It turns out that News Corporation, the so-called “Republican Party communications arm,” donated more to Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 than it has to any other politician ever, according to a new report by the Sunlight Foundation:
The biggest all-time recipient of contributions from News Corp. is President Obama. It should be noted that the totals for News Corp.’s contributions also include money from employees of the organization and their family members. Obama being listed as the company’s top recipient might surprise some people because of its highly publicized involvement with his political rivals, like Sarah Palin who was the vice presidential candidate in 2008 and reportedly still under contract with Murdoch-owned Fox News as a paid commentator.
News Corp. has reportedly given Obama more than $350,000, making him the top recipient of the media company’s cash since 1989. This isn’t a major surprise, considering News Corp. has actually given more money to Democrats than Republicans over the years, as Ben Smith pointed out last week.
The issue now is whether President Obama will come clean about it. When asked about the donations, his campaign danced around the issue:
Firmly denying the foundation’s allegations, Obama for America, the president’s re-election campaign organization, pointed out it does not accept PAC donations, and a campaign spokesman was quick to dismiss the suggestion that Obama has close ties to News Corporation.
“Access to a remote control would disprove this absurd suggestion,” said spokesman Ben LaBolt. “We don’t accept money from PACs and haven’t accepted a dime from News Corp.’s PAC. We had 3.95 million donors to the campaign in 2008.”
This answer is incredibly misleading. A corporation’s donations don’t just include PAC money; the total also includes money given by individuals within the company. While it’s possible Obama didn’t accept contributions from the News Corps. PAC, it clearly accepted money from its members, as anyone can see from the Open Secrets website.