Ending the debate1 whether News Corporation is part of the Republican Party, Rupert Murdoch put his money where his heart is.
WASHINGTON — With Republicans hoping to recapture a number of statehouses in November, the media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch is inserting itself into the races in bold fashion with a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association.
The contribution from Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and other news outlets, is one of the biggest ever given by a media organization, campaign finance experts said
Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, said seven-figure donations from anyone to “527” associations were unusual, but a $1 million donation from a news organization was particularly rare.
The donation generated significant buzz in Washington on Tuesday. Much of it focused on Fox News, whose stable of highly rated, conservative hosts have made it the frequent target of liberals, who accuse the network of blurring the line between news and opinion.
In an e-mail to reporters, the Democratic National Committee said the donation showed that Fox News’ well-known mantra, “Fair and Balanced,” had been “rendered utterly meaningless.” Hari Sevugan, a D.N.C. spokesman, added that Fox News’ political coverage “should have a disclaimer for what it truly is — partisan propaganda.”
While many news organizations reported Tuesday on the $1 million gift, a late-afternoon search of Fox News’ Web site produced no mention of it.
(click to continue reading News Corp. Gives Republicans $1 Million – NYTimes.com.)
Media Matters, predictably, did not let the moment pass without comment.
Politico’s Ben Smith has received the following quote from a News Corp. spokesman: “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.” They’re not trying to hide it anymore. As the coverage of its media outlets indicates, News Corp. supports the Republican Party’s platform. It’s just now started putting its money where its mouth has long been.
Sixteen months ago, we drew attention to Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Shine’s characterization of his network as the “voice of the opposition.” Ever since, we’ve been demonstrating how the network has been living up to his words.
In September, we defined Fox News as a conservative political organization, noting that the network had been openly advocating against the Democratic Congress and White House through extreme promotion of anti-government rallies, witch hunts against administration officials, and by urging their audience to call Congress and the White House to protest Democratic policies.
In October, we revealed the revolving door between the Republican Party and Fox News Channel, with a number of former Bush administration officials, former and potentially future GOP presidential candidates, and Republican strategists on Fox’s payroll and airwaves.
In November, we chronicled Fox News’ promotion of Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell in the run-up to the November 3 election. We also noted how Fox News hosts and analysts spent Election Day promoting their candidacies.
In January, we documented Fox’s campaign for Scott Brown; in February, we pointed out the network’s advocacy for fellow Republican Senate candidates Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk.
In April, we showed how Fox News hosts and contributors have raised millions of dollars for Republican candidates and causes in the 2010 election cycle. We also pointed out that in recent years, at least twenty Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in at least 49 states.
And now we have Fox’s parent company donating $1 million to elect Republican gubernatorial candidates. Are there still people who doubt that Fox is just an arm of the GOP?
- as if there were anyone who could argue with a straight face that Fox News was ever non-partisan [↩]