After promoting the Tea Party for months, Fox News yesterday yanked Sean Hannity from a major tax day rally and fundraiser sponsored by the maverick movement. The action comes a week after big cheese Rupert Murdoch ordered that Fox should not be supporting the Tea Party. Hannity was called back as he was heading to the Cincinnati event by angry Fox bosses, reports the Los Angeles Times. Hannity had been listed as the rally headliner and his web site directed people to a Tea Party site to purchase $5-$20 tickets for the event.
"Fox News never agreed to allow the Cincinnati Tea Party organizers to use Sean Hannity's program to profit from broadcasting his show from the event," said Fox VP for programming Bill Shine. Last week at a talk in Washington, Fox owner Murdoch said: "I don't think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any party." Staffers got into trouble last year when they were caught on video pumping up the crowd at a Tea Party rally. In another sign of its change of heart, Fox News this month published an article examining the party's "cringe-making" fringe. (Read more Tea Party stories.)