Fox Fails to Disclose Guest Defending Trump is On His Payroll

Fox Fails to Disclose Guest Defending Trump is On His Payroll July 22, 2015

Fox News brought Roger Stone on TV to defend Donald Trump after several days of outrage over his attacks on John McCain and refusal to do anything but make it worse. What they didn’t do was disclose the fact that Stone works for Trump as one of his top advisers.

Fox Didn’t Disclose Stone’s Financial Ties To Trump. During the July 20 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced guest Roger Stone as a “political strategist.” On-screen text identified him as a “libertarian political strategist.” Fox News and Stone did not disclose his connections to Trump. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/20/15, via Media Matters; Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/20/15]

Stone: “Trump Is Out Front Because He Is Speaking Hard Truths.” During the segment, Stone strongly defended Trump and his widely-criticized remarks about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Stone pushed Trump’s candidacy for president, claiming he is “out front because he is speaking hard truths.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/20/15, via Media Matters]

Trump Paid Stone’s Firm $30,000. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. paid Drake Ventures, LLC a total of $30,000 between April 10 and May 31 for “communications consulting,” according to Trump’s July Federal Elections Commission report.* Drake Ventures LLC is run by Roger Stone, according to records with the Florida Department of State. The New York Times has also referred to Drake Ventures as “Stone’s Florida public relations company.” [FEC.gov, accessed 7/20/15; Sunbiz.org, accessed 7/20/15New York Times4/16/10]

This is journalistic ethics 101, folks. Both Fox News and Stone himself had an ethical obligation to inform viewers that he is not an objective observer but a paid employee of Trump.

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