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. Big John

    They have been the mouthpiece of the right wing whackos for years and years, what's new?

    August 17, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. Sanford

    This is not news. Anyone who thinks this is news hasn't been watching.

    August 17, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  3. Mike

    I like how someone said 65% of journalists are left leaning. No kidding. That's because they have college degrees and its been shown time and time again that the educated lean left because they actually think about, read about and try to understand the issues confronting them. I'd rather be with the liberal elite than the ignorant, ranting right-wing any day.

    August 17, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. andy

    Is this a surprise to anyone, Fox News is and always has been the voice of the republican propaganda machine. Now they need to take the "news" off once and for all and Label it as it is. The 4th reich will rise again!

    August 17, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. 1whoVOTESboth

    When is FOX gonna get it? The trash the put out... is MOSTLY ignored by the public. FOX get's it, they just can't sell it! It was time for FOX to show their bias colors!! Now they are seen for the right wing spin organization they have always been!! Time to take out the trash and shut FOX down!

    August 17, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Fake News IS Un-American

    Owned by an Australian and SAUDI ARABIANS!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bent on the destruction of truth....all for greed. Beck and the lot of them are evil, lying garbage, that deserve traitor status.

    P.S. That CNN Idiot, Rollins I believe, that fought for Fox to have a front row seat, you are a complete boob, with no morale compass. You gave up a legit seat in the White House for a Right Wing Anti-American Propaganda Machine that spews venom to make Murdoch money-

    August 17, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Will

    I want to email this story to my right-wing brother. He actually insists Fox News is "Fair and Balanced".

    I say it's fine to spout off your propaganda, but don't insult people by saying you are objective. Admit you are cheerleaders for the Republican party.

    August 17, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Dave

    If you repeat a lie heard on Fox Terror Channel you are just as much a liar. If you watch ANY of that channel you're constantly lying.

    August 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. JR

    Can we stop hearing that "fair and balanced" crap now and drop the "news" from their propaganda station?

    August 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. Michelle marietta

    I tiune into Fox for a laugh every once in a while....Now how will they spin this?

    August 17, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. hal

    Give me a break! The other newscasts give money to the Democrats!

    August 17, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Jon from Madison

    To you idiots who didn't read the entire article. CNN's parent company made a large donation to the DGA, it just wasn't in the headline. Typical liberals, only read part of something and then pass judgment. Just like the immigration bill, just like the health care bill. What a bunch of idiots.

    August 17, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. PDXSerric

    You mean the media is bought and sold by rich backers carrying a political agenda?? Say it ain't so!

    Who woulda thunk it!

    August 17, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. TBA

    DuH...Faux News Corp is PRO-REPUBLICAN, look how the portray Republicans, as GODS and Democrates as DEVILS.

    August 17, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. malabar

    Dems are just control freaks who cant take a little competition. can u imagine couric, sawyer, or williams NOT being biased? BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ! ! btw, the repubs r stupid argument is getting pretty old, BUT since any normal person wudnt possibly fall 4 that ignorant generalization. . . carry on burying urselves with hate and conceit libs, its so attractive to regular joes

    August 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. George of the jungle

    Well they just put their money where we always knew it was. They are not a news show at all but a republican tabloid.

    August 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Vincent J. Petrosino

    The average American adult within the middle class, what once was called the "blue collar" working force do not read. Or they do not read nearly enough. They lazily watch TV for their news and if the program in the least way smells intelligent or thought-provoking, they switch the channel. People believe what they hear on Fox-News and it does not mean anything that it is biased, slanted or written to raise the worse specter of prejudice this country has yet to deal with. If the parent company of Fox-News wishes to be fair and balanced, then they should donate the same amount of money to the DNC.

    August 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. musician

    It`s pretty obvious that Fox has a political agenda. From day one "fair and balanced" has been a joke. Duh!

    August 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. RickyBobby

    Seriously? is everyone really this ignorant and blind? Even if Fox News leans towards conservatism and republicans, that is ONE major news outlet (who by the way has ratings that beat everyone, ask yourself why?) compared to at least 5 networks that lean towards liberals and democrats. SO WHAT! you have CBS, MSNBC, ABC and CNN that are clearly leaning the opposite. I would say that the playing field is tilted to the left...and any intelligent person realizes this. Let you pride go and realize there needs to be a counter to the liberal NEWS majority. Obviously Fox News is appealing to most of America, based on their ratings. I suggest the other networks let their pride go as well and start reporting news more fairly.....if that were the case over the past 15 years, we may not have had a need for FOX.

    August 17, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. eddale

    The owner of Faux news is not even an American so he has no interest in the welfare of this country. It's too bad so many of the American people listen to the garbage they put on the air.

    August 17, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. Courtney Anne

    This is just another reason FOX cannot be trusted as a legitimate news source. Faux news is neither fair or balanced. They have a bunch of clowns over at that network.

    August 17, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. Tinkers Dam

    They're just sick of the Obamatard. They want real change......Change for the better.

    August 17, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. JimmyK

    Okay, That's 1 network that supports the GOP. What about the rest that support the DNC? This is a joke of an accusation, and they're stating things that most people already know.

    Looks like the Democrats are scared for November.

    August 17, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. kklinkz

    CNN (Clinton News Network) or (Communist News Network) DemocRATS and LIBERALS are the biggest bunch of Hypocrites on the planet!! Wall Street invested heavily in the OBAMA campaign and no one is bothered. Let OBAMA spin his propaganda to the news networks Maybe you Liberals would like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge too?

    August 17, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Bill

    Faux news. Unfair and unbalanced.

    August 17, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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