Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 16, 2010

NEWS CORP'S SHAMELESSNESS.... In mid-August, we learned that media giant News Corp., Fox News' parent company, had broken new political ground by contributing $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. There was no modern precedent for this kind of financial intervention by a media company, and asked for an explanation, a spokesperson said it was because News Corp agrees with Republicans.

Last month, the story got slightly worse -- in addition to the RGA donation, and in-kind contributions by Fox News personalities on a daily basis, News Corp has now also contributed an additional $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its pro-Republican election-year activities.

Were there any other contributions? Yep.

This evening, IRS disclosures reveal that News Corporation gave another check, time for $250,000, bringing his total donation amount to $1,250,000. Other donors include Bill Koch, who donated $100,000, Swift Boat-funder Bob Perry, who gave $3.5 million, and right-wing casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who gave $1 million to the Republican campaign group.

As it turns out, shortly before we learned of this latest six-figure check, Rupert Murdoch "got a grilling from his company's shareholders" about the "reputational risk" News Corp created by writing huge checks to help Republicans by the election cycle.

Murdoch seemed unfazed by the questions. Asked if News Corp would involve shareholders in the political donation process, Murdoch said no. Asked if News Corp would commit to transparency about the media company's campaign contributions, Murdoch hedged.

He did, however, insist that using News Corp's bank account to influence the outcome of U.S. elections is worthwhile, because he wants to see "a fair amount of change in Washington."

The striking shamelessness of it all is a sight to behold.

Steve Benen 9:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Someday the Republicans are going to wake up and realize that Fox isn't their mouthpiece, they are its wholly owned subsidiary. Funny how the people who are in a snit about Obama's Kenyan father don't mind in the least having an Australian buying up a government so that he can make us run this country his way.

Posted by: T-Rex on October 16, 2010 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

For awhile there, it looked like we were going to begin to reign in campaign financing. Heartening efforts such as McCain-Feingold died, and all efforts to stem the tide of money failed.

We are at one of those points in our country's history where a decision needs to be made. We've always known viscerally, as a people, that it's not right for corporations and other similar entities to buy their way to political support. Equally viscerally, we've always recognized--indeed, often it is so transparent--how politicians vote to satisfy the interests of those with the money.

Do we really want to get a handle on this? The corporations are pretty much shoving this in all our faces, thinking--probably correctly, sadly--that they won't be stopped. The floodgates have been opened wide and they do not fear the spotlight, thanks to the USSC. Or are we going to help them dispense with all semblance of government for the people and not demand a stop to this?

Posted by: terraformer on October 16, 2010 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Murdoch, "and government of rich, by the rich and for the rich shall not perish from this country..."

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on October 16, 2010 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand the objection. (I mean, aside from the -moral- objection, to supporting horrifying policies.) A right-wing propaganda outfit is supporting right-wing candidates. Yeah, it's another example of the corrosive effect of money on politics, but isn't that all it is?

Posted by: gussie on October 16, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Rupert Murdoch has the same First Amendment rights as anyone else. Only liberals would deny them.

Posted by: Al on October 16, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, with all the talk of foreign money going to Republicans via the Chamber of Commerce, isn't Newscorp a foreign corp? Rupert is an Aussie, I believe, and Newscorp owns TV stations, networks, and newspapers around the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Who's to keep those dollars (of whichever stamp) segregated? Fungible is the word.

Posted by: Walldon on October 16, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't Murdoch one of them there furriners? Isn't this direct evidence of foreign money in this election?

Posted by: Jonas on October 16, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

In France the tumbrels rolled and the guillotine dropped.

But then, they didn't have TeeVee and fast food to keep them Fat, Dumb, and Happy. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 16, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

There was no modern precedent for this kind of financial intervention by a media company, ....

The only shamelessness I'm seeing---as promoted in the title of this particular thread, is the promotion by literally every Liberal and Progressive blog that News Corp is a "media company."

They are not.

They are, to be politically explicit, nothing more than the thinly-veiled propaganda arm of a radicalized GOP; which itself is nothing more than the political wing of an oligarchic al Quaeda, driven by sheer greed to force upon this Republic a "Sharia of the Almighty Dollar."

Posted by: S. Waybright on October 16, 2010 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

So, lets see. If foreign entities want to help Fox help Republicans, all they need to do is contact The Chamber of Corruption and arrangements can be made?

Posted by: Dredd on October 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

I think the U.S. should make Murdoch persona non grata and send him back where he came. Additionally, not let him back in the country ever. He is NOT an American. He should not have any say in how we run our country.

Posted by: Bonnie on October 16, 2010 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

I can imagine what passes for "brain-storm" meetings over at Fox Cartoon News that are convened each morning, as far-right-wing show hosts, far-right-wing show producers and arch-Republican conservative Roger Ailes "strategerize" over how they are going to "present" the "news" throughout the day on the Fox Cartoon News channel.

First, they start with the facts, throwing these "loosely" into the Fox stew pot. Then they dump in a whole lot of partisan right-wing talking points, some wing-nuttiness for spicing, minced stupidity, some of Glenn Beck's white chalk, evil eye of Newt, powdered Boehner, shank of Palin's hair, a dash of Cheney's heart and Bush's brain, along with a cup or two of outright right-wing lies. Then they place the Fox cooking pot over a fire, bring to a boil and ladle it out into crackpot bowls, with witchy Christine O'Donnell helping stir the foul mixture and dish it out.

Voila. What shows up on the Fox Cartoon News menu for the day.

And crazed right-wingers, especially of the zombie Teabaggin' kind, eat it all up on a daily basis. Right-wing crap du jour.

With black-hearted warlock Rupert Murdoch smirking and giggling in the background.

Posted by: The Oracle on October 17, 2010 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

In the case of Newscorp, the issue of "reputational risk" is pretty academic.

Posted by: bob h on October 17, 2010 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Rupert Murdoch became a U.S. citizen in 1985, it seems. Otherwise, I think he would not be able to own TV stations in the U.S. This means that he can't run for President directly, at least until the GOP revives the "Arnold Amendment" to the Constitution.

Posted by: Daniel Kim on October 17, 2010 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Daniel. About time somebody drew that to everybody's attention. He became an American citizen so that he could do precisely what he is doing now, He has played a major role in elections in both Australia and England in the past.

He is a ruthless man, and cutting him slack is a big mistake.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on October 18, 2010 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK



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