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Can Fox News be 'fair and balanced' if News Corp. gives to Republicans?

News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, has donated $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and the US Chamber of Commerce, both of which work to defeat Democrats.

By Staff writer / October 1, 2010

News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday on immigration. News Corp. has donated $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and the US Chamber of Commerce, both of which are working to defeat Democrats.

Cliff Owen/AP

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Fox News touting itself as “fair and balanced” has always elicited a smirk from those on the left.

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Fox’s main stars – Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck – all lean right. It’s given a broadcast megaphone to Karl Rove and three potential Republican presidential candidates: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich. And Fox News chief Roger Ailes worked for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

Fox commentators also thump approvingly for the "tea party" movement’s goal of tossing out President Obama, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

So in many ways, Politico.com’s scoop Friday about political donations by News Corp. comes as no surprise. But overt lobbying by a major news organization – in the form of large contributions for campaign purposes – is a definite departure from common practice.

Politico’s Ben Smith reports that News Corp. recently contributed $1 million to the US Chamber of Commerce. This follows an earlier $1 million donation by News Corp. to the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Both the Chamber and the RGA are working to defeat Democrats in Congress.

Fox isn’t the only member of Big Media that’s been politically involved, Mr. Smith acknowledges.

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