Last week, Tea Party doyenne Sarah Palin counseled her newest protégé, Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell, to “speak through Fox News.” While O’Donnell is quickly heeding the lesson, Tea Party maven Sharron Angle is a veteran practitioner. Skittish around reporters at her own press conferences, Angle often runs to Fox News, the “safe haven” of conservative candidates in need of “softball questions or nationwide fundraising appeals.”
Angle told Fox News as much when she instructed anchor Carl Cameron on his role as a PR agent. “We needed to have the press be our friends,” she said, because “when I get on a show, and I say, ‘send money to SharronAngle.Com,’ so that your listeners” will know where to go “if they want to support me.” While Cameron laughed, audio obtained by Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston of Angle at a house party this month prove “she wasn’t kidding.” According to Angle, Fox News pundits and “friendly press” — like hate radio host Rush Limbaugh — help her rake in the campaign cash:
Here’s some audio of Angle at a house party this month, bragging about how profitable FOX can be:
Guest: Sharron, how are you doing as far as the fundraising?
Sharron Angle: It’s going really well. If you’re interested in just the Internet part of that — and of course I’ve been criticized for saying that I like to be friends with the [press] — but here’s the deal: when I get a friendly press outlet — not so much the guy that’s interviewing me — it’s their audience that I’m trying to reach. So, if I can get on Rush Limbaugh, and I can say, “Harry Reid needs $25 million. I need a million people to send twenty five dollars to SharronAngle.com.” The day I was able to say that [even], he made $236,000 dollars. That’s why it’s so important. Somebody…I’m going on Bill O’Reilly the 16th. They say, “Bill O’Reilly, you better watch out for that guy, he’s not necessarily a friendly”…Doesn’t matter, his audience is friendly, and if I can get an opportunity to say that at least once on his show — when I said it on Sean Hannity’s television show we made $40,000 before we even got out of the studio in New York. It was just [great]. So that’s what I’m really reaching out to is that audience that’s had it with Harry, and you can watch that happen when I go on those shows. Go on my website, it starts coming in. We have an automatic…when you put your name in there and it doesn’t tell how much you gave, but it tells your name and where you’re from. And so you can just watch it; it just rolls like this. In fact, with Rush Limbaugh we put it all down. We couldn’t take the ticker going fast enough. And we’ve pulled in over [3,000,000] dollars just from that kind of a message going out.
The fact that Fox News permits fundraising appeals on air isn’t just a bonus for Angle, it appears to be her primary criteria. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, correspondent David Brody noted that Angle’s preference for “more conservative outlets” over “Meet the Press” or “This Week” conveys that she is “avoiding those mainstream media outlets.” To which Angle replied, “Well, in that audience, will they let me say I need $25 dollars from a million people go to SharronAngle.com send money?”
Angle’s preference for friendly outlets (and friendly audiences) has irked local news affiliates because she has “steadfastly refused to talk to reporters” in Nevada. Her refusal of “an interview request — or 10 requests, or 20” has local news stations taking the “unprecedented step” of “publicly call[ing] on Ms. Angle to explain her positions to Nevada voters.” But if voters and the press are “tired of playing” the game “Where’s Sharron Angle,” they now know where to look.