As Fox News attempts to blame the Kerry campaign for the CBS News document controversy, it is also claiming CBS has a “liberal” bias/conflict of interest because a producer apparently told a Kerry aide about the documents. But a look at the record shows Fox has a far more pronounced bias and conflict of interest, as its news executives have given political advice to the White House, its top political reporter’s wife worked on the Bush campaign, and its news director on election night 2000 was actually related to George W. Bush.
According to Bob Woodward’s book, Fox News executive Roger Ailes, who formerly served as a GOP political operative, gave White House political adviser Karl Rove a confidential memo after 9/11 that advised the president on how to consolidate his power. “[Ailes’] back-channel message: The American public would tolerate waiting and would be patient, but only as long as they were convinced that Bush was using the harshest measures possible” in response to the terror attacks, Woodward writes. The move was so brazen, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson told PBS, “Roger Ailes is the editorial chief of fox news, and this gives the appearance of partisanship. This is sucking up to power.” [Source: New York Daily News, 11/19/02; PBS, 11/21/02]
Fox Correspondent Jokes on Camera About His Wife Working for George W. Bush
Fox News was so openly close with the Bush campaign in 2000 it allowed Carl Cameron to cover George W. Bush, even though Cameron’s wife was working on the Bush campaign. As the New York Observer reports, the movie Outfoxed has camera “footage showing Mr. Cameron pandering to George W. Bush in a sit-down interview on July 19, 2000: Mr. Cameron tells Mr. Bush that his wife, Pauline Cameron, was campaigning with Mr. Bush’s sister, Dorothy (‘Doro’) Bush Koch. This delights Mr. Bush.” One source familiar with the situation, who declined to be named, told NYTV “that Mr. Cameron had attempted to get his wife a job with the Bush transition team.” [Source: New York Observer, 7/26/04]
Fox Puts Bush Cousin in Charge of Election Night; Calls Bush Five Times to Consult
Fox News put John Ellis, President Bush’s cousin, in charge of its election night projections in 2000. Fox became the first network to call Florida for George W. Bush – even though the data did not support the call. AP later reported that Ellis “spoke five times with his cousin, George W. Bush” on election night. [Source: AP, 12/12/00]
Fox Pushed Swift Boat Ads Without Confirmation of Truth; Never Gave Apology
Fox News has criticized CBS for supposedly wanting to influence the presidential election. Yet it was Fox News that continued to repeat all of the allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Sen. John Kerry, even though there was no factual evidence to prove them. Fox News has yet to issue an apology.
Fox Airs 20 Percent More of GOP Convention than Democratic Convention; All Other Networks Kept Parity
A study immediately after both political conventions concluded found that Fox News devoted 20 percent more air time to covering speeches at the Republican National Convention than speeches at the Democratic National Convention. The other major networks aired equal time of both conventions. [Source: Media Matters, 9/3/04]