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Fair and balanced: Fox PAC supports Democrats, too

Rupert Murdoch speaks during a panel discussion in Sydney on July 17. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Fair and balanced after all?

21st Century Fox’s political action committee is a generous contributor that shows little bias when doling out campaign funds.

The media company, which owns Fox News and whose CEO is Rupert Murdoch, just last month gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) $5,000 and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) $1,000 for their respective 2016 primaries, according to a monthly report filed Friday.

And so far this cycle, the Fox PAC has given more money to Senate Democratic candidates than Republican ones. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) took in $8,000, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) received $6,000, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) got $6,000 too and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.Y.) accepted $5,000. All are up for reelection this year.

The PAC gave those higher donations to two Republican senators, $5,000 to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is in a tough reelection fight, and $4,000 to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). Both men fended off Tea Party challengers in the primaries.

Fox has also given $30,000 each to the House Democrats and Republicans’ national campaign arms. But so far it has only given $30,000 to the Senate Republicans campaign committee.

But Fox’s ticket splitting shouldn’t come as a surprise. While Murdoch came under some fire in 2010 when News Corp. (which then owned Fox News) gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, even in that year the committee was generally spreading the wealth among candidates from both parties.

And Murdoch has also been quite generous to a certain political family who is often the subject of much criticism by Fox News. In 2006, our editor Anne Kornblut, then with the New York Times, wrote about Murdoch’s support for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). And last month, the Wall Street Journal, in breaking down the Clintons’ corporate donations in the past two decades, showed that 21st Century Fox/News Corp had given more than $3 million.

Loop fans may also recall that in April, Murdoch suggested that his top choices for 2016 would be Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan, but that he “could live with Hillary as president.”

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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