Correction to This Article
In the A-section of some Aug. 3 editions, a headline on a Trail item incorrectly attributed to Democratic candidates a campaign to win hearts and minds in the Middle East. Mitt Romney, a Republican, made such a pitch in his campaign for president.

Edwards Urges Fellow Democrats To Reject Murdoch's Money

Friday, August 3, 2007


Edwards Urges Fellow Democrats To Reject Murdoch's Money

Former senator John Edwards, who has been throwing punches at Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News Channel, demanded yesterday that the other Democratic presidential candidates return contributions from Murdoch's media conglomerate.

"John Edwards will never ask Rupert Murdoch for money -- he won't accept his money," said a statement e-mailed to supporters.

Not so fast, Murdoch's people say. His publishing unit, HarperCollins, paid Edwards a $500,000 advance -- and $300,000 in expenses -- for his 2006 book "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives."

"We assume the senator is going to give back the money from his advance," News Corp. spokesman Brian Lewis said.

Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz said that his boss donated the book payments to charity and that the expense money went to staffers and vendors. Citing the announcement that prompted Edwards's e-mail -- Murdoch's $5 billion deal to buy Dow Jones -- Schultz said, "This is about whether or not Murdoch should expand his media empire and use the Wall Street Journal to further promote his right-wing agenda."

The Edwards demand was aimed squarely at Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has received more than $20,000 from News Corp. executives, including $2,300 from Murdoch and $4,600 from company President Peter Chernin. Sen. Barack Obama has gotten $2,100 from Chernin. Lewis noted that Chernin appeared, at Edwards's request, at a 2004 fundraiser for the Kerry-Edwards ticket.

While Edwards's mailing accused Fox of trying to "demonize the Democratic Party and call it 'news,' " he has boycotted the cable channel only since Jan. 23. Before that, Edwards appeared on Fox programs 33 times.

-- Howard Kurtz


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2007 The Washington Post Company