Van Susteren's Husband's Ties to Sarah Palin Raise Ethical Questions for Fox News

She was reporting, he was offering political advice.


By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I got a good laugh earlier out of the bizarre plan to politically align Sarah Palin with the Clintons (Greatest. Reality show. Ever.), but the story does raise a question of journalistic ethics. If you haven't read Politico's story, a Democratic donor and Hillary Clinton supporter-turned-Sarah Palin adviser named John Coale pushed a surreal plan to get the Alaska governor to use her PAC money to help retire the secretary of state's campaign debt.

Here's where journalistic ethics come into play: Coale is married to Fox News journalist Greta Van Susteren, and apparently first joined Team Palin while accompanying his wife on a reporting trip to Alaska. From Politico:

Coale, who accompanied Van Susteren to Alaska immediately after the election when the Fox News host traveled there for a post-mortem interview with Palin, helped fill the void by offering to help set up her PAC.

So some questions that should be addressed by Van Susteren and the Fox News gang: Was Coale traveling on Fox's dime when he offered political advice and work to Palin? Did Van Susteren know that while she was reporting on and interviewing Palin her husband was joining the Palin political team? Did anyone wonder if this might present a less than optimal situation in terms of journalistic ethics?

Just asking.

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