Dems Demand Fox News Issue Disclaimer After $1 Million GOP Donation
August 18, 2010
(ChattahBox)— It was disclosed yesterday that Fox News’ parent company, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. made a $1 million jaw-dropping donation to the Republican Governors Association. How much did Murdoch donate to the Democratic Governors Association? A big fat zero. The unprecedented contribution signals Fox News is now dispensing with the pretense that it’s a “fair and balanced” network. Murdoch’s media empire is a propaganda arm of the GOP, and his direct funding of Republican political campaigns should not leave any doubt of that. In response, Nathan Daschle, executive director of the DGA fired off a letter to Fox News’ Roger Ailes demanding the GOP network issue a formal disclaimer when reporting on governor’s races.
Daschle’s letter demands Fox News disclose that its parent corporation made the “single largest corporate contribution” to defeat Democrats:
“For the first time in history, your organization is openly and proudly supporting the defeat of Democratic governors with an unprecedented political contribution of $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. In fact, your company provided the single largest corporate contribution to our opposition.”
“In the interest of some fairness and balance, I request that you add a formal disclaimer to your news coverage any time any of your programs cover governors or gubernatorial races between now and Election Day. I suggest that the disclaimer say: “News Corp., parent company of Fox News, provided $1 million to defeat Democratic governors in November.” If you do not add a disclaimer, I request that you and your staff members on the “fair and balanced” side of the network demand that the contribution be returned.”
And in the bizarro world of Fox News, the $1 million donation to Republicans by News Corp., one of the top stories of the week, has not even been mentioned on the network.
“According to a search by ThinkProgress, there has so far been no mention of the News Corp/RGA story on Fox News so far. Fox Business and FoxNews.com have also ignored the news, notes Media Matters. Also, as Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports, Fox has even refused to allow the head of the DGA to come on and talk about it”
Daschle points out this oddity in a postscript:
“P.S. Many news outlets have covered this controversy, but your own news programs have been strangely silent. I am available to appear on any of your programs to discuss the case for Democratic governors – particularly why our governors best for business growth. Despite my efforts to immediately reach out to your news programs, more than a dozen requests were ignored.”
News Corp. responded that it made the donation, because it believes in the GOP agenda. Well, yah we know that.
“News Corp. has always believed in the power of free markets, and organizations like the R.G.A., which have a pro-business agenda, support our priorities at this most critical time for our economy,” said Jack Horner, a company spokesman.”
A major news organization making a donation to a single party of this size, is a very big deal.
As noted by Steve Benen of the Political Animal, Fox News is unlikely to accede to Democratic demands for a disclaimer pointing its political bias, but the demand is not baseless:
“I don’t imagine Ailes intends to act on this, but the DGA’s argument is hardly baseless. Put it this way: imagine what Republicans would be saying right now if the New York Times Company contributed $1 million to the DSCC, but assured Republicans that its coverage of this year’s Senate races would remain entirely fair and even-handed.”
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/worldeconomicforum-Flickr