August 17th, 2010
05:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Fox News takes heat for News Corporation's GOP donation

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" 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. oldsoldierboy

    The stench at Foxnews is equivalent to one million rotten eggs.

    August 17, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Ron

    And this surprises who exactly. You would have had to of never listened to or watched Fox News (sometimes called Faux News by non-fans) to possibly reach the conclusion that Fox was ever unbiased.

    August 17, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Christie

    The donation from Fox News is by way of the 5 Supreme Court Justices presently sitted on the bench. These people have no conscience – they are money hungry thugs. These people careless about the public or their opinion unless it involves their money.

    What the owners of Fox news means for evil will be turned around and used for the good of the people.

    August 17, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. Lenny Pincus

    Left leaning news corporations? Who TF are you kidding? Right wingers hate Obama and consider any coverage of him to be "left-leaning." Meanwhile they spout talking points from an entertainment channel that is primarily owned by an Australian and a Saudi, both of whom have an interest in ramming far-right policies down our throats. Fox trumpets the evils of Islam while ignoring the salient fact that most of the 9-11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, that al-Qaeda is a Saudi organization, and that the US government is in the pocket of international oil. And after buying into the right-wing tripe–fronted by GW Bush–we now have Supreme Court judges who grant constitutional rights to corporations, as in the international company that owns Fox, so that they can buy American elections.

    Face it. You Foxbots have helped sell out the US, and your self-delusion borders on mental illness.

    August 17, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    JT August 17th, 2010 5:48 pm ET

    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

    EXACTLY!!!!! When Faux News uses that bogus slogan, they are setting themselves up for scrutiny which has yielded what everyone except the sheep already knew. They are in the GOP's back pocket. CNN/MSNBC/etc have NEVER said "Fair and balanced" so JT you have refudiated any hint of bias

    August 17, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Ric NY

    Fox, Fixed, Faux News is a disgusting pathetic organization as are all of the people who work there.

    August 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Darryl Schmitz

    I'm no fan of Fox News, but the furious firestorm of criticism regarding "lack of objectivity" is pretty comical considering the fact that CBS, NBC, and to a certain extent ABC and PBS have long covered news very openly from the left of center. There is very little coverage at all these days from a constitutionalist/libertarian perspective, except for a few individual journalists in the news media like John Stossel and Andrew Napolitano, who have been relegated to a premium-charge cable network, Fox Business Channel.

    August 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. johnRJ08

    For the FOX idiots who are trying to accuse the other networks of duplicity on this matter, none of them make contributions to political campaigns or parties. NONE OF THEM. On top of that, all of them are subject to the Equal Time rule set by the FCC. FOX News evades this rule by camouflaging their bias punditry. It is an unabashed apologist and platform for the Republican Party as well as the Tea Party, which are now indistinguishable from one another. FOX News should be fined for its flagrant bias and the divisive rhetoric that spews from its insane programming. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are blights on American culture, the other FOX pundits are purveyors of the worst kind of propaganda.

    August 17, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Peter s

    Having stated my facts I hand the microphone to Honorable SNIFFIT

    August 17, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. ryan

    Where is the problem here.... b/c i am just not seeing one. Fox has been very conservative for a very long time and if i recall they were not exactly shy about the matter anyway.

    August 17, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. John 1776

    An yet we are asked to ignore the MSNBC/GE donations to the Democrats? .... I believe "balance" returns to the picture.

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

    Fox News shills for the Republican Party?!? Say it ain't so! Next you'll tell me Keith Olbermann is a liberal.

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

    ABC, CBS and the others, left leaning??? That's why 10,000 protesters of the war show up in Washington on the same day as a couple hundred tea baggers and the tea baggers got ALL THE COVERAGE? Left leaning? We have to hear about every time Palin hiccups from all the networks? Left leaning???? Rove, Cheney, Gulliani, lying their butts off on the network news, and no reporter takes them to task? Left leaning??? You must be joking.

    August 17, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    One more example of why corporations should not be allowed to donate to politics. Every person who works for or invests in a corporation has the right to donate, so I don't see how the "free speech" argument works. What is true is that your company's 401K plan could be invested in a corporation that is piling money towards candidates/causes that you find offensive and now thanks to the Supreme Court there's little you can do about it.

    August 17, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. MC

    Coming from the Obama's CNN network this is meaningless garbage, EPIC FAIL CNN .........EPIC !

    August 17, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. republicans hate america

    "'Fair and Balanced' has been rendered utterly meaningless,"


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

    Confirmation that Fox News, AKA Faux News, is the media arm of the Grand Obstructionist Party AKA The Party of NO. This isn't news, but certainly confirmation of what we already knew. The GOP, The Teabaggers, Beck, Limbarf, Sarah the quitter, Hannity and the rest of the delusional incoherent ignorant fanatics can just shut up now. They have nothing to say.

    But then again, Boner and McConnell and the RNC/GOP have abdicated responsibility for the Republican message to FOX so here we go.

    August 17, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. charles

    I am not suprized. Birthers!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. mj

    Let's hear what the Unions and other Networks have donated to the Democratic Party. How about the latest feed, in the disguise of helping Teachers, Police, and Firemen – Where do you think this money is going – UNIONS – to support democrats. Do a fair analysis CNN. So you think that only the above mentioned professions need help? What about the people trying to get a job in any other field? Morons.

    August 17, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Dave

    It's still Fair and Balanced – they're going to give $1 million to the Dems –

    August 17, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Lillee

    SO HAPPY....Fox News chose to donate to the GOP and NOT the DNC!

    August 17, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Gop

    And how much does CNN,ABC,CBS and NBC give to the Democrats?

    Maybe these networks give more then just money but also consistent partisan propaganda to Obama and his party.

    the saying goes' they who live in glass houses should not throw stones'

    August 17, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. lil

    Fox is not news it is a every rolling campaign ad for republicans and bigots.

    August 17, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. John

    To all you right-wingers trying to spin this: just show us ONE example where any other news outlet cut a check to the Democrat National Party. That is, gave them money directly.

    August 17, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Dick

    If a news network is truly "fair and balanced", they shouldn't have to advertise it. Their viewers will know it. Fox has to advertise it because their viewers don't know the difference.

    August 17, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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