The news this week that News Corp. has given a $1M donation to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — coming two months after revelations News Corp. donated $1M to the Republican Governor’s Association — came as a surprise to representatives at two of Murdoch’s media holdings: Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal. Reports Jim Rutenberg in today’s New York Times:
Fox News Channel officials said Friday that they had learned of the donations on Thursday night from the news media, and they referred questions to the News Corporation, which declined to comment. A spokeswoman for The Wall Street Journal also would not comment.
Last week saw a reopening of the rift between the Obama White House and Murdoch’s Fox News. On Tuesday, excerpts from an interview the president did with Rolling Stone were made public. In it, the president said the new schannel was “destructive.” Then late in the week, a years-old government lawsuit involving an FNC correspondent made its way into the news. Fox News reps called the timing of the lawsuit being made public “politically motivated.”
Rutenberg talked with a Fox News executive who expressed “astonishment” over Obama’s focus on the network. “We are so in his head. Can you believe with all the other things going on in this world he’s preoccupied with Fox News?”