what? We've had it with RINO [Republican In Name Only] Republicans.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/14/10]
Carlson: It's “Suicide” For Republicans Not To Support O'Donnell. On the September 15, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson opined that Republicans deciding not to support O'Donnell was not a “smart move,” and later added that “This is suicide for the party.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/15/10]
Gingrich Throws Support To O'Donnell. Following O'Donnell's win, then-Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich issued a series of tweets praising her:
- “Christine odonnell won in delaware. She got more votes in the primary. The elite media wants to declare her unelectable--nonsense-she won”
- “There will be an all out effort to discredit christine odonnell in delaware just as there was to discredit sharon angle in nevada”
- “Angle will beat harry reid and odonnel will win in delaware. 2010 is the year of the grassroots over the establishment”
Brown Appeared On Fox To Encourage Viewers To Visit His Website. In appearances on America's Newsroom, On the Record, and Hannity, Brown pointed viewers to his campaign website, solicited funds for his campaign, and also cited RedInvadesBlue.com, where, he said, “we have a money bomb right now that's hitting ... and you can help me fight back against the machine.” Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Greta Van Susteren said they invited Democratic candidate Martha Coakley to appear on their Fox News shows. [Media Matters, 1/12/10]
Fox “Political Analyst” Dick Morris Urges Viewers To “Please, Please Help” Brown. During the January 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, political analyst Dick Morris urged viewers to “go to DickMorris.com ... to help elect Brown,” because if “we win this fight, then there will never be another victory for Obama.” [Media Matters, 1/12/10]
Between May 2009 And May 17, 2010, Then-Candidate Paul Appeared On Fox News, Fox Business, And FoxNews.com 21 Times. [Media Matters, 5/19/10]
Fox News Contributor Sarah Palin Endorsed Paul. Footage of Palin endorsing Paul appeared in a campaign ad for Paul's campaign, which was promoted on Fox Nation. [Media Matters, 4/22/10]
Fox “Political Analyst” Dick Morris Endorsed Paul On Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard. [Media Matters, 3/16/10]
Fox Dubs Rubio A “Political Star.” From the February 19, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
[Media Matters, 2/19/10]
America's Newsroom: Rubio's CPAC Speech “One Of The Most Eagerly Anticipated Moments Of The Conference.” On the February 18, 2010, edition of America's Newsroom, while Rubio was giving his speech, host Bill Hemmer commented that it was “one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of the conference.” [Media Matters, 2/19/10]
Hannity: Rubio “Knocked It Out Of The Park In His Speech.” On the February 18, 2010, edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity described Rubio's speech as “one of the most anticipated moments today” before hosting Rubio, whom Hannity said has a “pretty inspiring story to tell.” Elsewhere during the program, Hannity exclaimed that “Marco Rubio knocked it out of the park in his speech,” and said he “is a rising star.” [Media Matters, 2/19/10]
Dick Morris Urged Hannity Viewers To Be “Helpful” To Angle. From the June 28, 2010, edition of Hannity:
MORRIS: If you don't want to put up with Harry Reid and his immigration position, everything else, for the next six years, you've got to be helpful in that race. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/28/10]
O'Reilly Calls Angle Campaign Ad “A Home Run.” On the July 14, 2010, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly explained why Angle's campaign ad was so effective:
O'REILLY: She's new. Angle's new. Instead of putting the focus on her, she basically is saying, look, here's Reid. Here's what he's done for Nevada. Nevada is the worst state in the union as far as employment, the economy. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/14/10]
Hannity Hosted Angle To Promote Her Website, Ask For Donations. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/15/10]
Fox Business' Tobin Smith Tells Angle She Is His “Hero.” From the July 19, 2010, edition of America's Nightly Scoreboard:
SMITH: You're my hero for a couple of reasons. Number one, you, by yourself, took on the Nevada Supreme Court and won. Now see, I think that is more courageous than anything I've ever heard. Now you're taking on the most powerful man in the Senate, who's got unlimited cash. He's got a war chest that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger blush. How you gonna do this? You don't even have a war room, I read, you don't have a communications director, how you gonna beat Harry Reid? [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 7/19/10]
Doocy Attempted To Conceal Angle's Position On Social Security. Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that it was “not true” that Angle wanted to eliminate Social Security, even though her campaign website advocated “transition[ing] out” Social Security. [Media Matters, 6/14/10]