Fox News Commits Act of Journalistic Integrity
After a solid year of programming hosted by and featuring potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, Fox News is starting to realize there may be a conflict in interest.
Both Gingrich and Santorum will be suspended -- or at least their contracts will be, said Fox News' VP of Legal Dianne Brandi in an interview today with the LA Times / Tribune Washington Bureau.
"We can't have Speaker Gingrich on our payroll while he is in the midst of an exploratory committee to see if he's going to run for office," Brandi said in the interview. "It's a clear conflict."
Fox News reporter Bret Baier confirmed the suspension on air. "On May 1 their contracts will be terminated unless they notify Fox that they are not running for president," he said.
Other rumored GOP presidential hopefuls still employed by Fox News include Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who earlier this week erroneously alluded to Obama growing up in Kenya on air.
Rick Santorum may not have been a big hit for Fox News' ratings to begin with. In spite of his credentials as an outspoken former senator, Santorum is apparently a sexual neologism for "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex," according to both Google and Wikipedia (two sources that are arguably more trusted than Fox News).
This digression, better known as a Google bomb, was created by Dan Savage, and while it didn't keep Santorum from getting hired by Fox News, it may have serious implications in his expected presidential primary campaign.
Fox News inked lucrative deals with these politicians-turned-pundits-turned-politicians. Santorum is set to earn about $100,000 a year through 2013 should he stay with the network following the 60-day suspension. Gingrich is reported to earn about $1 million annually from Fox News, where he has worked as a contributor since 1999. Huckabee's $500,000 a year deal goes through 2012 and Palin is making $1 million annually in a three-year agreement that goes through the end of 2012.