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. Ridgeway

    Screw the Dems and all of you who vote for them. Socialists. You boobs who gripe about Fox and pay homage to Obama are total fools. Extreme right wing is anti socialism hence against your sock monkey president.

    August 17, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Pablo Cruz

    Really FOX, now way.....SHOCKER!!! We all know FOX is the GOP

    August 17, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. dick delson

    Fox News calls itself a news outlet. They are a bad joke. I love listening to Bill O, insanity Hannity and Glenn Beck who somehow made it out of the third grade.

    They hate Obama because he's black and think that idiots like Rand Paul will lead them out of the wilderness.

    Please.

    August 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. harold

    A great new name for Fox news would be...Foxy Loxy..News.......... What would republicans like as Foxys new name?......Fair and balanced in what........?

    August 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Dhana876

    And not a single word about this on FOXNews' Website as of a minute ago...

    August 17, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Independent is the way to go

    You people are so stupid. Notice the article is about the PARENT company. Not Fox News. Granted. Fox does lean towards the right. No denying that. What about cnn, abc, msn? They are as far left as you can get. Where is the difference? Mad because the joke of a president doesn't have a monopoly on the media? You people sit here and preach about the First Amendment and the mosque, but yet you won't give them the First Amendment right for the freedom of the press. Friggin hypocrits the lot of you liberals. It is reasons like this that 65 percent of us Independents are leaning Republican for mid terms. Either crap or get off the pot people. Either support the entire First Amendment or don't support it at all. You can't pick and choose for your own needs. And ETM? Again, is cnn, abc, msnbc not a Liberal propaganda outlet? Fox does the same thing these other stations do. They just support the other side. You people are just plain stupid. That is why I watch Fox, and cnn. Because I take what both are saying and mold it in the middle. That is about as close to the truth as you will get. You conservatives and liberals are so blind by hatred for the other party is sickening. Sheep is all the lot of you are.

    August 17, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Gwen

    Not suprised at all...The FCC needs to cancel their liscense as they are not a news organization but a platform for republicans to campaign from...Anything on my tv that saysFox (even local channel)I turn to another station...I don't listen to that trash and propaganda because all they do is bash President Obama, the democratic party and make fun of other minorties..They don't like anyone that doesn't look like them.....

    August 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. mrrusss

    Fox News is like a church gathering for people looking to reaffirm their fantasies and like looking at a car accident for the rest of us.

    August 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Barzoo42

    The problem here is that FOX News donated money to one party. The other networks have not done that. That donation crosses the ethical line of objective journalism in news. Do not confuse opinion shows with news- they are not one in the same. It doesn't matter whether opinion shows are on FOX or CNBC. They are presented as opinion shows and so you expect a certain viewpoint. It is the fact reporting of the daily events that now is questionable on FOX since they have overtly aligned themselves financially with the GOP.

    August 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Mance Lotter

    breaking news, FoxNews leans right!!! way to crack a story, murder she wrote! no wonder people overwhelmingly favor FoxNews to CNN and the other left-leaning "news" organizations.

    August 17, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Moe NY

    The bottom line here, as far as I am concerned, regardless of circumventing the law, is that some people....honest, hard working, innocent, hopeful people, are being lied to on a daily basis....this is just wrong...cannot put a spin on it no matter how hard you try....plain wrong. Is there no law on the books to stop these lies by Fox? Fox is hurting people in our country, not to mention hurting our country.

    August 17, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. ABC

    Foxnews is the worst that I ever seen. These people are using the media to further their selfish agenda and create conflicts. They do not care about the US Constitution or the future of the USA. What matters to them is making money and maintaining their power.

    August 17, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    ...and Chuck Todd, the Political Director at NBC isn't a DNC lap dog? He wouldn't know an honest story if it hit him in the face. Honestly, I like the rest of their reporting but when it comes to politics the slant is totally awkward and inappropriate. It will only hurt them going forward.

