OLD Media Moves

Biz journalism ethics: What if you're married?

January 29, 2006

Tom Adkins has been a frequent guest on Brenda Buttner’s “Bulls and Bears” show on Fox News. He is described as a real estate agent as a publisher of commonconservative.com. But apparently he has another qualification that makes him a frequent guest: He is married to Buttner, according to a disclosure finally made by the host on Saturday’s show.

The News Hounds blog thinks that’s unethical, and believes that Buttner should have disclosed the relationship earlier. It only came out, apparently, because Buttner told Adkins to “shut up” during the Saturday show and then explained to the other guests that she could say that to him because they’re married.

Said News Hounds: “This tidbit of information blurted out by Buttner shines a little light on the seamy ethics of Fox News reporters. What mainstream reporter would interview her spouse (and prior to that, her fiance) on national television repeatedly without disclosing the connection? Does Adkins get paid each time he’s on the show? Is Buttner thus enriching herself indirectly by having her husband on? What are his other qualifications for being on the show? He writes about interest rates, real estate, and so on, on his blog, but nobody seems to be noticing. According to its Alexa traffic rank the blog has a a traffic rank of 1,732,027. You’d think it would be higher than that if Adkins’ family members looked at it once in awhile.”

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.