ARE THERE DONATIONS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT?…. In light of News Corp’s seven-figure contributions to Republican campaign efforts this year, Jon Chait asks a good question: why would the media giant bother?
This makes zero sense to me. The value of News Corp to the Republican party is massive. It’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why also give money to Republicans? By openly donating to the party, you help tear away the mask of objectivity, thereby reducing your own value as a propaganda outlet. It seems like a bad move both for Fox and the GOP. (If I’m the Republicans, I’d rather have Fox retain a more plausible claim of objectivity.) And if you’re Fox, you’re obviously making a joke out of your “Fair and Balanced” mantra.
To be sure, the mantra was a joke anyway, but now the ability to even keep up appearances, maintaining an already-thin pretense, is practically gone.
So why take the risk? Because, as Ben Smith noted, News Corp probably didn’t necessarily know it was taking a risk.
One possible answer: A person close to News Corp. told me this week the company didn’t realize its $1 million to the RGA would become public. And the $1 million to Chamber of Commerce was supposed to be secret as well.
Right. In 2010, corporate campaign disclosure requirements are practically non-existent, so it’s very likely that (a) News Corp wanted to advance its political agenda by investing in Republican campaign strategies; and (b) we wouldn’t know.
I suppose it’s worth asking, then, whether there are other major News Corp political contributions that we still don’t know about. Karl Rove, for example, in addition to picking up a generous paycheck from News Corp, is also helping spearhead a massive campaign operation this year, raising tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed donations from wealthy benefactors. Is it possible Rove gave Rupert Murdoch and/or Roger Ailes a call, asking for a check? Or how about “Americans for Prosperity”? Or any of the other right-wing groups raising money in secret to finance attack ads against Democrats?
It’s likely we’ll never know, but it hardly seems like a stretch to think News Corp has cut more than two seven-figure checks to boost the GOP this year.