Fox News’ recent announcement that it will suspend Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum until they decide whether they will run for president leaves me wondering about Sarah Palin’s status.
Does her employer not even know if she intends to go for it in 2012? If they do, why isn’t she suspended along with Gingrich and Santorum?
Fox says that they suspended them to avoid ethical concerns about having candidates on the payroll, as well as to keep in line with their in-house polices.
But Sarah Palin, John Bolten and Mike Huckabee are also Fox News contributors who have publically said they are considering running in 2012, why the inconsistancy?
Fox told the LA Times that it was a “clear conflict” that they have Gingrich and Santorum on payroll during this time, so why are the other three in exception to the rule?
Fox said it was because she hadn’t shown a “serious intention” to form an exploratory committee for her run, but I think that’s sort of ridiculous. She has more of a figure in today’s politics than Gingrich or Santorum, and certainly has openly talked about her future in politics. Given that neither Gingrich or Santorum has formed an exploratory committee, I’m having a hard time understanding the brightline between whatever Sarah Palin is doing and what Gingrich and Santorum are doing.
At any rate, all of the candidates of Fox News are probably miles ahead of your average potential candidate.
Says Politico: “Media Matters, the liberal advocacy group, estimated that Fox gave Gingrich, Santorum, Palin, Huckabee and Bolton a total of more than 85 hours of airtime in 2010. All of that, the group said, was worth $54.7 million in free advertising.”
That’s a lot of dough.
But hey there’s more. The LA Times said that the five Fox contributors make quite a hefty amount working for Fox News to begin with – not counting the free advertising that comes along with the gig.
Santorum was at just under $100,000 a year in a deal that would have expired in 2013. Gingrich was paid a little under a million, and has worked at Fox since 1999. Huckabee got $500,000 a year and his contract will expire in 2012. Palin was making more than all of them in a $1 million a year contract that would expire in 2013 should she not throw her hat in the ring.
Its quite a bit of money to blow off to enter a campaign you may or may not win. Probably leaning towards the latter on the Palin front …Or, at least thats my take.