Dick Morris Busted for GOP Fundraising using FNC Resources…

TVNewser’s Alex Weprin writes that FNC contributor Dick Morris is in deep doo-doo…

Morris was a featured speaker at an event for the Lake County Republicans in Florida recently, and he offered up a personal tour of Fox News headquarters in New York as an auction item. Media Matters (which first reported the news) noted that the tour sold for $6,000, but unfortunately for the winner, it will not be happening.

Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, told TVNewser that “The tour will absolutely not take place nor would something like that have ever taken place if we were aware of it.” Shine also said he spoke with Morris yesterday and reprimanded him. We’re told Morris apologized profusely and knows this was a major mistake. Additionally the tour has been canceled.

Reprimanded? He should be fired outright or at the very least suspended. Read that headline at the top of this post again. I wrote it that way for a reason…because that’s what Morris did. He was fundraising for the GOP using FNC resources. A simple reprimand does not go far enough. Joe Scarborough and Keith Olbermann both got suspended for donating to campaigns. Yes, MSNBC is not FNC…in this case it appears MSNBC takes these things more seriously than FNC does.

Morris is an old political player. He knows the rules. He knows what looks good and what doesn’t look good. Or, rather, he should know by now what looks good and what doesn’t look good. This was easily avoidable and the potential damage to FNC severe. That FNC didn’t throw the book at Morris will actually make FNC look worse than it potentially would have had this all come out after the fact.

FNC has a long and distinguished history of doing the absolute minimum regarding punishing its staff for errors in judgement that could severely hurt the network’s reputation.

Consider these examples that easily came to me off the top of my head…

– Carl Cameron’s fake John Kerry story which Cameron never should have written in the first place. If this was CNN, Cameron would have been fired. Nothing serious happened to Cameron. Business as usual at FNC.

- Sean Hannity’s aborted Tea Party Fundraiser. There was a lot of huffing and puffing but no suspensions were handed out. Business as usual at FNC.

- The time an NRSCC press release showed up verbatim in an FNC story. FNC apologized…for a typo in the story…not for how an NRSCC press release made it into an FNC story. No heads rolled. No explanation given. Business as usual at FNC.

- Any number of Fox and Friends embarrassments regarding President Obama…too many to possibly list them all. You’d think that with Fox and Friends repeated embarrassment of FNC, that the channel would hold it on an even shorter leash because it was a serial loose canon. Nope. Nobody has ever been suspended or publicly held accountable for making FNC look bad. Business as usual at FNC.

Those are the ones I can immediately recall. If I turned this into a research project I’d probably find more. They, and today’s Morris incident, all have one thing in commmon; they all caused extreme public embarrassment for FNC and they all resulted in little to no punishment for anyone involved.

I don’t get it. I really don’t. If someone makes me look bad by their actions, I punish them for it. There has to be accountability. People have to know there are limits and if you exceed those limits there will be a price to be paid.

At FNC it appears there is little accountability because no transgression, no embarrassment…and some of the above were really bad at the time for FNC, seems to merit severe FNC punishment. Wrist slaps and talking tos…that’s the sum total of the lengths this network seems capable of. CNN fires people for expressing controversial opinions. MSNBC suspends people for making campaign contributions. FNC? I guess it talks them to death…

Update: No wait, I take it back…Fox will suspend you…if you tamper with a co-worker’s script. That’s serious business. Compromising the network’s ability to do its job and impact its reputation? Apparently not as serious business…

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28 Responses to “Dick Morris Busted for GOP Fundraising using FNC Resources…”

  1. bushleaguer Says:

    I wonder what Rebecca Diamond is thinking about this…..kind of like how Martha Stewart felt when the 2008 collapse happened and she looked back at her time in the clink.

    Morris should be fired for this. As Spud pointed out Morris knows better…..this isn’t a case of a new member of the team who is unaware of the spot this puts Fox in.

    As an aside….I can’t stand Dick Morris. Every time he pops up on O’Reilly or wherever he makes my skin crawl.

  2. Oh Spud, you’re acting like the channel that let Glenn Beck run wild for two years actually cares about accountability or the quality of their content. It’s commentary, that doesn’t mean they endorse it, that means that those people endorse it. Fair and Balanced. Rah rah rah!

  3. Beyond the point that Dick Morris is one of the more disgusting of FOX personalities, promoting his “newsletter” on every appearance to an almost disgusting level.

  4. starbroker Says:

    This is just much ado about nothing yet again from Spud.

