These Democrats have no problem taking campaign donations from Fox News’ parent company
Night after night, far-right Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity lambast, demonize and vilify Democrats — and countless Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have slammed Fox News and Fox Business as propaganda arms of the Republican Party. But in an article published by the Daily Beast on February 25, journalist Roger Sollenberger reports that FOX PAC — the political action committee for Fox News and Fox Business’ parent company — has been donating to a lot of Democratic candidates, who aren’t necessarily giving the money back.
“Privately, dozens of Democrats have been cashing campaign checks bankrolled by the network’s top executives,” Sollenberger explains. “Between 2019 and 2020, the political action committee for Fox News and other Fox entities, FOX PAC, donated $96,500 to Republicans and $91,000 to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets data. That’s a nearly even partisan split in a historically rancorous and polarizing campaign season that did untold damage to any hopes of political reconciliation.”
Sollenberger continues, “Rewinding the clock to the 2018 midterms, Democrats actually came out on top, outraising GOP counterparts by more than $13,000 in contributions from the previous version of the company's PAC. The money helped fund a Democratic takeover of the House.”
The Beast reporter adds, however, that the latest filing from FOX PAC “shows that some Democrats may be rethinking those donations.”
“Five Democrats appeared to return their FOX PAC contributions, though it’s also possible the returns were only clerical errors, creating the mirage of a principled stand,” Sollenberger notes. “Among the five Democrats — Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT), and former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) — the only Democrat who responded to a request for comment about the seemingly rejected donation was Swalwell.”
Swalwell told the Beast, “That check was reissued and cashed, my team tells me…. On the larger issue, despite daily lies against me from Fox News, I’ve worked well with Fox Corp, which includes their studios and sports network."
The California Democrat also told the Beast, “The lies of Fox News have cost my campaign thousands in personal security. The Fox Corp contributions help offset that.”
What Fox News says and what it does can be two different things. Fox News opinion hosts often rage against vaccine mandates and promote anti-vaxxer nonsense; Fox News has had a vaccine mandate in its Manhattan headquarters. Carlson, Ingraham and Hannity promote Trump relentlessly; head honcho Rupert Murdoch, according to journalist Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” has privately called Trump a “fucking idiot.” And all the over-the-top Democrat-bashing on Fox News and Fox Business hasn’t prevented FOX PAC, according to Open Secrets, from donating to Democratic candidates — including Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan and even Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Some Democrats would argue that FOX PAC isn’t Fox News and Fox Business per se — that even though the parent company owns those right-wing cable news channels, it owns other entities as well. But Democratic operative Max Berger doesn’t agree, saying it is a “damn shame” that some Democrats are receiving contributions from FOX PAC.
Berger told the Beast, “No one who wants to take money from Fox News or Rupert Murdoch should consider themselves a Democrat. Some establishment Democrats have gotten so used to taking money from odious sources like big Pharma and fossil fuel lobbyists that nothing seems too dirty.”
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