In the wake of its $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in August, News Corp. -- parent of Fox News -- has literally doubled down on aligning itself with the conservative agenda by donating another $1 million, this time to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has reportedly devoted millions of dollars this cycle to running political ads on behalf of Republican Senate candidates. Politico reported:
Spokesmen for News Corp. and for Fox declined to comment on the chamber contribution, or on whether Fox chief Roger Ailes, a former GOP political operative, had a role in it.
A spokesman for the chamber, J.P. Fielder, declined to discuss or confirm a specific contribution - the chamber is fighting to continue to keep contributions secret -- but responded to a question about the Fox donation by characterizing the chamber's agenda.
"What I can tell you is that the chamber has been and will continue to be engaged in the issue debate in this election cycle, focusing our efforts on educating voters about where candidates stand on policies that create jobs," Fielder said.
Specifically, the chamber has said it plans to spend $75 million in connection with the 2010 election, and has so far has directed substantial amounts to Republican Senate candidates. As of Sept. 15th, the group had spent $6,747,946 airing more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project.
Fox News has been alternately silent and shameless about the RGA contribution. It barely acknowledged the donation on air -- at least until Media Matters bought ad time on The O'Reilly Factor to inform its viewers about it. And Fox has been so blithe about the contribution that Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace named the RGA's executive director his "Power Player of the Week."
So get to know your senior Chamber personnel, because if Wallace's RGA puff is any indication, you may be seeing more of them on Fox News. And expect Fox to say even less about the Chamber donation that it did about the RGA one.
Media Matters VP Ari Rabin-Havt released the following statement in response to News Corp.'s latest donation:
Fox is having it both ways right now as a news organization and political campaign. With $2 million direct from their corporate treasury invested in the defeat of Democratic candidates, it is an insult to actual journalists that the network is treated as anything other than a research, fundraising, and communications arm of the Republican Party. They don't belong in the front row of the White House briefing room, they belong at RNC headquarters.