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News Corp, Fox’ Parent Company, Donates $1M to Republican Governor’s Association

That video above is a flash mob put together by MoveOn and some allies, putting Target on notice for their $150,000 donation to a front group supporting an anti-gay, anti-worker Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Target had been backtracking due to the fierce response from gay rights and progressive groups about their campaign, but they just broke off talks with the Human Rights Campaign over offsetting the donation to Minnesota Forward with donations to gay rights causes. So the protests and boycotts will continue.

And on the heels of the outcry over Target’s (and Best Buy’s) use of the Citizens United ruling to use corporate funds to support right-wing causes, another retail outlet has stepped up with a corporate donation – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

News Corp., which owns Fox News and the New York Post, gave $1 million to Haley Barbour’s Republican Governors Association this year, according to the RGA’s most recent filing.

The company’s media outlets play politics more openly than most, but the huge contribution to a party committee is a new step toward an open identification between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and the GOP. The company’s highest-ranking Democratic executive, Peter Chernin, recently departed.

UPDATE: News Corp. Spokesman Jack Horner emails, “News Corporation believes in the power of free markets, and the RGA’s pro-business agenda supports our priorities at this most critical time for our economy.”

We know about the open partisan tilt of Fox News and Fox Business; many of their hosts and contributors raise money for Republican candidates and party committees. But News Corp is the umbrella for many non-partisan outlets like Fox Broadcasting, FX and the publishing imprint HarperCollins. Obviously, they feel they can take the hit to their prestige, and the inevitable boycotts to follow.

News Corp was not the only corporation to donate to the RGA in June; the insurance giant WellPoint gave $500,000 as well.

What we’re seeing with Target’s intransigence and these new donations is an assessment from corporate America that the reward from buying elections outweighs the risk of alienating a part of the consumer base. You would think that any company which relies on consumers to buy their products wouldn’t go out of their way to antagonize them, but we’re in a brave new world in America where the corporation can somehow survive without retaining their employees, without raising their wages, and evidently without caring about the people who keep them in business. I’m glad to see MoveOn fighting, but this should sadden anyone who thinks the country would be better served without corporate dominance.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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