In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Nevada Republican senate candidate, Sharron Angle, revealed how the right works hand-in-hand with conservative media to advance, not just their agenda, but their candidates. Answering a question about whether she has been dodging the press, Angle explained her media strategy and what she believes is the purpose of campaign interviews:
“The whole point of an interview is to use it – like they say “earned media” – to earn something with it. And I’m not going to earn anything from people who are there to badger me and batter, you know, use my words to batter me with.”
There you have it. According to Angle, candidates do not engage the media in order to disseminate their message or to inform voters. They do not subject themselves to inquiry in order to connect with people and make a case for support. The whole point is to make money. Therefore, there is no reason to take questions from anyone other than friendly reporters and sympathetic talk show hosts.
When pressed as to whether restricting her appearances to places like Fox News creates the impression that she is avoiding neutral or potentially adversarial outlets, Angle explained her reluctance to grace the “mainstream media” with her presence:
“Well, in that audience will they let me say I need $25 dollars from a million people – go to Sharron Angle.com – send money?”
So if you want to interview Sharron Angle you first have to agree to permit her to pitch her candidacy. If she can’t exploit your newspaper or TV station to raise money, you are useless to her. And the interests of the voters, who simply want the information they need to make an informed decision, are irrelevant.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the goto network for people like Angle is Fox News. She has made numerous appearances there where she did peddle her web site and beg for donations. And it isn’t just Angle. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida have pretty much set up campaign desks at Fox. It is a relationship that has proven to be quite fruitful. Even when the candidates are not on the air, their Fox representatives like Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, Laura Ingraham, etc., will carry the ball for them.
Last year, former White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn, called Fox News “the communications arm of the Republican Party.” Now we have evidence that it is also their fundraising arm as well.