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. Alex

    And this is shocking how?, anyone who has a sober drug free mind know that this is Fox, they have never been fair or balanced. So, good for them to avail themselves to the free market system that we all so enjoy. That is a Republican pact and institution that supports Republicans. Democrats don’t whine and complain about just get in the game. This system of government comes dowm to the best that money can buy anyway.

    August 17, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Northeast

    Was there ever any question whether Fox was aligned with Republicans?This just further confirms what we already know...Fox is a right wing propaganda machine.

    August 17, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. GianCarlo

    Fox fair and balanced? I think the Daily Show is more fair and balanced then the GOP propaganda machine.

    August 17, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. Andy

    Fox News is fair and balanced.

    The problem is far too many of you are lumping their opinion shows in with their journalists.

    August 17, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Just watch Rachel Madcow on MSNBC if you want to see true bias. They don't even make any pretense. It's 24/7 Republican bashing.

    August 17, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  6. roro

    They've now made official what we knew all along – they never were a real news station, and they never were "fair and balanced".

    August 17, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    1. Its fact that Faux News got talking points each day during the Bush regime.

    2. Its fact that Faux News is a Republican news station. Duh?

    3. Its fact that Faux News IS NOT fair and balanced!

    When we found out that the whole "ACORN Sting" was a JOKE...... did Faux News set everyone straight? Did they correct their reporting?

    When the ACORN Sting Operatives were ARRESTED was this covered on Faux News 24/7? No.

    Is anyone surprised that Faux News is GOP propaganda? Nope.

    August 17, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. steve

    the real problem is when dems listen to fox the truth hurts,

    August 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Don Beal

    Who in their right mind ever thought Fox News was "fair and balanced"? I spent some time today in a waiting room at an automobile dealership waiting for a repair job to be completed and told some guy who worked for the car dealer that he would have to turn off the TV. Not everyone wants to be subjected to that crap.

    August 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. CS in Rosslyn VA

    FOKSNOOZ – the official news of Roller Derby....

    August 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. No change, No hope

    Why does Fox have twice the viewers of any other network. Maybe that's because their message is what most Americans want to hear.
    I'm sure a lot of people think if we watch Fox news we must by bigots, I guess most of America would be bigots then.
    Liberals make me sick with their hypocrisy, if they don't like it must be bigotry. Liberals should see that people have different opinion than them, and that should be allowed. Don't call me names because I differ from you, don't think I am filled with hate because I don't believe in what you are selling. And most of all don't hate me because I make a certain amount of money. MY money employs a few people, even though they are probably liberals.

    August 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    @ Nocountryleftforkids:

    Wow what a weird name! At least, IF you watch any of the network news you mentioned, you will see BOTH sides covered equally.

    Faux News is pure GOP propaganda!

    August 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. jaman

    So the wolf has shed his sheep clothe. I hope the 69 million americans who voted for Obama will continue their support for this great leader

    Barack Obama won the 08 Election by 10 million votes and a margin of 52.8 for Barack Obama to MccAin and his GOP FIENDS 45.7 by preaching universal health care reform

    August 17, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. Marihnat

    One network gives a donation to the GOP and everyone is up in arms. The prostitutes at NBC, ABC, and CBS as well as their cable networks have been pimping for OBAMA for the last 3 years. The DNC can't talk, iT'S THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK.

    August 17, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. cobra

    With all the dimocrat garbage in Washington and a scum bag of a president who gives a dang what any dimocrat thinks, out with them!

    August 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    Hey and thanks to the Reagan/Bush//Bush supreme court it is all perfectly legal.

    I wonder though, is their faux-news reporting considered an inkind contribution?

    August 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. pepo

    According to a Pew Research study of public knowledge of current events, the audience for Jon Stewart's Daily Show and The Colbert Report have the highest ratings for knowledge of current events. 54% have a high level of knowledge, 25% have a moderate level, and 21% have a low level. The study examines 16 different news sources (I find it interesting that Pew includes Stewart and Colbert, but sometimes they do report stuff the mainstream either ignores or misses – even though Stewart and Colbert are "comedy" shows). Fox News comes in second to last: 35% have a high knowledge of current events, 30% have a moderate level, and 35% have a low level.

