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. Anne P

    The difference is Fox News touts itself as unbiased which is pure crapola. I agree, Fox is nothing by entertainment. Besides the amounts donated to the other media corporation's donations pale in comparison to the 1 million to Fox. Not very transparent.

    August 17, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Adonomo

    This is no news. Everyone but the Republicans know that Fox News is the extension arm of the Republican Party. There is nothing fair and balance about them.

    August 17, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Wesley

    The hilarity of it is 65% of journalists self identify as liberal (according to Pew Research polls over the past 10 years). Even more entertaining is the fact that most of the other 'news' organizations lean left (looking at MSNBC, CBS, ABC to name a few) and they do it for free for the democrats.

    can someone explain to me why there is so much angst against Fox News but the likes of MSNBC remains relatively unscathed in those same attacks? If you are going to point out the right wing flaws of one news organization, isn't it fair to point out the flaws of a left wing news organization? That, to me, would be fair and balanced on the part of the consumer.

    August 17, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. FoolishLibs

    Hello DEMOCRAT Losers,

    MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NEW YORK TIMES, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, LA TIMES, BOSTON etc..... These are all well known News outlets that are major DemocRAT Contributors. I noticeed nobody
    replying mentioned a study which showed that over 90 percent of so called mainstream journalists contributed to the DemocRAT Party.

    But I guess if you’re a DemocRAT you cannot look at your own Hypocrisy. HA HA HA.....GOOD FOR FOX NEWS!!!!!
    OBAMA will be the latest 1 term President...

    August 17, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    Like we needed proof that Fux the News was a republikkkan mouthpiece.

    August 17, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. W.B

    Fox News is a political arm for The Republican Tea Party. Fox News has damage this country. Now the other news outlet needs to challenge Fox News alpha male ego. Fox New is a 24 hr hate machine!

    August 17, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Randy

    I have to applaude CNN they gave parent companies and donations of the 3 big cable players. Headline is a little unfair, but all in all good info.

    August 17, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Drew, FL

    Oxymoron of the Day!

    Fox News

    August 17, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. MrAmerica

    Fox New is Republican News (with a little twist of fair and balanced appearance thrown in)

    August 17, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Eric

    ... as opposed to the mainstream media and the dead-tree media who are bastions of unbiased reporting, right?

    I swear, if you want to get in a good old fashioned knuckle-dusting fisticuffs with someone, accuse a journalist of being a conservative Republican and see if he doesn't immediately, instictively and reflexively bust you in the chops.

    Fox only appears to be incredibly right wing by contrast, because the prObama democrat media is so starkly, well, prObama. Besides... Fox is but one lowly little cable channel. Liberals command all the other channels, and network news, and newspapers, and magazines, and Hollywood, and the music industry, and the entertainment industry. Why are you so scared of little bitty Fox?

    August 17, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Pres. Obama doesn't even have a driver's license

    We can get the car out of the ditch.
    Going over the cliff is more difficult.

    August 17, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. JFS

    No Suprises here. I wonder what CNN has given to the GOP ??? It seems apparent that they (CNN)NO LONGER report accurate and positive things about the DEMS. Looks as if they have a grudge against Obama.

    August 17, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. kingliberal

    I'm not bothered by the fact that ABC and CBS have donated
    bunches of money to my party. It's a free country. I don't think
    it matters if a news organization donates to a political so long
    as that news organization isn't foreign isn't foreign.
    And HEY JEFF FROM ALABAMA ......RIGHT ON MAN........
    YOU TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

    August 17, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Randy

    See my other post, I'm guess people no longer read the story.

    August 17, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. SuperFed

    CNN – Left leaning
    MSNBC – Left leaning
    ABC – Left leaning
    CBS – Left leaning
    NPR – Left leaning
    NY Times – Left leaning
    LA Times – Left leaning
    FOX – Right leaning

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Not All Docs Play Golf

    At least the other news organizations have anchors with more than a high school education. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity... all have only high school educations. if I wanted to get my information from that element, I'd just go down to the corner bar and listen to barflies spout their opinions.

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Vic of New York

    The real issue here is that we have reached a point in the road where America needs laws to protect our citizens from misleading propaganda presented as "factual" news.

    Rather than looking to change the 14th Amendment, we should be looking to pass "Truth in Broadcasting" legislation.

    Under this law, a network can be held liable for broadcasting information that is misleading or unsubstantiated, unless the program post a disclaimer at the start of the show indicating:

    "The information and opinions discussed on this program are for entertainment purposes, this network makes representation that information or topics discussed on this program are factual or substantiated."

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. NYT:"during this election cycle big oil has paid 12.8 million in contributions, 71% to Republicans"!

    I think most folks can tell the right wing bias at Fox, just listening to the bobble heads, but it is always nice to have it confirmed.

    Looks like Orally, Beck and Beck's b!tch, Hannity are bringing in the mega bucks!

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. NBC/Obama Campaign Headquarters

    The Dems really are desperate.

    August 17, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. NoCountryLeftForKids

    Considering that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, & just about every other newpaper have been the DNC bullhorn, who the heck are they to talk!!!!

    If there is any propaganda it is coming fr those so called news org! Why don't we have an honest debate and investigate the contributions made to the DNC by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, & just about every other newpaper!??

    The morons hear who are DNC plants, & the shrill for the Democrats are the biggest hypocrites!!!!

    August 17, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Billy

    True controversy!!

    August 17, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Only a scared, ignorant fool has ever thought that Fox was anything but a mouthpiece for the GOP, willing to do anything and everything to promote Republican policies and candidates.

    Ever since President Obama was sworn into office, Fox and the GOP have made it their mission to do anything and everything to make our President and our country fail.

    This November, the American people will have the chance to stand up to Fox, the GOP and all others who desire political gain at the expense of our country.

    Vote for America = Vote Democratic

    August 17, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. JT

    Sorry Faux sheeple, I didn't see the slogan "Fair & Balanced" on Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow's shows. They are pretty clear about where they stand. Your "News" network however lies blatantly to your face! Sheeple.

    August 17, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. MW

    Fixed Noise is GOP TV. This is not a surprise to anyone.

    August 17, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. NoCountryLeftForKids

    What has GE the parent company for MSNBC & NBC have given in way of free air time and complete bias in favor of Democrats and Obama. I'm sure that is worth more than $1 million!

    August 17, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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