News Corporation Gives $1 Million to GOP
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and other high-profile media outlets, has contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association in advance of November, when the GOP will compete in 37 gubernatorial elections.
The political contribution is "one of the biggest ever given by a media organization," campaign finance experts told The New York Times .
A spokesman for News Corporation said there is a bright line between the company's business and editorial operations, and that the contribution to the RGA — which is hoping to erase a Democratic majority in the nation's governorships — is consistent with the firm's long-held values.
"News Corporation has always believed in the power of free markets and in organizations like the RGA, which have a pro-business agenda and support our priorities at this most critical time for our economy," Jack Horner said in The Wall Street Journal , which reported on its own parent company's decision.
"The corporate donation has no impact on the reporting activities of our newsgathering organizations," Horner continued. "There is a strict wall between business and editorial and the corporate office does not consult with our newsgathering organizations ... before making donations."
It's not the first time that News Corporation has made political contributions at the state level and, in the past, it has donated to Democrats as well, The Journal noted.
"Between 2002 and 2009, News Corp. gave $86,000 to the RGA and the Republican State Leadership Committee, according to IRS records. In the same span, the company gave $60,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association," the paper said.
The RGA's counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association, seized on the $1 million contribution in a flurry of morning news releases on Tuesday (Aug. 17), ridiculing the Fox News slogan that its coverage is "fair and balanced."
"I don't know about you, but funding the so-called Republican Comeback isn't what I'd call 'fair and balanced,'" Nathan Daschle, the group's executive director, wrote. "That's a million bucks to a group that's working to put wild-eyed Tea Party candidates in charge of our states and congressional redistricting."