NEW YORK -- The Boston Globe reported Tuesday night that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) was “no longer under contract” as a Fox News contributor, a development signaling that he may be gearing up to run for office in New Hampshire.
Following the Globe's scoop, political reporters understandably read the tea leaves. On Wednesday morning, Politico’s Mike Allen linked to the Globe story in his daily Playbook under the heading, “NEW SIGN OF SCOTT BROWN RUNNING FOR N.H. SENATE.”
But less than three hours later, Fox News executive vice president Bill Shine announced that Brown had renewed his contributor contract, thereby tamping down the latest Senate speculation.
“The previous yearlong agreement expired on Feb. 11 and was never terminated -- this was purely administrative,” Shine said in a statement to The Washington Post. “We look forward to his continuing political analysis and insight across the network.”
Brown said in an email to HuffPost that the "Globe should have checked with someone with authority" and referred to the Fox News statement regarding his current relationship with the network. (The Globe noted Tuesday night that Brown had not responded to a voicemail message before publication).
In the Tuesday night report, the Globe’s Joshua Miller had quoted an unnamed Fox News spokeswoman saying that Brown “is currently out of contract with the network.” The spokeswoman apparently did not indicate that Brown being “currently out of contract” was primarily an administrative issue, as Shine suggested in his statement.
Miller told HuffPost that he could not name who at Fox News gave him the quote. “The agreement I had with the spokeswoman was not to use her name,” Miller said. “I’m going to stick to my word.”
Even though the Globe story advanced the idea that Brown was preparing for another Senate run, the story technically wasn’t inaccurate, since Brown was out of a contract Tuesday night before signing another one Wednesday.
Jennifer Peter, the Globe's deputy managing editor for local news, told Huff Post the original story holds up.
"The statement from Fox News, which confirms that Scott Brown's contract expired on Feb. 11, speaks to the accuracy of our original report,” Peter said in a statement. “We are obviously now updating our story with news that his contributor agreement has been renewed."
Also, Peter said in a separate statement, "Fox News has not asked for a correction to our story."