Liberal Bloggers Are Not Surprised… No, They Are Not

Ben Smith at Politico:

News Corp., which owns Fox News and the New York Post, gave $1 million to Haley Barbour’s Republican Governors Association this year, according to the RGA’s most recent filing.

The company’s media outlets play politics more openly than most, but the huge contribution to a party committee is a new step toward an open identification between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and the GOP. The company’s highest-ranking Democratic executive, Peter Chernin, recently departed.

The $1 million contribution this June 24 was first reported by Bloomberg and appears on the RGA’s July 15 filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

The group’s other seven-figure donor is the libertarian billionaire David Koch.

UPDATE: News Corp. Spokesman Jack Horner emails, “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.”

The giant check to the RGA dwarfs low four-figure checks from Fox’s PAC to Democrats including Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.

Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo:

This is, of course, in addition to the massive in-kind contributions that the company makes to the GOP on a daily basis.

Nitasha Tiku at New York Magazine:

That might be the why Peter Chernin, the company’s highest-ranking Democratic executive, recently parted ways. Well, that or working under the employ of a company that sneers at your political beliefs. In light of Target’s recent refusal to donate to pro-gay candidates (as a way to even out writing a check to anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer), it seems like the new corporate stance is: Yeah, we’re not fair, and who gives a crap about being balanced.

David Weigel:

Anyway, it was enough to kick off attacks from the Democratic Governors’ Association, which has spent a year being compared unfavorably to the RGA (in fundraising terms), and the DNC. Nathan Daschle’s statement on behalf on the DGA went like this:

Time and time again, Fox News has defended itself against accusations that it is nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party. We know now that the reality is so much worse: they’re bankrolling the GOP. FOX’s news division is ignoring the fact that its own parent company made a direct and unprecedented partisan contribution to defeat Democrats. This is hypocrisy at its worst, and is a sad day for all of us who believe that an independent and impartial media is vital to our democracy.

And so on. I see an attempt — it’ll probably succeed, given Fox News’ propensity to respond to this stuff — to start a debate over something that confirms what liberals think is happening. A lot of the Democrats’ attempts to gin up their tired base involve informing them of the money flowing in to the GOP while they’re not looking.

Steve Benen:

Matt Gertz asks, “Are there still people who doubt that Fox is just an arm of the GOP?”

There shouldn’t be.

On a related note, anyone want to lay odds on whether Fox News’ on-air broadcasters, reporting on gubernatorial races, disclose that the same company paying their salary is also helping finance the Republican candidate they’re covering?

Digby:

I doubt all those Fox news patriots know that the same News Corp that’s owned by a Wahhabist Saudi prince just donated a million dollars to the Republican party. Of course they’ll never find out because the only network they watch is the same terrorist funded network that’s doing it.

But if they were to hear about it, considering that they all seem to be so worried about the terrorists coming to kill them in their beds, I would imagine they’d be uncomfortable about getting all their news from a network that’s partially owned by one of “them.” And I’d be very surprised if they were sanguine about a scary Muslim donating to their patriotic political party. Why next thing you know they’ll be trying to build community centers near Ground Zero.

At the very least, this whole thing is very insensitive, don’t you think? After all, some people really hate Muslims and it’s very unpleasant for them to have to watch news networks that are owned by them and be asked vote for a Party that’s funded by them. I’m not saying that Murdoch should be forced to stop donating millions to Republicans or partnering with Saudi princes who believe in Sharia law. I just think it’s common sense that he wouldn’t do it in the first place.

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