Dick Morris promotes GOP PAC that pays him money to earn Media Putz award
Originally published on MediaPutz.com on November 27, 2008
Media types conduct sleazy activities all the time, but usually only one sleazy thing at a time. Then we have media types who can multitask sleaze – media types such as Dick Morris.
Morris has repeatedly used his columns and Fox News appearances for which he is paid to do those activities. But he has also been promoting and raising money for the National Republican Trust PAC during those activities. And here’s where the double sleaze kicks in — he didn’t disclose that the PAC has paid $24,000 to a company apparently connected to Morris. And Morris’ e-mail newsletter frequently ran ads that state: “Paid for by The National Republican Trust PAC.”
As Media Matters has tabulated, between October 27 and November 17, Morris referred to GOPTrust.com in:
* 13 appearances on Fox News
* 4 columns posted on DickMorris.com
* 2 columns for The Hill
* 1 quote for a Newsmax.com article, the entirety of which was about Morris’ claim that a GOPTrust.com ad contributed to “a seismic shift for [Sen. John] McCain” in an October 31 Zogby poll
* 1 syndicated column for Creators Syndicate
* 1 column for the New York Post (owned by Rupert Murdoch)
This isn’t a slip of the tongue here and there – this is a contrived media strategy.
And Morris keeps on soliciting. Now that Morris has been confronted about this glaring lack of ethics and integrity, how does he justify these practices? Take a look from Monday’s “Hannity & Colmes”:
“Now in the last couple of days, some of the liberals have lashed back at me, claiming that somehow I’m getting paid by this group. But the fact is that all they’ve done is buy ads on my Web site. Like they buy ads in The New York Times. And I’m no more in cahoots with them than The New York Times is. And this has all been fully disclosed.”
Uh, no, this hasn’t been disclosed. Not by any of the media outlets previously mentioned. And uh, The New York Times doesn’t encourage contributions to advertisers in the middle of its content.
And these tie-ins aren’t subtle, again from Monday’s “Hannity & Colmes”: “pushing very, very hard for a trust called GOPTrust.com.” For $24,000, you could see why he is “pushing very, very hard,” ethics be damned.
Being aware of conflicts of interest becomes more crucial whether it’s multiple levels of media ownership or retired generals given talking points by the Bush Administration. What Morris doesn’t get is that integrity is build on avoiding and, when it comes up, disclosing conflicts of interest. But that assumes integrity is something Morris wants.
The media overlooks that Morris is a Republican and has helped mostly Republican politicians in his career. They only focus on his relationship with the Clintons. But given the way he trashes both Bill and Hillary Clinton whenever he can – and after all he wouldn’t be on FOX “News” if it weren’t for the Clintons – he doesn’t seem very grateful.
And since his political career has been reduced to occasional overseas consulting, his “journalism career” takes him to mostly right-wing outlets where he can spit out his anti-Clinton venom and his often inaccurate political prognostications.
But since his track record of ethics includes letting a prostitute listen in on the president’s calls while she sucks off Morris’ toes, we can’t be surprised he would stoop this low. So Dick Morris can’t be surprised when we give him the Media Putz of the week.
Dick Morris previously won the Media Putz on January 24, 2008.