    August 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Larry

    Anyone with a pulse knows CNN, MSNBC, ABC and CBS are nothing more than tools for the left wing. They protect Obama at every turn. They kept critical information about Obama and Rev Wright and Bill Ayers from the American people.

    Political ideology is one thing, but I'm sick and tired of the main-stream liberal media outlets treating the American public like morons. This is'nt journalism anymore but the liberal elite deciding what they will keep from us in order to protect Obama.

    All I can say is there is a reason all the major outlets are losing money and viewers while Fox's numbers continue to grow. Fox is the ONLY place you are treated like an adult with ALL the news allowing viewers to decide for themselves......

    August 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Steve (the real one)

    Darth Vadik, CA August 17th, 2010 5:15 pm ET
    ...if the Democrats were filth and scum like Republicans are, and if the Democratic base was as dumb as the Republicans, and if you could provoke a strong hate reaction from the Democrats as you can from the Republicans...
    ------------
    I hope you kidding me! If not let me remind you:
    Alvin Greene, indicted on porn charges- a SC DEM
    Charlie Rangel-13 ethics violations- a NY DEM
    William Jefferson-in prison -A La DEM
    Maxine Waters-2 ethics violations- A Ca DEM
    Traficant-went to prison- An Ohio DEM
    Massa-resigned the Congress over sexual harassment- A NY DEM
    Eliot Spitzer- A NY DEM
    Blago – A DEM
    Alcee Hastings – a impeached Judge, now a congressman from Fl Filth and scum, huh? Too funny! Look there are issues in the GOP as well but don't act like there are nothing but angels in the DEM party. You are delusional! All your Fox rantings can be just as easily applied to NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC or other wise known as the DEM cheerleading networks!

    August 17, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. Jack

    Does not surprise me; as an independent conservative, I do not trust fox news for any of my news!

    Matter of fact anyone that associates themselves with O'Rielly, Hanity, Limbaugh, Beck and the likes, I choose not to listen to and since the Republican Party has not distanced themselves, I have!

    August 17, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  21. Charles

    Who cares, this should be obvious? How about reporting to donations from GE/MSNBC owners/Board/big wigs, and the donations from Time Warner PAC/big wigs? It's obvious where those go to and I shouldn't have to mention it.

    August 17, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. John

    The thing that frightens me are the people who accept anything CNN, ABC,MNBC et. al. say! FOX only appears to be bias alongside those other networks who were democrat mouth pieces for years!

    August 17, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. Derek

    Oh, PLEASE! I suppose Katie Couric should also come with a disclaimer, or virtually every other news agency on the air besides Fox? I find it absolutely incredible that with all of the BLATANT left-wing bias permeating throughout the TV news arena, the story here is actually about how the one single network with more conservative-minded journalists is the one getting blasted.

    ....Oh wait, that's not surprising. That sounds exactly like what would be reported by the rest of the news agencies out there...wonder why?

    August 17, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. southern cousin

    When they say independent press, are they talking about MSNBC which kowtows and tells its viewers how Obozo sends thrills up their legs. How much did GE and its subsidiaries give to the inept, corrupt clown now in the White House. Or are they talking about the likes of CNN, which runs a daily Palin hate fest for the libs, or perhaps the state run media, which receives its daily direction from the corrupt and slimy White House. Could they be talking about the "Journolist" people that conspired to destroy McCain and Palin to help SEIU and ACORN steal the election from America? I don't know why CNN has not reported these stories, oh they are part of the Obama run media, that is why they devote so much to this Journolist story.

    August 17, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. Dave

    The way the other press has supported Obama and the Dem's last time, who is in the press going after News Corp on objectivity? Like tell me who is Mr. or Mrs. objectivity CNN (for example) and I bet you he/she is not among your guys!
    (Hope this comment gets posted)...

    August 17, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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