Presidential race coverage raises conflict issues

By David Bauder

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 6 2011 11:50 p.m. MST

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2010 file photo, political commentator Dick Morris speaks to the crowd during the "Gateway to November" rally hosted by the St. Louis Tea Party and Tea Party Patriots at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Morris acknowledged on Fox News Channel that some of the Republican presidential candidates that he talks about on the air have paid for advertisements in the newsletter he sends out to subscribers. Morris' statement on Fox Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, was the latest in a handful of episodes that laid bare close ties between the media and political world during the campaign season.

Whitney Curtis, file, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — The 2012 presidential campaign is laying bare the close ties between the media and political world while raising familiar questions.

How much should consumers be clued in to preserve the sense that news organizations are acting independently? And what should journalists do to avoid the perception of a conflict?

Political consultant Dick Morris disclosed on Fox News Channel that some of the Republican candidates he talks about on the air have paid for ads in a newsletter he sends out.

The wife of columnist and ABC commentator George Will works for Rick Perry. The husband of Fox News host Greta Van Susteren advised Herman Cain, and NPR's Michele Norris has left as host of "All Things Considered" because her husband began working for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

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