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Fox News Sunday Promoted News-Corp.-funded RGA Without Disclosure

Reported by Ellen - September 26, 2010 -

As if the $1 million donation from its parent company to the Republican Governors Association were not backing enough, Fox News Sunday did a puff piece on the RGA’s “political whiz kid” director today without a mention of the financial relationship between the two organizations. There are some things News Corp. money can buy for Republicans. For everything else, there’s Fox News. (H/T Marlowe C.)

In its “Power Player of the Week” segment, FNS reported on Nick Ayers, the “political whiz kid” director of the RGA, with specific focus on his fundraising mojo. Wallace gushed, “At the end of June, the RGA had more than $40 million cash on hand.” We saw video of Ayers conferring with colleagues over some paperwork, saying over B-roll footage before Wallace cut back in, “A million here, 250,000…” Fox News obviously meant to give the impression that million dollar contributions are the norm for this “whiz kid” fundraiser. And maybe they are for individuals and other organizations. But the $1 million donation from News Corporation, Fox News’ parent company, was according to The New York Times, “one of the biggest ever given by a media organization.” Apparently, that information was not deemed relevant for this segment by the “we report, you decide” network.

Wallace made sure to distinguish the RGA from the disgraced Republican National Committee by pointing out how much more money the RGA has raised. He followed that with a clip of Ayers saying, “We don’t want to run the RGA like a political committee. We plan on running this place like a business. Our whole team began talking of things like ‘return on investment,’ and really making the case to donors that this is the best place in the country for you to send your contributions because we’re gonna treat it like an investment, not like a donation.”

As if to confirm donations earn a “return on investment,” Wallace also helpfully named some elections that were recently won with RGA support. Then, in an unstated suggestion that some more “investment” was warranted, he highlighted some of the swing states the organization has targeted in an effort “to boost the number of GOP governors from the current 24.”

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