Fox News silent on News Corp.'s huge donation to GOP

››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

Following reports that Fox News' parent company News Corp. donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, Fox News has not mentioned the contribution, according to searches of the TVEyes and Nexis databases. Several other news outlets have covered the donation, which is reportedly "one of the biggest ever given by a media organization."

Fox News, FoxNews.com silent on News Corp.'s donation

News Corp.'s contribution reportedly "one of the biggest ever given by a media organization." On August 16, Bloomberg reported that News Corp. gave the Republican Governors Association "$1 million in June" and that News Corp. was "[t]he Republicans' biggest corporate donor" this year. The money "goes to candidates and the state parties, as well as independent expenditures to help elect gubernatorial nominees," according to Bloomberg. The New York Times further reported on August 17 that the donation "is one of the biggest ever given by a media organization, campaign finance experts said":

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.

Fox News programs, Fox Business Network, FoxNews.com ignore News Corp.'s donation to RGA. A review of TV Eyes and Nexis transcripts shows that Fox News and Fox Business Network programs have not reported on News Corp.'s $1 million contribution to the RGA. Similarly, a review of FoxNews.com shows no mention of the contribution.

DGA: Fox News declined efforts to put Dem on air to discuss the donation. The Huffington Post reported on August 18:

A top official with the Democratic Governors Association said on Tuesday that Fox News has declined repeated efforts to put him on air to discuss the decision of the network's parent company to donate $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

In a brief interview with the Huffington Post, Nathan Daschle, the executive director of the DGA, said that he has tried on numerous occasions to go on Fox News to discuss the donation made by News Corp. None of his entreaties have been answered as of 3:30 p.m on Tuesday.

[...]

Asked to respond to Daschle's charge that he was being denied a chance to challenge Fox on its donation, Fox News spokesperson Eva Synalovski offered the following: "We understand Nathan's desire to get face time on the most watched news network. And when he can offer insight on a legitimate news story instead of conducting a dishonest publicity stunt, we will consider having him on as a guest."

NYT: "[M]any news organizations reported ... on the $1 million gift." The Times further reported on August 17: "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."

Fox has called itself "voice of the opposition," and Fox News figures have raised millions for GOP

Beck reportedly said Ailes told him, "I see this as the Alamo." The Los Angeles Times reported on March 6, 2009, that according to Glenn Beck, in a meeting with him, Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes "shared a message of his own: The country faced tough times, he said, and Fox News was one of the only news outlets willing to challenge the new administration." From the article:

"I wanted to meet with Roger and tell him, 'You may not want to put me on the air. I believe we are in dire trouble, and I will never shut up,' " said the conservative radio host.

But before Beck could say anything, Ailes shared a message of his own: The country faced tough times, he said, and Fox News was one of the only news outlets willing to challenge the new administration.

"I see this as the Alamo," Ailes said, according to Beck. "If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we'd be fine."

That couldn't have suited Beck more. In making the jump to the top-rated cable news channel from HLN, where he had a show for two years, he hoped to alert more people to one of his consuming fears: that the government's handling of the economic crisis is ushering in an era of socialism.

Fox News executive: Fox is "voice of opposition on some issues." A March 23, 2009, report on NPR's Media Circus featured clips of Fox News vice president for programming Bill Shine saying of Fox News: "There were a couple of people who basically wrote about our demise come last November, December, and were, I guess, rooting for us to go away. ... With this particular group of people in power right now, and the honeymoon they've had from other members of the media, does it make it a little bit easier for us to be the voice of opposition on some issues?"

Fox News hosts and contributors have raised millions for GOP. Fox News hosts and contributors -- including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Sean Hannity and Rick Santorum -- have raised money for Republican candidates and causes using political action committees and 527 and 501(c)4 organizations.

Fox News is home to GOP in exile. As Media Matters has noted, a revolving door exists between the Republican Party and Fox News, with a number of former Bush administration officials, former and potentially future GOP presidential candidates, and Republican strategists on Fox's payroll and airwaves.

Fox consistently promotes conservative candidates

Conservative candidates routinely stumped on Fox News during lead-up to November 2009 elections. As Media Matters noted, in the two weeks leading up to their November 3 elections, Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell appeared on Fox News and its personalities' radio shows at least 16 times for live interviews lasting a total of 114 minutes 36 seconds.

Fox News consistently promoted Scott Brown. Prior to the January special Senate election in Massachusetts, Fox News hosted GOP candidate Scott Brown several times, providing him a forum to raise funds. Moreover, Fox News contributor Dick Morris explicitly asked viewers to go to his website to help elect Brown.

Fox declares that Rubio is a "Political Star." Fox News declared on February 19 that "A Political Star [Was] Born" at CPAC, referring to Marco Rubio, a Republican Senate candidate in Florida. Fox News personalities have described Rubio as a "rising star" and an "amazing leader" who "knocked it out of the park during his speech."

Fox hosts routinely conduct "softball" interviews with Republican candidates. A Fox affiliate in Las Vegas strongly criticized Fox & Friends for a "softball" interview with Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle as being "rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts." Fox & Friends has routinely interviewed Republican congressional candidates and provided them with a platform to promote their campaigns, aiding them with leading questions and statements.

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