Fox News host Tucker Carlson donated $250 to the congressional campaign of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) this past September, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.
It’s not clear who won the “50-Cal giveaway,” which Greene announced in a video in September. “I’m doing a gun giveaway of my own, but for Americans only,” she says in the promotion. “I want you to win this .50-caliber rifle that Democrats will ban if they keep the House next year.”
Television news hosts are generally prohibited, or at least strongly discouraged, from donating to political campaigns — though there’s a long history of on-air hosts and journalists making such contributions. Asked on Tuesday night whether Fox News hosts are permitted to make campaign contributions, network representatives did not respond.
In 2018, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade acknowledged that he inadvertently donated roughly $600 to the Trump campaign when he purchased Trump-themed Christmas tree ornaments online as a gift for his friends and family members in November 2016. “I had no idea that would go to a campaign contribution,” he said at the time. “Even if I wasn’t in this business, I would never be giving contributions out to people — especially after an election.”
Some television networks have taken disciplinary measures against prominent employees who have made donations. In November 2010, MSNBC suspended star host Keith Olbermann after he made donations to three Democrats. (Networks also have murky guidelines regarding the political activities of on-air contributors, who are genuinely given more latitude as partisans.)
During an appearance on Carlson’s prime-time show in June, the host praised Greene as a consummate “Washington outsider” who “often notices things that people who have been there for a long time miss.”
After Greene took office in January 2021, Carlson said she has been criticized only for having “bad opinions.”
Messages sent to Taylor Greene’s campaign and congressional spokesperson were not immediately answered.
Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.