News Corp’s shamelessness

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.