On Sunday, Fox News Sunday hosted former Bush adviser Karl Rove — who has been a Fox News contributor since Feb. 5 — to offer supposedly independent analysis of the presidential race. As Think Progress noted, Fox refused to mention or acknowledge that Rove has been described as an informal adviser to the McCain campaign and is said to have provided electoral maps to the campaign.
In a Washington Post chat yesterday, a reader asked media reporter Howard Kurtz if Fox News should “label Karl Rove as an advisor to the McCain campaign when he appears on their network?” Kurtz responded that Rove “insists he is not even an informal adviser to McCain,” but that Fox should nonetheless disclose that Rove is “a maxed-out donor” to McCain’s campaign:
NEW YORK: You wrote negatively today about “the lack of disclosure by the networks of some of these government and business connections.” So does that criticism extend to Fox News for continuing to refuse to label Karl Rove as an advisor to the McCain campaign when he appears on their network?
HOWARD KURTZ: I’ve asked Rove about this, and he insists he is not even an informal adviser to McCain, does not get on strategy calls, etc. He is, however, a maxed-out donor to McCain, and Fox should mention that when he’s on. Same goes for other political analysts on all the networks who’ve given money to any of the candidates.
In February, Rove admitted “that he had contributed $2,300” to McCain’s campaign. Though Rove and McCain aides such as Mark McKinnon insist that “there’s no official/formal relationship” between the former Bush adviser and the campaign, others observing Rove believe that he is advising the campaign “through multiple points of contact“:
But one of the savviest Karlologists I know suspects that Rove is providing a steady stream of advice through multiple points of contact with the campaign and the national party.
Rove’s reluctance to admit a relationship with the McCain campaign may have less to do with his desire to be “an open-source consultant” than it does with the fact that he is “up to his eyeballs in” trying to “nurture new independent political groups” to help McCain and the GOP in November. It is illegal for such outside groups to coordinate with campaigns.
Rove will be part of Fox’s Pennsylvania coverage tonight. Will they heed Kurtz’s advice and at least label Rove as a supporter of McCain?