President Obama's political arm sought on Wednesday to raise money off of Fox News.
Organizing for America (OFA) Director Mitch Stewart wrote supporters to ask for donations to abate the $1 million check that News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, wrote to the Republican Governors Association (RGA).
"The only way we'll be able to stand up to News Corp. is if we all chip in and stand together — to put hard-hitting ads online and on TV, train the very best volunteers, and organize in every city of every state. But all this costs money, and we need you to help," Stewart wrote in a fundraising e-mail. "Please donate $5 or more today to help Organizing for America's work across the country and fight back against Fox News-funded Republicans."
Democrats have loudly protested the large sum written to the RGA, a party committee run by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) that seeks to boost Republican incumbents and candidates for governor nationwide. The Democratic National Committee (DNC), inside which OFA is housed, has mused whether the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) can soon expect similar corporate backing from News Corp.
Both parties traditionally make media outlets a focus of their criticism in elections — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) routinely ridicules what she calls the "lamestream media."
But the Obama administration has made Fox News a regular political whipping boy, having for a time refused interviews with the network for its perceived conservative bias, especially as acted out by commentators such as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
Obama himself alluded to the network in a town hall in early 2009, saying to "those of you watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around" that he's willing to have a "serious conversation" on certain issues.
The administration later reached a truce with the network, and Obama and other administration officials have sat for interviews.
Stewart told OFA supporters that it was because of the stakes in this fall's elections that Fox wrote the check. The check was written by News Corp., the media conglomerate of which Rupert Murdoch is chairman, which operates Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and other media outlets.
Murdoch has been a traditionally conservative but occasionally eclectic political gadfly. He has donated, for instance, to the campaign of former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton (D).