August 17th, 2010
05:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Fox News takes heat for News Corporation's GOP donation

 Fox News' objectivity was called into question by the DNC on Tuesday after it was reported that the cable network's parent company - News Corporation - recently donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.
Fox News' objectivity was called into question by the DNC on Tuesday after it was reported that the cable network's parent company – News Corporation – recently donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

(CNN) - The Democratic National Committee called into question Fox News' objectivity Tuesday after it was reported that the cable network's parent company – News Corporation – recently donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

"'Fair and Balanced' has been rendered utterly meaningless," Hari Sevugan, the DNC's national press secretary, said in a statement. "Any pretense that may have existed about the ties between Fox News and the Republican Party has been ripped violently away.

"No Republican who appears on Fox can be seen as answering to an independent press and all should appear with a disclaimer for who they truly are – the favored candidate of the corporate-friendly network. No Fox News political coverage can be seen as impartial and all of it should have a disclaimer for what it truly is – partisan propaganda."

News Corporation spokesman Jack Horner defended the donation.

"News Corporation believes in the power of free markets, and the RGA's pro-business agenda supports our priorities at this most critical time for our economy," Horner said in a statement to CNN.

Bloomberg was the first to report the contribution, based on the RGA's Internal Revenue Service filings. A review of the News Corporation IRS filings by CNN shows that a subsidiary of the company called News America Inc. made additional donations to both Democrats and Republicans in the 2010 election cycle, including $50,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association and $65,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee. Those committees, as well as their Democratic counterparts, are 527 groups, meaning they are not subject to campaign finance contribution limits.

While News Corporation has used its political action committee to shower Democrats with campaign contributions, the total of those donations is dwarfed by the $1 million check it cut to the RGA.

Data collected by CQ Moneyline shows that News Corporation, through its political action committee, has contributed over $105,500 to Democratic candidates in the 2010 election cycle, while donating $74,700 to Republicans during the same time period. News Corporation's PAC has also donated $7,500 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $14,500 to GOP-related PACs. News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has also given a total of $45,000 to other Democratic and Republican committees.

On the Democratic side, that includes $30,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and $15,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. As for Republicans, News Corporation donated $30,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

A corporation's PAC is subject to a maximum spending limit of $5,000 per candidate per year and $15,000 per political party per year.

News Corporation is not alone among media corporations who donated to political parties and candidates, ultimately raising the issue of whether media companies and politics should mix.

"This is one piece of the puzzle that the public should consider when they are viewing coverage of politics," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

General Electric, which owns NBC, has also made substantial political contributions in the 2010 election cycle. For example, GE donated $688,900 to Democrats through its PAC this election cycle compared to $410,100 to Republicans. The company has also given $75,500 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $74,500 to Republican-affiliated leadership PACs.

Meanwhile, GE has donated $237,000 to the Democratic Governors Association and $205,000 to the Republican Governors Association.

The PAC of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN has given $70,500 to Democratic candidates in the 2010 election cycle compared with $41,500 to Republicans. Time Warner also donated $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The political action committee for Viacom, the parent company of CBS, has contributed $108,700 to Democratic candidates this election cycle and $64,000 to Republicans, according to CQ Moneyline. The PAC has also contributed $22,000 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $21,500 Republican-affiliated leadership PACs. Viacom also donated $4,000 to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party last April.

And Disney, the parent company of ABC, has given $110,500 to Democratic candidates and $95,000 to Republicans through its PAC. It has also donated $16,000 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $20,000 to Republican-affiliated committees. Disney has also given $11,000 to Democratic Party PACs and $20,000 to Republican Party PACs.

"The question is 'Are these companies credible when they say they are simply supporting the Democratic process,'" Krumholz said. "I think that is largely ignored by the public as an adequate explanation for these big checks."


Filed under: Fox News • GOP
soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. golinus

    Fox news has never been "fair & balanced". Quite the contrary. It usually misrepresents facts to fit their partisan purposes.

    August 17, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  2. Jules

    This is a "no shocker"! Please Fox news is so biased they should be calling themselves "RNC News". A bunch of sore losers who are whiners.

