An analysis of political donations that Nancy Erika Smith, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson’s attorney, has made shows she is a hardcore progressive Democrat who has given thousands upon thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates for office. Many of those Democrats that Smith has supported have repeatedly, viciously and very publicly criticized the Fox News Channel for its coverage, Breitbart News has found.
Smith is representing Carlson in her allegations against Fox News CEO and chairman Roger Ailes in a lawsuit Carlson filed last week. Specifically, Carlson alleged—when her contract was not renewed—that Ailes engaged in sexual harassment of her. But as more evidence has trickled out about the case, including internal memos that surfaced over the weekend, it turns out that Ailes’ side of the story seems more credible as Carlson’s allegations have begun to wither under scrutiny.
What’s more, Carlson’s character and attitude inside the building—as Breitbart News reported on Monday—was less than stellar. She treated staff and her colleagues like “furniture,” sources told Breitbart News, a sign that she was conceited and thought the world of herself. Meanwhile, it turns out, Fox News’—and specifically Ailes’—internal documents show he tried to help Carlson’s show work out, and eventually when it did not end up working due to Carlson’s under performance and bad attitude, Fox News severed the relationship with Carlson by not proceeding with contract renewal negotiations.
Meanwhile, scores of female anchors and reporters at Fox News have now spoken out in support of Ailes as Carlson’s side of the story—bolstered by progressive and mainstream media outlets desperate to damage Fox News—has been shown not to have any actual evidence backing it up.
Now, perhaps even more importantly, evidence is surfacing to back up Ailes in a big way: It looks like this whole thing is yet another politically motivated hit on Fox News and especially on Ailes. Fox News’ notorious refusal to buy the Democratic Party’s narrative that almost every mainstream media outlet carries has infuriated leftists and Democrats. Ailes, in particular, has been a target of the left’s top warriors throughout the media and beyond. And now political donation history details from Carlson’s attorney, Smith—of the New Jersey-based firm Smith Mullin—seem to show that this is yet another political hit on Fox News and on Ailes.
Over the years, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and put together in an exclusive Breitbart News analysis, Smith has given more than $45,000 to Democratic candidates and groups and causes. She has given no money to Republicans in that timeframe.
Smith has not just given solely to Democrats. Her donations, like a $2,500 donation to now Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in her campaign against now former Sen. Scott Brown in 2012, have been mostly to extraordinarily outside-the-mainstream progressive candidates like Warren. Warren misrepresented her heritage—falsely claiming she was a Native American, when she is not—to obtain employment at Harvard as a professor, an action that did not prevent her from winning her U.S. Senate seat.
Warren has mocked Fox News multiple times including as recently as the past few weeks. Now that Warren has been, on behalf of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, trotted out as the Democratic Party’s chief attack dog against presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump, she hit Fox News in mid-June.
“Ask your Fox News-loving Republican uncle: Why do you pay your taxes but Donald Trump doesn’t?” Warren said in a video she recorded on Clinton’s behalf attacking Trump for MoveOn.org. “If Donald Trump doesn’t even believe in paying his fair share for government, we shouldn’t put him in charge of the government. If we’re going to build a future — not just for the rich and powerful, but for everybody — then it’s time for all of us to fight back.”
Warren also attacked Fox News last August, ahead of the first GOP presidential primary debate, alleging that U.S. Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood were timed with the Fox News presidential debate in Cleveland last summer.
“Scheduling this vote during the week of a big Fox News presidential primary debate, days before candidates take trips to Iowa or New Hampshire isn’t just some clever gimmick,” Warren said of the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule votes defunding Planned Parenthood during the week of the Fox News debate. “This is an all-out effort to build support to take away a woman’s right to control her own body and access to medical care she may need.”
Warren is hardly the only anti-Fox News Democrat that Carlson’s attorney, Smith, has propped up with donations.
In 2010, in both March and October, Smith gave two $250 donations to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). Grayson, of course, is a rabidly progressive Democrat who has even gone so far as to say, “Fox News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy of America.”
“They’re the enemy of anybody who cares about health care in this country, the enemy of anybody who cares about educating their children, the enemy of anybody who wants energy independence or anything good for this country,” Grayson said in a 2009 MSNBC interview. “And certainly the enemy of peace, there’s no doubt about that. They are the enemy.”
