Fox News Says Matt Gaetz Put Out a “factually inaccurate press release” About Appearance
Update [3:30pm EST] Shortly after this story was published, FOX News reached out to us asking us to clarify the situation after Matt Gaetz apparently put out a “factually inaccurate press release”. They provided the following statement from Alan Komissaroff, VP of News at FOX News:
“Multiple politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle have appeared as the ‘One Lucky Guy’ on Outnumbered as the show is formatted to have a rotating guest. Rep. Gaetz appeared in this capacity and did not co-host the show despite the factually inaccurate press release issued by his office.”
Update [1:21pm EST]: CNBC White House Correspondent Christina Wilkie asked Walter Shaub, former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics if any violations were in play.
He can suggest the charity, but it can’t be one that benefits him or his family, and he can’t take a tax deduction. Payment must go directly to the charity — it can’t go through him. If it’s more than $200, he’ll have to disclose it in his financial disclosure due on May 15, 2020
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) January 4, 2019
Sitting congressman Matt Gaetz hosts the Fox News show Outnumbered today. The show features a panel of four women and their guest host for the day.
The congressman, a Florida Republican, is no stranger to the conservative news channel. He has been interviewed on Fox News several times in the past.
Gaetz was even interviewed by the channel in September to “debunk the fake news stories of the week.” That included an attempt to discredit Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” and a discussion on the Kavanaugh hearings.
On Twitter, several people questioned whether it was appropriate, or even legal, for a sitting congressman to host a news show. Especially since his press release claimed that he was getting paid to take over the hosting seat. Some questioned if the paycheck would be considered an “in-kind donation” to Gaetz.
However, others pointed out that it’s technically a guest spot, which other congressmen and lawmakers have used in the past. Gaetz isn’t the first sitting Republican to join Outnumbered. Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin took over the host seat back in December.
Along with questioning the ethics behind appearing on Outnumbered, some users tossed out question ideas for Gaetz:
Are you going to ask him why he brought a holocaust denier to the SOTU and why he partied with him on a yacht this summer? Or why he voted to dismantle the Dept of Ed? Or why he was the only person to vote against anti human trafficking legislation? Maybe ask about all his DUIs?
— fireball17 🏳️🌈 (@rredrrocket) January 4, 2019
However, it’s unlikely the hosts of Outnumbered are asking Matt Gaetz any difficult questions. The most likely topics include the border wall, the partial government shutdown, and how he plans to work against the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.