Book Ban on Fox News? Not Really

By Chris Ariens 

Coming on the heals of journalist/author Tom Ricks hurting his chances of getting on Fox News anytime soon, historian/author Bruce Batlett, who worked in the George HW Bush administration and later wrote a scathing book on the presidency of George W. Bush, says he was banned from Fox News following the February, 2006 publication of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

In American Conservative on Monday, Bartlett wrote:

Among the interesting reactions to my book is that I was banned from Fox News. My publicist was told that orders had come down from on high that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks. Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books. Being ignored was poison for sales.

A few media media blogs did some digging about Bartlett’s allegation and got confirmation from his book publicist at the time, a woman named Nicole Dewey, who said she’d tried extensively to get him booked on Fox to discuss the book, but couldn’t.

But in fact, Bartlett was on “Journal Editorial Report” on Feb 26, 2006, a show that is booked by Fox News staffers (not WSJ staffers, which contradicts what Bartlett told WaPo’s Greg Sargent today).

We reached out to FNC and they say Bartlett wasn’t banned from talking about the book. But it would take another two years for him to get back on Fox. Bartlett was a guest of Sean Hannity in 2008 and he appeared on FBN in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In all, he’d been on Fox News or Fox Business 15 times between 2000 and 2010.

Of course, getting back on now may be a bit of a challenge.