In 2003, Smith donated to another overtly progressive Democrat: Howard Dean. Dean, then-former Governor of Vermont, was running for the Democratic nomination in 2004 and was viewed by many political insiders to have the inside track. A few months after Carlson’s attorney Smith gave Dean’s campaign on Sept. 12, 2003—then an active candidate for the Democratic nomination—a whopping $2,000, 2000 Democratic nominee and former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Dean’s campaign. Dean, a far-left-wing Democrat, would later collapse as a candidate after placing third in the Iowa caucuses and engaging in an embarrassing speech that later became known as the “Dean Scream.” Now-former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s current Secretary of State, would go on to win the Democratic nomination for president and lose to incumbent GOP President George W. Bush in the general election.
Dean has been particularly critical of Fox News. At one point, he called Fox News “racist.” He has also called Fox News a “propaganda” organization.
“There’s a difference between Fox and MSNBC,” Dean said in 2011. “They’re both bias. . . . Bias is not the problem, it’s something that makes us mad, but it’s not the problem. It’s when you become a propaganda outlet. What Fox News says is often not true, and they know it’s not true and they say it anyway. It is not a news organization, it is a very expensive, incredibly well-funded, right-wing propaganda organization.”
Smith also donated over the years a total of $2,500 to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Menendez has been indicted by a federal grand jury, and after a Dominican prostitution scandal linked together with alleged financial corruption and alleged impropriety as it relates to billionaire Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, Menendez and his allies engaged in a widespread effort to attack The Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and Fox News. Menendez alleged that it was all a giant right wing conspiracy to get him—and the mainstream media largely bought it all in early 2013, hook, line, and sinker. Later, however, Menendez was indicted on the corruption charges—and now the Department of Justice has even confirmed the prostitution allegations surrounding Menendez, despite their decision not to prosecute him on that front since they didn’t have enough conclusive evidence to put him away there.
Smith has also given to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)—specifically $500 total in 2014. Booker has on Twitter promoted content criticizing Fox News and published by Media Matters, a political organization founded by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock that is designed to try to take down Fox News. On his Twitter account, Booker has also repeatedly ribbed Fox News over the years.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 23, 2014
I think I heard on Fox News that 37% of The Patriots players might have communist leanings. RT @ElBeto31 PATRIOTS CORY. PATRIOTS
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 19, 2014
Wrong. Fox News said that. But cable media isn't always accurate RT @ComfyPaws: Newark was considered a sanctuary city a few years ago
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 25, 2012
Fox news & false reports about me – what a way to start a day (they ran correction)! Off to funeral 4 nwk police officer killed in accident
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 23, 2009
Former Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), one of the chief architects of Obamacare, received over the years an astounding $11,000 total from Smith. Back in 2010, during an appearance on Fox News, Andrews mocked the network’s “Fair and Balanced” slogan—which anchor Gregg Jarrett put down quickly.
“Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett grew angry with Rep. Rob Andrew (D-NJ) this weekend after the congressman took a shot at the network’s ‘Fair & Balanced’ tagline,” The Huffington Post’s editorial director Danny Shea wrote back then. “During a debate on police powers, insurance, and the Constitution, Andrews who appeared with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) found himself talked over and unable to make his point.”
Specifically, Andrews asked: “Can we have just a minute of ‘Fair & Balanced’ here, just as an exception?”
In response, Jarrett swung back and said he wasn’t going to take those allegations.
“Congressman Andrews, I’m not gonna let you get away with that because I asked a very tough question of your colleague Marsha Blackburn and you know it,” Jarrett said. “And that’s a cheap shot and I’m not gonna put up with it here.”
Andrews was later forced to resign from Congress after Breitbart News editor-at-large Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion uncovered how he turned his leadership PAC into a private slush fund—prompting a congressional ethics investigation as well.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a current member, has received $1,250 over the years in donations from Smith. Pascrell, in the wake of the shooting of now former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), blamed Fox News for the shooting.
“There’s an aura of hate and elected politicians feed it, certain people on Fox News feed it,” Pascrell said according to a local newspaper report in the wake of the Giffords shooting.
All in all, Smith’s donations to Democrats have totaled more than $45,000 from the mid-1990s through the present day according to the Center for Responsive Politics. She has donated to candidates, to the New Jersey state Democratic Party, to the Democratic National Committee, and more. But she has never, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, donated to a Republican.
Smith has not responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News. That’s particularly interesting because, as the Carlson story has developed over the past week plus in the media, Smith has had no problem commenting on other major developments in this storyline. It will be interesting to see how she and Carlson handle this one.