Fox News’ most opinionated hosts are all but registered shills for the Republican Party, but a new analysis from Media Matters reveals just how much anchors including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham are making off with through paid appearances at Republican events.
The analysis, published on Monday, looks into how much Fox News hosts have been paid by conservative and GOP organizations in order to use their celebrity to benefit the Republican Party itself. It covers more than 50 times that Fox News hosts have spoken at Republican or conservative events between 2007 and 2016.
You can read the full report here, but the highlights are pretty astounding alone: According to Media Matters’ analysis, hosts Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Greg Gutfeld, Sean Hannity, Pete Hegseth, Laura Ingraham, and Jeanine Pirro received over $500,000 from Republican groups while working for Fox News. News personalities including anchor Shannon Bream and Neil Cavuto, the network’s senior vice president of business news, have also headlined conservative events, including with Republican officials.
The analysis also dives into potential conflicts of interest that Fox News hosts have dabbled in following their paid appearances. Fox & Friends anchor Pete Hegseth, for instance, headlined a 2018 fundraiser at which Michigan Republican and then-Senate candidate John James spoke before interviewing him multiple times in the months afterward. Jeanine Pirro also appeared at a 2018 fundraiser that also featured Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy in before interviewing him the following day.
Most alarmingly, if even possible, is the conclusion by Media Matters that Fox News hosts have financially assisted President Donald Trump by speaking at events on Trump properties, such as Laura Ingraham’s January 2018 appearance at Mar-A-Lago for the Trumpettes USA club, and Gutfeld’s appearance the following month for the Morris County Republican Committee Fundraiser at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, for which Media Matters says he was paid $30,000.
We have reached out to Fox News for comment and will update if we hear back.
None of this is news, really. Back in November, for instance, the network itself tried to cover its ass after Hannity and Pirro spoke at a Trump campaign rally days before the midterm elections. But perhaps what really matters is the transparency that a report like this creates.