News Corp’s recent donation to the Republican Governors Association given editorial positions at, in particular, Fox News certainly turned heads among Democrats and gave President Obama even more fodder to challenge the company. Yet in light of all the criticism, it seems that the only thing they’re surprised about at Fox News is that the president cares about them at all.
Speaking with an unnamed executive while researching the motivations behind News Corps’ donation, The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg mined a gemstone of a quote that expresses something quite far from the fear or concern a news organization in any other country would feel when the current White House administration is so preoccupied with what’s going in within:
An executive at Fox News who agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity expressed “astonishment” over Mr. Obama’s focus on the network. “We are so in his head,” he said. “Can you believe with all the other things going on in this world he’s preoccupied with Fox News?”
This in light of a recent lawsuit entertained in court nearly two years after being dropped on the part of a Fox News employee citing discriminatory employment practices, and further reports that it’s not just News Corp that functions as a major political donor. It appears not only that Fox News is not worried that their business will be hindered by their political activism, but that their political activism as noticed by the White House is at the very least shocking and, at most, a bit of a badge of honor.
NBC owner General Electric, for example, has donated to the Democratic Governors Association, while Comcast, which is currently in the process of buying NBC, has given to both. This is all legal on both sides, despite the White House’s interest in News Corp’s activities in particular, as neither Governors Association has a right to channel funds into specific campaigns, but rather use them for general costs of functioning.