Pols Use Dubious TV Gigs to Prep for Elections

Politician-analysts get paid, get exposure, but ethics are murky

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2010 9:40 AM CST

(Newser) – In a trend that crosses party and network lines while raising a bevy of ethical questions, potential candidates for elected office are finding easy employment as cable news analysts. Fox News leads the pack, with three former office holders widely seen as possible future candidates: Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin. It even has a homegrown analyst, Angela McGlowan, who is vying for a House seat from Mississippi.

McGlowan has been preparing her run since September, the New York Times reports, and no longer works at Fox—since last Monday. Over at MSNBC, now-New York Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., worked as an analyst up until the day he declared his candidacy, and Chris Matthews caught flak as he seriously mulled a run last year while working for the network. The benefit to the candidate is clear, an expert says: “It is a direct pipeline to voters.” The benefit to viewers—and voters—is murkier.

Harold Ford Jr.   (AP Photo)
Chris Matthews.   (AP Photo)
Sean Hannity interviewing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Fox.   (AP Photo)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Fox News.   (AP Photo)
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.   (AP Photo)
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It would seem that the so-called revolving door for political operatives has been extended to the politicians themselves, at a time when cable news is more politically charged than ever. - Brian Stelter, New York Times

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