Where News Corp.’s Loyalties Lie

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 20, 2011

I haven’t had much to say regarding the phone-hacking scandal, because there isn’t much to say other than “phone-hacking is awful, the people who did it deserve to be punished, and the Murdoch brand is in serious trouble.” Obviously, there is a tremendous political drama going on in Great Britain, and we will have to see how that drama is resolved. And obviously, a great deal remains in flux regarding the Murdoch family’s media holdings, and we will have to see what the post-scandal Murdoch empire looks like.

But one of the things that amuses me is the degree to which people on the port side of the political divide will go to try to score points off of this scandal. You see, because Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owns Fox News, and Dow Jones (the parent company of the Wall Street Journal), it is thought that the scandal affecting him makes those news organizations vulnerable. And since those news organizations are seen as tilting to the right, a lot of people on the left are quite happy.


Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation.

The transparency watchdog noted Tuesday that Democrats received 51 percent of contributions while Republicans received 49 percent, despite the firm’s highly publicized links to the GOP, such as a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in August.

If we are going to make a partisan issue of the phone hacking scandal here in the United States, then shouldn’t there be calls for Team Obama to give back any money that they got from News Corp.? And shouldn’t there be some kind of effort to find out why it is that News Corp. has favored Democrats (if ever so slightly) in its political donations?

Of course, I am certain that such an investigation will find nothing of substance or consequence. But you know that calls for such an investigation would surely be taking place if there had been a Republican President in the White House who had received such substantial political donations from News Corp. And you know that if the Republican party had been favored as the majority recipient of those donations, the port side list of usual suspects would be having a field day with that information.

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