After months of promoting its own contributor, Newt Gingrich, as a vice presidential candidate for Donald Trump, Fox News has finally decided it's a conflict of interest to keep him on the payroll. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't have one more opportunity to use Fox to promote himself for the job
Media Matters explains what's wrong with this picture:
Fox News released a statement today announcing it has "mutually agreed" with Gingrich to suspend his contract “due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection” as Trump’s running mate and “to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise.”
The timing of the announcement makes little sense -- Gingrich has repeatedly been mentioned on Fox News and elsewhere as a potential Trump running mate for months. If the network truly hoped to avoid “conflicts of interest,” it should have suspended Gingrich long ago, not mere days before Trump is reportedly set to announce his running mate.
Fox’s own personalities have been pushing Gingrich as a VP choice since Trump became the presumptive nominee. They have touted Gingrich -- the first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to be punished by the House for ethics violations -- as “a genius,” “a conservative with bona fides,” and someone who would “bring tremendous stability, tremendous gravitas, incredible intellect,” and “judgment experience.” Fox News host Sean Hannity recently said, “I wouldn't be happy with anyone but Newt."
We've noted that while Gingrich has occasionally criticized Trump, he also has talked as though he were already part of the Trump campaign. It was nearly a full week ago that Trump publicly announced that, VP or not, Gingrich would have some role in a Trump administration.
Trump teased the prospect of picking Gingrich throughout his remarks. “I’m not saying anything and I’m not telling Newt anything. But I can tell you, in one form or another, Newt Gingrich will be involved with our government, okay," he said. "He’s tough.” [...] “Newt’s going to get involved if I get approval from his wife,” Trump said, eyeing Gingrich as he said it.
According to CNN, Trump is expected to name his running mate this week.
Watch Fox host Sandra Smith give Gingrich eight more minutes to promote himself for the job during an appearance on today's Your World.
News Hound Ellen also contributed to this post.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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