    Who cares what was done to Keith and Joe. Keith had already been fighting with MSNBC. If Keith hadn’t been slapped on the wrist, they probably would have just overlooked Joe’s. Because they had slapped down Keith (and then caved almost immediately), they had to go after Joe.

    And donating to individual candidates (when you are a host) is a little different.

    What did CBS do when Dan Rather starred at a Democrat Fundraiser??? Huh….

    Wanna get “banished” from Fox and Friends for an INNOCENT and TRUE comment. Just say something like Hitler did some good things as well. Ooops, that will get ya banished to NewsCorp Siberia for a long time.

    When’s MSNBC ever suspend anyone for just running the MEDIA MATTERS story of the day? No research etc. Just straight MM reporting.

    Heck, Ed Schultz can THREATEN TO BURN DOWN 30 ROCK…. how many days was he suspended for that?????!!!

    Wait, who cares about burning down a building and killing all those employees with his terrorist threat…..because NBC disciplines its employes ;).

    How many lies and falsehoods have been uttered by the loonatics at MSLSD and never corrected? No journalist integrity at all from them.

    I mean, they slapped Keith Olbermann down for making donations to individual candidates BUT THEY LET AN OPINION HOST ….HOST debates…. they let him HOST election night coverage etc. Huhhhhhhhh Let see………..

    So Dick Morris ….who is clearly a conservative Republican….tried to raise some money by offering to give folks a tour of where he works. He was stupid to offer that before asking approval. But… suspension for it? PLEASE! I mean (GASP) …someone might think Dick Morris isn’t objective ;).

  5. Come on Spud your way over the top on this. After all he apologized and Fox did cancel the tour. Brent Bozell may even get involved. :-)

  6. Today’s incident is minor but that’s the not the point. The point is the pattern of behavior displayed by FNC over a period of years regarding severe incidents that undermine the network’s reputation and hamstring its ability to do its job effectively.

    If I had seen one incident, just one, where FNC took severe steps to anyone regarding one of these embarrassments (and I can’t believe I forgot about Beck) that would be enough to get me to back off because at least then a precedent would have been established.

    The only precedent FNC has established so far is to circle the wagons and do little.

  7. missy5537 Says:

    Spud, weren’t you just “A-OK” with Ed Schultz collecting the $200K from the AFL-CIO last week? Yes, Morris did wrong, but his transgression was puny compared to what Schultz did.

  8. I’m still trying to understand what happened with the money Schultz got. He says he donated it per MSNBC policy. If that’s the case, Bernie Goldberg is right and Schultz is off the hook (though I would prefer the policy be changed that no money gets spent on speaking events). But if all the money didn’t go go charity, yeah…that’s a bigger problem than Morris.

    But you’ve apparently already convicted him. We know what Morris did. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what Ed did.

  9. And MSNBC has already shown a propensity to throw the book at its people for going too far. I have yet to see FNC do that.

  10. lonestar77 Says:

    “Morris is an old political player. He knows the rules. He knows what looks good and what doesn’t look good.”

    Morris came from a White House that put a “Vacancy/No Vacancy” sign over the Lincoln bedroom.

  11. missy5537 Says:

    What difference could it possibly make what Schultz did with the money? He was given custody of the money either to do somethiing to benefit himself or to benefit a cause he cares about (a particular charity). This is the dictionary definition of quid pro quo.

    He got the money for SOMETHING, and if it was NOT to benefit the union/report favorably on them, then union members should be furious that their leadership were such poor stewards of their union dues.

  12. ^ And Morris has broken more notable rules than this, but still got the gig.

  13. Ed Schultz is a partisan activist with a TV show. Dick Morris is presented by FNC as political analyst. No mentoin is ever made that he’s working for one of the sides he’s analyzing. Fire the creepy old gasbag.

  14. lonestar77 Says:

    “No mentoin is ever made that he’s working for one of the sides he’s analyzing. ”

    Huh? He uses the term “we” when talking about opponents of the WH. It’s clear where he stands. He directs people to his website to donate money.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a big deal. FNC wasn’t aware of it and they put an immediate stop to it. If you want to suspend him, basically for show, well, whatever.

  15. missy5537 Says:

    What lonestar said! Morris CONSTANTLY refers to the Republicans as “we”! There is no question that he’s a partisan.

  16. Anyway, I don’t think it’s a big deal. FNC wasn’t aware of it and they put an immediate stop to it. If you want to suspend him, basically for show, well, whatever.

