UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE DAY…. On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” yesterday, host Howard Kurtz noted the preponderance of high-profile personalities who go back and forth between media and politics. Conservative radio host Michael Medved highlighted the line-up on one cable network in particular.

“I do think that one thing that is going to be tougher now with Sarah Palin playing such an active role [on Fox News] is the slogan ‘fair and balanced,’” Medved said. “What does that mean, when the two leading Republican candidates, according to polls, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, are both on your network regularly?”

I don’t mean to nitpick, because Medved’s point is a good one, but I have to wonder — it’s going to be “tougher” to justify “fair and balanced” now that Fox News is paying Palin? Wasn’t it pretty tough to defend the silly slogan before the network hired her?

We’re not just talking about GOP figures who are on the network regularly. At this point, the Fox News payroll includes Palin, who certainly intends to run for president; Rick Santorum, who’s practically thrown his hat in the ring; Newt Gingrich, who keeps talking up his interest in the campaign; and Mike Huckabee, who by some accounts is the still-really-early frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

Then there’s the stable of Republican operatives also on the Fox News payroll, including Karl Rove.

Will it be “tougher” going forward for Fox News to pretend the pretense of professionalism and independence? Yeah, I suppose you could say that.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.