Politico is reporting that News Corp., which owns Fox News, gave $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization running aggressive advertisements in support of conservative candidates.
The contribution would be in addition to the $1 million donated by News Corp. to the Republican Governors Association, and again raises the hackles of Democrats who are alleging that Fox and News Corp have become advocates for particular issues and candidates.
Fox, which has built a reputation on conservative viewpoints, includes among its commentators former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both among the Republicans most often picked as potential 2012 Presidential contenders.
Fox defenders have noted that other major media companies have made political contributions.
Politico makes note of those:
The parent companies of other media companies such as Disney (which owns ABC) and General Electric (which owns NBC) have also made political contributions, but typically in far smaller chunks, and split between Democrats and Republicans.
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The Center for Responsive Politics last month published an analysis of contributions by journalists. Many of the large contributions were made by journalists working for organizations not involved in public policy coverage, but some contributors appeared to run afoul of employers' policies.
The debate over Fox's role in influencing elections came home to Ohio last month when the Democratic Governors Association filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, contending that Fox allowed gubernatorial candidate John Kasich time during an interview to display the Web address of his campaign in order to solicit contributions.
The Columbus Dispatch reported:
During Kasich's Aug. 18 appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show, Fox News ran Kasich's campaign Web address at the bottom of the screen for about 1 minute and 30 seconds, the complaint says.
The Democratic Governors Association cited two apparent violations of Ohio law: A prohibited in-kind contribution in the form of free political advertising, and failure to include a proper disclaimer for the political advertising.