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Fox News parent company donates $1 million to Republican Governors Association

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 19:15 EDT
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It’s long been known that the Fox News Channel leans heavily toward the political right, but this is just ridiculous.

News Corporation, the Rupert Murdoch-owned media giant and parent company to the Fox News Channel, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and the Fox television network, has given $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

The disclosure was made in the RGA’s most recent IRS filing.

“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,” a News Corp spokesman told Politico’s Ben Smith.

To watchdog group Media Matters, a clear pattern has emerged.

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.

Over at Think Progress, a study of News Corp’s company policies raises questions as to whether the large gift is in violation of their own rules.

In a subsection on dealing with government officials, the company policy states:

2. No payment shall be made to, or for the benefit of, any public official in order to induce or entice such official to: enact, defeat or violate any law or regulation for the Company’s benefit; influence any official act; or obtain any favorable action by a governmental agency or official on behalf of the Company.

3. Social amenities, entertainment and other courtesies may be extended to government officials or employees only to the extent appropriate and reasonable under applicable laws and customs. Gifts of greater than nominal value to, or lavish entertainment of, public officials are prohibited. No gifts in the form of cash, stock or other similar consideration shall be given, regardless of amount. Any gift about which an employee is uncertain should not be made without the prior written approval of the Company’s General Counsel. Any expenses incurred by a Company employee in connection with the matters discussed herein shall be accurately recorded on the Company’s books and records.

The Democratic Governors Association has not received any money from News Corp.

Updated from a prior version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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