    Using that logic I take it that you think MSNBC suspending Olbermann, Scarborough, Schultz, Shuster, and Halperin shouldn’t have happened. You can argue over whether those suspensions were for show or not but you can’t argue that MSNBC took visible concrete steps, and publicly announced same, as a way to address the threat to its brand that those incidents created.

    I can’t say the same for FNC. Ever. It seems like FNC’s employees can create all kinds of mayhem that directly damage the channel’s brand as a journalistic institution and threaten its ability to carry out that mission effectively without any meaningful consequences, be they “for show” or not.

  17. FNC does whatever the hell it wants; never admits a mistake; and reacts to all crticizm with the “conservative persecution syndrome” which has taken over all conservative thought on television and the internet. “We’re the good guys..they’re all mean to us.” Bunker. Mentality.

  18. On several occasions both on O’Reilly’s show and Hannity & Hannity it was clearly revealed that Morris represents various parties and interests around the country and around the world.

    Is Dick Morris a Fox News contributor? A few months ago I was curious about why he’s always allowed to promote his books and website and noticed that his name wasn’t listed on their talent roster while Karl Rove is. But Maybe he is now.

    Morris knew exactly what he was doing with that tour stunt and probably thought he wouldn’t get caught. FNC’s executive vice president of programming should have given Morris a contact name for CNN and an escort out the door. I’m sure CNN would love to get the tens of followers who’d switch channels to follow him.

  19. So Dick Morris is brought on for analysis, but is really there to advertise for himself and his party. Just like Sarah Palin. Shouldn’t they be paying Fox for the airtime?

  20. Palin is a paid contributor for sure, and I guess it depends on what the details of her contract are, but I don’t recall her doing much advertising for her own side gigs – the TLC thing ws partially owned by NewsCorp, I think. It could be that Morris gets paid nothing for his appearances other than five seconds to push a book. That’s what the Red Eye guests get.

  21. Regardless, I don’t see the point of inviting “analysts” on to shill for their party instead of analyzing politics. It’s as boring as an infomercial.

  22. lonestar77 Says:

    “Using that logic I take it that you think MSNBC suspending Olbermann, Scarborough, Schultz, Shuster, and Halperin shouldn’t have happened. ”

    Correct. I’m not one that favors a one size fits all model. Who cares if Olbermann donates to a Dem candidate? Does that suddenly make people think “whoa, is that guy partisan”? Olby, Joe, Ed, David are all partisan. Halperin is less so but he shouldn’t have been suspended, either. He didn’t say Obama is a d!ck, he said he was acting like one. And, it was on Morning Joe. The setting and meaning matter. MSNBC suspended him not because of what he said but because of who it was directed at. They wouldn’t have suspended him for saying it about a Republican candidate.

    If a straight-news anchor were found to be donating to candidates, then I’d suspend them. But, I don’t care what partisans do because everyone knows they are partisan. I think FNC acted appropriately.

  23. -shill for their party-

    For the most part, that’s what they all do on all of the channels. Carville and Rove can each be counted on to criticise their own when deserved, but mostly they’re all party loyalists. I don’t expect otherwise.

  24. lonestar77 Says:

    “I can’t say the same for FNC. Ever. It seems like FNC’s employees can create all kinds of mayhem that directly damage the channel’s brand as a journalistic institution and threaten its ability to carry out that mission effectively without any meaningful consequences, be they “for show” or not.”

    How does anything Dick Morris does damage their brand as a journalistic institution? He’s not a journalist and unlike most actual journalists, he doesn’t pretend to play it straight.

  25. [...] Inside Cable News, however, thinks Fox News reacted with what basically amounts to a light slap on the wrist: Reprimanded? He should be fired outright or at the very least suspended. Read that headline at the top of this post again. I wrote it that way for a reason…because that’s what Morris did. He was fundraising for the GOP using FNC resources. A simple reprimand does not go far enough. Joe Scarborough and Keith Olbermann both got suspended for donating to campaigns. Yes, MSNBC is not FNC…in this case it appears MSNBC takes these things more seriously than FNC does. [...]

  26. savefarris Says:

    If Roland Martin got a month for making innoffensive sports tweets that someone found offensive, Morris should get at least that much for giving away a prize he wasn’t authorized to give.

  27. bushleaguer Says:

    Morris was on O’Reilly tonight (Wednesday) so I guess he just got his reprimand and that’s it.

    Too bad….Fox had an opportunity to claim a higher standard and at least suspend the creep.

  28. ^ Cuz God knows whatever he said was so fracking important.

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