    August 17, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Kirosmn

    The article didn’t make it clear to everyone (RNC) Republican News Network is the parent company of News Corp.

    August 17, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. Veritas

    ...but did anyone even believe that Fox News was not a GOP propaganda channel? I am an independent, but watching Fox News is almost unbearable since what they say is not only extremely right wing biased, but also incredibly dumbed down to appeal to the redneck subgroup (huge) of GOP and the Tea Party. The other news networks seem fairly balanced and reasonable for the most part.

    August 17, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. BestProfitBusiness = WAR

    Duh!! Whoever thinks Fox News is actual news is a moron!

    August 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Indiana Voter

    This is no different than CNN, and every other major news organization, being the mouthpiece for the Democrat Party. So the Republicans have one station. Let me know when they have of the news networks and I will worry.

    August 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. sam

    Who's surprised? ME? – Noooooooo. You? Shame on you if you are – for this is, and has been a forgone conclusion. Thank the lemming public, the dishonesty of politics, the treachery that has overwhelmed this country, the MORONS in the US Supreme Court and the totally gutless wonders we have in Congress. I have come to expect treasonous behaviour from the Republicans, but I simply cannot stomach the chickensh@^&$@ behaviour of the Dems. So, surprised? Not hardly. Sickened, certainly.

    August 17, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. cal carpenter

    It amazes me how all these whacky progressive liberals know so much about a network that they say they don't watch....How do you know about Beck, Hannity and the rest of the network if you are not watching it???....so you are either lying or following your liberal leaders biases...

    August 17, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Greg Hodges

    It is like saying the sky is blue; FOX is now openly donating big bucks to the G.O.P.; GASP what a shock!!! The idiots at FOX now have nowhere to run in denying their pathetic bias. It always amazes me that just when you think they can`t get any dummer, they find a way to prove they can. ANY PRETENSE that these fascists are not just a total propaganda machine for all things fanatically right wing is a big fat JOKE! So Murdoch`s little band of morons are now out in the open is something that Democrats should use as a wake up call. If you think they were looney toons when they lost in 2008; just wait to see what is coming next. If anyone thought for 5 seconds FOX was anything but a wing of the Republicans... The Emperor has NO CLOTHES!!

    August 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. gisher

    none of this really matters in a country where everyone talks and nobody really listens unless they totally agree with what they hear. atrophy is your destination. enjoy the trip.

    August 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Jim Brothers

    General Electric, which owns NBC, has also made substantial political contributions in the 2010 election cycle. For example, GE donated
    $688,900 to Democrats through its PAC this election cycle compared to $410,100 to Republicans. The company has also given $75,500 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $74,500 to Republican-affiliated leadership PACs.

    Meanwhile, GE has donated $237,000 to the Democratic Governors Association and $205,000 to the Republican Governors Association.

    Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, has given $60,000 to the Democratic Governors Association in the 2010 election cycle, according to CQ Moneyline. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable, a former subsidiary of Time Warner, donated $50,000 to the RGA this election cycle.

    But it doesn't end there. Time Warner's PAC has given $70,500 to Democratic candidates in the 2010 election cycle compared with $41,500 to Republicans. Time Warner also donated $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

    The political action committee for Viacom, the parent company of CBS, has contributed $108,700 to Democratic candidates this election cycle and $64,000 to Republicans, according to CQ Moneyline. The PAC has also contributed $22,000 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $21,500 Republican-affiliated leadership PACs. Viacom also donated $4,000 to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party last April.

    And Disney, the parent company of ABC, has given $110,500 to Democratic candidates and $95,000 to Republicans through its PAC. It has also donated $16,000 to Democratic-affiliated leadership PACs and $20,000 to Republican-affiliated committees. Disney has also given $11,000 to Democratic Party PACs and $20,000 to Republican Party PACs.

    August 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. jamesjoyce

    Come on. If you believe that the bias at Fox is really a great deal different than the bias at MSNBC, you are deceiving yourself.

