DGA calls on Fox News to make disclaimers

DGA CALLS ON FOX NEWS TO MAKE DISCLAIMERS…. Fox News’ parent company, News Corp, raised some eyebrows with its $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association. There’s just no modern precedent for a media conglomerate to offer this kind of financial support to a party’s campaign committee.

Today, Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, contacted Fox News CEO Roger Ailes with a suggestion of sorts. The network’s news division, Daschle said, should add a disclaimer during its coverage of gubernatorial races. He even wrote a sample script of what Fox News’ on-air talent should say: “News Corp., parent company of Fox News, provided $1 million to defeat Democratic governors in November.”

In the letter to Ailes, Daschle added, “If you do not add a disclaimer, I request that you and your staff members on the ‘fair and balanced’ side of the network demand that the contribution be returned.

“For the first time in history, your organization is openly and proudly supporting the defeat of Democratic governors with an unprecedented political contribution of $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. In fact, your company provided the single largest corporate contribution to our opposition…. As you are well aware, the stakes could not be higher in the 37 gubernatorial races this election cycle.”

I don’t imagine Ailes intends to act on this, but the DGA’s argument is hardly baseless. Put it this way: imagine what Republicans would be saying right now if the New York Times Company contributed $1 million to the DSCC, but assured Republicans that its coverage of this year’s Senate races would remain entirely fair and even-handed.

Daschle’s full letter — and its extremely amusing postscript — is available below.

Mr. Roger Ailes
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Fox News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
and VIA EMAIL

Dear Mr. Ailes,

For the first time in history, your organization is openly and proudly supporting the defeat of Democratic governors with an unprecedented political contribution of $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. In fact, your company provided the single largest corporate contribution to our opposition.

In the interest of some fairness and balance, I request that you add a formal disclaimer to your news coverage any time any of your programs cover governors or gubernatorial races between now and Election Day. I suggest that the disclaimer say: “News Corp., parent company of Fox News, provided $1 million to defeat Democratic governors in November.” If you do not add a disclaimer, I request that you and your staff members on the “fair and balanced” side of the network demand that the contribution be returned.

As you are well aware, the stakes could not be higher in the 37 gubernatorial races this election cycle. Your corporation and your allies know well that these races have grave and substantial implications for Congressional redistricting. In fact, your allies in the GOP hope to change our election map for decades by electing governors who will redraw 30 seats into Republican territory.

I look forward to hearing from you – or any of your programs – at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Nathan Daschle

P.S. Many news outlets have covered this controversy, but your own news programs have been strangely silent. I am available to appear on any of your programs to discuss the case for Democratic governors – particularly why our governors best for business growth. Despite my efforts to immediately reach out to your news programs, more than a dozen requests were ignored.

Cc: Bret Baier
Carl Cameron
Gretchen Carlson
Neil Cavuto
Steve Doocy
Trace Gallagher
Major Garrett
Sean Hannity
Bill Hemmer
Brian Kilmeade
Megyn Kelly
Martha MacCallum
Bill O’Reilly
Jon Scott
Shepard Smith
Greta Van Susteren
Chris Wallace