The end of the 2012 election has raised questions about media's impact on results. As candidates and their campaigns celebrate wins or mourn defeats, observers in the media argue that Fox News' political activism has damaged the Republican Party in light of its losses.
Over the past four years, Fox News employees have aggressively campaigned for Republican candidates. A Media Matters report found that leading up to the 2012 presidential election, over 32 Fox hosts and contributors campaigned for GOP candidates in more than 300 instances, nationally and in more than 40 states. Among them was Fox contributor Karl Rove, whose American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS promised to spend $300 million on ads for conservative candidates.
The same report revealed that five Fox figures advised Mitt Romney's campaign, and nine -- including John Bolton and Mike Huckabee -- "played key roles" at Romney events.
During the 2010 election cycle, more than 30 Fox hosts and contributors endorsed, fundraised, or campaigned for Republican candidates. According to a Media Matters report, those candidates often highlighted the support they had received from Fox.
Romney, the largest beneficiary of Fox News campaigning, was often advised by Fox's on-air personalities about what he should do. For instance, Bill O'Reilly said that Romney should "keep pounding" the message that Obama "doesn't like this capitalistic system." Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson said that Romney could create a "pretty compelling campaign ad" by juxtaposing Obama saying he had three years to fix the economy with him saying he needs another four years.
Fox also aggressively counseled elected Republicans not to cooperate with Democrats. Sean Hannity, for example, told Congressman Paul Ryan in April 2011 not to vote to raise the debt ceiling, and the co-hosts of Fox & Friends urged House Republicans to repeal light bulb efficiency standards.
In light of the Republican Party's 2012 election losses, many in the media have argued that this political activism by Fox has hurt rather than helped the GOP.
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