    August 17, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. jason

    Fox news Should be sued and dismantled for spreading rumors that cause others to act out and murder people. I believe this company is responsible for many racist crimes commited against people because of their news which is not based on facts but rather on opinions that are presented as facts. Im surprised no one has sued them for libel for all the crazy things they write and say. They should be held accountable for spreading lies and rumors about others that are not true and which lead to others killing people just because they're black, muslims, jewish, and not because they are not white christians

    August 17, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Randy Johnson

    Whats the use of getting mad anymore. I swear that if a nuclear war happened tomorrow nothing would be left but the thick skulls of every Republican in America. They would be perfectly intact.

    August 17, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. nathan

    "'Fair and Balanced' has been rendered utterly meaningless," Hari Sevugan, the DNC's national press secretary, said in a statement. "Any pretense that may have existed about the ties between Fox News and the Republican Party has been ripped violently away.

    only two points, 1) Fox News was never meaningful and 2) We already knew it was a platform for republican't propaganda. Tell me something I don't already know.

    August 17, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. Carol

    FOX is such a sorry news/right wing hate machine – just like the Republicans.

    August 17, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. ViSmith

    interesting that the right wingers on this forum claim that ALL the other news organizations are Left wing. Perhaps that cause anything that doesnt go with the bias of fox, or the right wing agenda is, to them, left wing. They cant even recognize moderate anymore.

    too bad for them.

    August 17, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. False and Biased brought to you by the GOP

    "False and Biased" News made a large contribution to the GOP. Not a surprise as they are the GOP News Network. No matter what our President does they will find a negative spin on it. If he doesn't address the Boy Scouts, then he is a boy-scout-hating disgrace. If he does address the Boy Scouts then he is indoctrinating him with his "socialist" ideaology and parents will have to keep their scouts home (which is a repeat of what Fox said when our President addressed school children for the start of school). Fox is all about constant negative coverage of our President, promoting the falsehoods that the GOP puts out there regarding issues, and fanning the flames of hatred and divisiveness because the GOP thinks that if it can divide America enough and create enough hatred between different groups maybe it will regain power. It is very sad that the GOP will go to such lengths just to get back in power. The GOP does not care about what is good for America, only what is good for the GOP.

    August 17, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. oldstupidliberal

    Is it just me or doesn't seem like Fox cartoon shows are actually just paroties of it's viewership?

    August 17, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. rdepontb

    So, this doesn't even include all that money they've been paying, outright, to Huckabee, Palin, Rove, Gingrich....all tools. Tools of the...I don't know what I want to call their party. It certainly isn't the GOP we used to know.

    Reporting Tonight! IT'S FoxTools!!

    August 17, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. Adolf Hitler

    FuxNoise is nothing but the 700 Club with a better set and higher salaries. Anyone who ever took them seriously needs a CAT scan. Just a pack of born again sky fairy worshipers with no respect for journalism or good taste. The reason they're so successful isn't that they're any good; they're the only game in town for the right wing. If another news agency started up and gave the GOP a fair shake (something nobody else will do), then FuxNoise would have some competition. As it is, they have NONE! Anyone looking for a tolerant view of the right wing is stuck with them. If you want to see them go down the toilet, stop treating the right wing with obvious contempt and get back to real journalism. That means sacking that liberal moron, Anderson Cooper. Fux sucks, but it's the liberal media that made them #1. You have only yourselves to blame.

    August 17, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Eric Corcoran

    All I have to say is that I really am not surprised at all, other than that anyone else is surprised at this one.

    August 17, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. Discernment

    Fox (Propaganda) News is the same organization CNN and mainstream media cried tears for when the White House stated it would not treat Fox as a News organization.

    NOW DO THE IDIOTS IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA GET IT?

    Fox is not a "Fair & Balance" News organization. They are the Master Puppeteers of the Republican Tea Party.

    August 17, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. donutman

    Unfair and imbalanced

    August 17, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Randy

    Fair and balanced??? Seriously, I don't think anyone other than the rightest of the right wing biggots would even think of paying attention to what those numbskulls spew out. They are really almost laughable..

    August 17, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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