Earlier this year the Democratic Governor’s Association filed a complaint against Fox News claiming that by featuring John Kasich, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Ohio (and former Fox News host) on their network, along with appeals to make donations to his campaign, they were engaging in illegal contributions to his candidacy. Sam Stein at the Huffington Post is now reporting that Fox is taking the lawsuit seriously:
The Fox News network has solicited the services of a prominent D.C. law firm and an equally prominent campaign finance lawyer to ward off a suit alleging that it made illegal in-kind contributions to a Republican gubernatorial candidate.
No kidding? It is apparent to most cognitive lifeforms that the sole purpose of Fox News is to promote Republican politicians and policies. The have at least four potential candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination currently on their payroll. They regularly invite Republicans on the air to solicit donations. They feature right-wingers and Tea Party spokespersons with far greater frequency (and affinity) than they do Democrats or liberals.
The lawsuit by the DGA addresses only a very small part of the problem, but it is a good start. There has to be marker set for further litigation and, hopefully, prosecution. What occurred in Ohio makes a good test case because the evidence is pretty compelling. The DGA complaint cites Kasich’s appearance on the O’Reilly Factor wherein his web site address was displayed on screen as he was soliciting donations. That was never done for Democratic guests.
What’s more, Rupert Murdoch, via News Corp, made a $1,000,000 donation to the Republican Governor’s Association, who presumably spent some of it on Kasich’s campaign. Murdoch even admitted that his motivation for making the donation was “my friendship with John Kasich.” That securely ties together the intentions of the network and the results of their favoritism.
It will be interesting to watch this case proceed and to see if it inspires additional litigation. There is certainly sufficient evidence of misbehavior to produce a flurry of lawsuits. And, if nothing else, it might cause Fox to think twice before showering their friends with illegal funds and favoritism on the air.
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