MORE NEWS CORP CONTRIBUTIONS…. Californians will vote tomorrow on a ballot initiative called Proposition 24, which would repeal some corporate tax breaks in the hopes of closing the state’s budget gap.
If you’ve been watching the Fox Business Network, you’ve been hearing quite a bit about the measure. What you haven’t heard, however, is that the network’s corporate parent has spent $1.3 million to defeat Prop 24.
In five consecutive hours of live reports on Tuesday, a Fox Business correspondent, Adam Shapiro, was stationed at Cambridge of California, a small furniture manufacturing facility in Gardena. Mr. Shapiro repeatedly said the proposition could drive businesses — specifically small businesses, not media titans — out of California, and he said “332,000 jobs” were “on the line.”
Tracy Byrnes, the anchor for one of the reports, expressed the opinion that “the proposition was setting up businesses to be destroyed, quite frankly.”
Yet in its expanded coverage of the issue, Fox did not disclose the News Corporation’s donation to a group working to defeat Proposition 24. Nor did Fox report that the small-business man it featured in the news reports was asked to do the interview by the same group, No on 24 — Stop the Jobs Tax.
There’s been quite a bit of this going on lately. This is the same News Corp, of course, that made multiple undisclosed donations to the Republican Governors Association, totaling at least $1.25 million, in addition to a $1 million contribution to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its pro-Republican election-year activities. Fox News hasn’t been forthcoming about these conflict-of-interest details to its viewers (not that anyone really has any illusions about the network’s partisanship).
For the record, the Fox Business Network claims it didn’t know about its parent company’s efforts on Prop 24, and has offered extensive coverage of the California ballot initiative just because.
I’m beginning to think News Corp’s outlets aren’t exactly credible, and may not have the highest journalistic standards. Call it a hunch.