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. BE

    I despise FOX News.The more biased GOP propaganda crap that comes out of FOX News, the more devoutly Democratic I become. I find republican politicians repulsive. Obama is the best thing to happen to this country in ten years. I am from Texas and I'm honestly embarrassed for the previous administration's total incompetence. To the world, please don't think all Texan's are this stupid.

    August 17, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Greater Good

    An honest policy disagreement is one thing, but distortions, exaggerations, smear, and character assassination in the name of "news' are all quite another. Fox News is no different than Tokyo Rose in WWII: spewing propaganda around the clock to ensure that America unravels from the insisde out.

    August 17, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Gerry NH

    How dumb some of these post are. Every news organization leans right or left so what is the news?

    August 17, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. The voice of reason

    God bless Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert !!

    August 17, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. hillcrester

    This isa non-story. Ever since Hannity said his job was to bring down Obama (well, even before that) Fux (the) News has always been what it is–a deliberate advocate for conservative Republicanism.

    August 17, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. mrBistre

    "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!!!!"

    Have you ever considered the possibility that if every media outlet you can think of that isn't FOX seems too far to the left, then you in no way represent they opinions of the rest of the country? If from where you stand everything is too far left, then maybe you are in fact a fascist?

    August 17, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Tim

    They should not call themselves a news organization. They are a propaganda organization. Plain and simple. It's weird that there are people that howl bloody murder about the major news organizations have a liberal bias. As they are so used to right wing propaganda anything that would not be promoting the views of the extreme right would be considered a liberal view.
    Didn't I just hear that Faux News is the most watched of all of the other organizations? This means that all those people who watch the garbage from Faux are more than happy with being told what to think.

    August 17, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. JohnB

    The only people that watch Fox news are GOP extremists and some poor guy on the Daily Show so they can write jokes for John Stewart.

    August 17, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. mike l

    fox just made it official: the gop is a wholly-owned subsidiary. But intelligent folks already knew that.

    August 17, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Charleston

    "... Fox News never has been anything but a GOP propaganda outlet." Right, and what, pray tell, are CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC–Shall I go on?

    August 17, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Dennis

    How's that any different than all the favorable coverage given to Democrats by the other"mainstream" networks. MSNBC is the mouthpiece for the extreme left.

    August 17, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Mike Kowalczyk, San Geronimo

    Fox News is an infomercial for Right Wing interests. A chimp watching for 30 seconds could discern that. I'm just surprised News Corp gave so little. Was that the cap? Who's smirking now Justice Alito?

    August 17, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Michael1959

    The DNC has ALL of their people out posting on this one. They must pay their people by the post. But what do you expect. In November throw them out like the trash that they are. Then in two years the ringmaster can go of this sorry circus.

    August 17, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. cole texas

    heres me biggest problem with this and its simple so everyone can get it. most of the other news companies donate almost evenly to both sides while fox is only one sided. so that way its fair but i forgot republican do not like to play fair. so no more republican talking about how the other companies are leaning left there is a big difference in 25000 dollars and 1 million dollars it not even close.

    August 17, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. wayne

    and this is news?

    August 17, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Clark1b

    you all have got to be kidding ..... all of the media has biases ...

    just because you now say the GOP supports FOX ... why does that bother you when the liberals own all the other media outlets and spin the news in favor of the liberal agenda?

    Poor little liberals ... afraid of one new agency when you have "owned" the rest for decades.....

    August 17, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Mikey726

    Rage Against the Machine said it best, "Sheep tremble and here come the votes!" That's the Fox News/Republican Party strategy.

    August 17, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. candy

    really is anyone surprised by this

    August 17, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    I hope no one with a brain is surprised at this "news".

    And I just love the typical vacuous [R] deflection from Rose: "If the DNC got that donation you would not hear a peep out of the Dems. I still question Obama's campaign donations." And just what does THIS have to do with the beyond-all-ignorance News Corporation donation to the [R]s?.....and its standing as solid PROOF that FuxNews is just the propaganda arm of the GOP?!!

    It must be nice to live in that rightwing fairytale world, with your head stuck so far up your own nether-regions, you can bearly hear the muffled lies on the TV that you are brainwashed to parrot everyday.

    August 17, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Brendan

    I thought the candidates were supposed to give money to the media to get elected. Now the media is giving money to the candidates to get elected?

    August 17, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. really?

    Wow... Fox Noise is biased? Who knew?? This isn't news, this is a restatement of fact.

    August 17, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. George Synan

    I guess this was the icing on the cake, but c'mon, did we really need this incident to think fox news wasn't fair & balanced?

    August 17, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Every

    It took this long for CNN to realize Fox news is an extension of "the repuglican teabiscuit party of no." I guess john king and john roberts really has some clout in holding back the tide of truth about Fox news! CNN, please send erik erickson to fox news he is not fair or balanced in his brain!

    August 17, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Clark1b

    corporations in the US are just like businesses in the rest of the world ... they contribute to politicians on both sides ... that way whoever wins still owes them some favors.

    August 17, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Debby

    So what, I wonder how much Ted Turner and his CNN have donated to the Dem. candidates in the past.

    August 17, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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