Is former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown to become the new Dick Morris or Sarah Palin? Well, perhaps that is not most elegatne the way to state it. Fox News recently freed up Sarah Palin to spend more time looking at Russia from her home Alaska. And it announced that it is finally, mercifully, thankfully, happily, belatedly, Thank-God-for-Those-of-Us-Who-Believe-in-Serious-Punditry, not going to renew the contract of Morris, the worst pundit since the time of Moses, so he can spend more time with his mailing lists. But now this report surfaces from the Boston Herald that indicates Fox News is pondering signing Brown, a move that could help the branding of both Fox and Brown:
Just days after he stunned the political world by announcing he was bowing out of contention for another Senate seat, Scott Brown made a return to the private sector, joining the board of a Massachusetts-based paper processing company and negotiating a possible deal to appear on Fox News.
A Fox spokesman confirmed Brown is in talks to appear on the network, which recently announced it is not renewing contracts with big-name political commentators Sarah Palin and Dick Morris. It was unclear, however, what role Brown might have on the network. Though Brown has told several Republicans that he will have a gig on Fox, the spokesman said the talks are not final.
Brown would not comment to the Globe. When reached Wednesday night, he said, “I am right in the middle of dinner,” and hung up the phone.
Political observers still expect Brown, a lawyer, to land a lucrative full-time job at a Boston law firm. But his potential foray into political commentary has incited strong opinions among viewers who watched Brown become a media sensation during and after his special election upset three years ago.
Former GOP chairwoman Jennifer Nassour, a frequent political commentator on local news stations, was green with envy. “Good for him,” she said. “I think many of us are sitting here saying, ‘I wish I had gotten that job.’ He hasn’t been making money for years.”
But the possibility of a deal was immediately attacked by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning research center that monitors conservative media and that charged Fox is providing skewed analysis from contributors locked in a revolving door of self-promotion.
And, yes, you could say Brown was helped in coming Senator by Fox News:
The group charged that Brown’s 2010 candidacy was boosted by the network’s right-wing commentators, including Morris, who had urged viewers to visit his own website to help Brown get elected. In another instance, a business contributor said that Brown’s election could boost the stock market.
“During his successful 2010 Senate run, the network openly advocated for his candidacy, helped him fund-raise, and smeared his opponent,” Media Matters wrote.
It may well indeed the be Pain model (a politico who is a hot political property among GOPers gets signed to Fox) that is in play here. But no matter what the criticism if it goes through it will help Fox and Brown. Fox will get a more serious Republican who isn’t a Tea Party clone and will be less likely to verbally vomit up Rush Limbaugh rants. It will help its image to have a more “reasonable” Republican who had some appeal to independent and moderate voters. And Brown would become a member of the Fox family, which most assuredly doesn’t mean he’ll win whatever office he seeks in the future but it won’t hurt. If he signs he might be wise to emulate Mike Huckabee on Fox or Ed Rendell on MSNBC.