Bloomberg News reports today (h/t Daily Kos' KingOneEye) that News Corp. -- the media giant which owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal -- has donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, the GOP organization that helps coordinate Republican gubernatorial campaigns and pays for independent ads in support of their candidates.
Media Matters has confirmed Bloomberg's report using publicly available IRS filings. We also found no evidence of corresponding donations to the Democratic Governors Association in the current political cycle. News Corp. wants Republicans elected to office, and they're willing to spend money to make it happen.
According to the article, News Corp. is actually the RGA's “biggest corporate donor.” Bloomberg suggests that News Corp. has made these donations due to their opposition to “proposed federal rule changes that would weaken the position of its Fox network in negotiations with cable companies,” stating that “Governors may have a stake in the issue.”
Whether or not that is the case, this large corporate donation to the GOP underscores News Corp.'s role as an appendage of the Republican Party.
UPDATE: 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 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?