News Corp.’s decision to donate $1 million to the Republican Governors Association — making the company one of the largest contributors to the group — is raising the hackles of Democrats.
Democrats are suggesting the donation means News Corp. and Fox are giving up any appearance of objectivity for Fox News Channel.
"By contributing $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, Fox has crossed a bright line,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association in a statement Tuesday.
"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.”
Traditionally News Corp. has donated to both Democrats and Republicans. In 2008, it donated slightly more to Democrats than Republicans.
A spokesman for News Corp defended the latest donation.
“News Corporation has always believed in the power of free markets and organizations like the RGA, which have a pro-business agenda, support our priorities at this most critical time for our economy,” he said.
Daschle also accused Fox's news division of “ignoring” the donation in its reporting.
“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,” he said.
"Not only does this contribution severely compromise Fox's news reporting, but it even breaks Fox's own promise to its shareholders that it won't give money to benefit office holders.
"While it might be naive to think this will ever happen, we can only hope that Fox will own up to the activities and that its stable of opinion hosts like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly."
Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Hari Sevugan also criticized the donation.
“’Fair and Balanced’ has been rendered utterly meaningless,” he said, citing Fox News Channel’s advertised slogan. “No Republican who appears on Fox can be seen as answering to an independent press and all should appear with a disclaimer for who they truly are — the favored candidate of the corporate-friendly network. No Fox News political coverage can be seen as impartial and all of it should have a disclaimer for what it truly is — partisan propaganda."