    August 17, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. Cliff Vegas

    Back when my father was a beat reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (1954 – 1974), he and his colleagues were hawks when it came to protecting their independence. My dad worked with Bill Farr during the murder trial of Charlie Manson – Farr was imprisoned for refusing to divulge sources for one of his articles. My dad was right there alongside – totally willing to go to jail – indefinitely if necessary – to shield the journalist's unique independence in American society. There are dozens of other cases where journalists bravely stood up against overreaching judges, overambitious politicians, and overzealous corporations. All of their sacrifice and struggle has been completely swept aside by News Corporation. It is a sad day in the Fourth Estate.

    August 17, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. jackson

    Please note that all other companies named in this article gave to BOTH parties. Fox gave to only one. If Fox wants to donate to the democrats as well, this will all blow over. Until then, they are the only company on the list showing extreme bias.

    August 17, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Russ in Benton Ar

    People that watch Fox Noise would not believe the disclaimer they are to busy baggin tea.

    August 17, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. andy

    BOYCOTT FIXED NEWS. See who their advertisers are and stop buying their product and let them know about it. Hit the Fixed "News" where it hurts – money!

    August 17, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Mike in San Antonio

    Sort of like MSNBC & Bluffington's donation to the DNC...whatever.

    August 17, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. Scott

    If Fox News really is in the bag for Republicans, does it really matter when CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, the NY Times, and just about every other media outlet is clearly in the bag for the Democrats? If Fox wasn't there to give the other side of the story, nobody would hear anything but pro-Left news. I think the demonization of Fox News has more to do with the fact that they are TROUNCING everyone else in the ratings than anything else.

    August 17, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. Michigan

    Do people really listen to Fox News?!? Wow, I've got to get out more oftern!

    August 17, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Impeach the worst president in history

    How surprising that another liberal media organization desperate for ratings and viewerships attacks the number one media and cable news channel in the country. Fox is the only real news channel left since all of the other media outlets are in the pockets of Obama, the unions, and the terrorists.

    There is a reason Fox News is number 1 in the ratings category across the board...its because the other networks are so blatantly biased, hateful, and hypocritical towards centrists and right wing positions that it makes the average American disgusted. Fox only appears to be right wing because LIEberals and DemoCRAPS are so used to steamrolling over the American people via the lamestream media. Go Fox News, you will always remain the number 1 news channel as long as you stay true to your fairness and openness.

    August 17, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Cynthia

    I had to click on this article just to get a good laugh. I don't have a problem with the donation by News Corp. It is their money. CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and all the other liberal media outlets give to democrats yet no one is all up in arms.

    This is reminding me of the Target incident that happened here in MN recently. I just hope that News Corp doesn't make the same mistake and apologize for their contribution. Target gave to a non-partisan organization (MN Forward) that yes is supporting the Republican nomineee for Governor of our great state. MN Forward is also giving to 3 democrat candidates that are running for offices. At least they post who they are giving to unlike, Alliance for a Better Minnesota and all of the "so called" non partisan organizations.

    Target like News Corp should be able to donate to whom they see fit from a business prospective.

    August 17, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. sunsohot

    after reading the entire story, my brain was whirling trying to add up ALL the dollars in political contributions made by so many media organizations to both major parties; so much good could be done with all that money; instead they are making politics a money business.

    August 17, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Mance Lotter

    i agree, fox news is not a news network. when they reported that the craigslist killer was dead, he wasn't really. when they reported that Blago was convicted on one count of lying to the feds, it wasn't true. When they reported that Obama's approval rating slid below 50 percent, it wasn't true. When they reported that Bolton basically urged Israel to strike Iran before Sunday, it wasn't true. Thank goodness for independent news professionals such as Dan Rather, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, The NY Times, the LA Times, et al who have never had to apologize for shooting their mouth off against a conservative that wasn't true.

    August 17, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. Laurie

    No news here. Waste of time watching this ever churning Republican propaganda machine.

    August 17, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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