Thursday, August 19, 2010

Retail politics

News Corporation, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, has given $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. Yep, $1,000,000 bucks.

This raises a number of questions, aside from the obvious--what is Murdoch getting for his money?

When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United, declaring that corporations have an untrammeled right to buy political influence, many people asked whether that meant that foreign corporations had the same rights as American companies. (At this writing, the Court's majority has not yet declared that foreign individuals may buy American politicians the way wealthy Americans can.) News Corp. may be an American enterprise (I haven't checked on the locale of its incorporation, but I'd put my money on Delaware), but it is controlled by Mr. Murdoch, an Australian. So, is this kosher, or are there still some limits to the extent of our corruption?

Another question: is the White House going to continue to treat Murdoch's Fox News as if it were a news organization, rather than a mouthpiece of the Republican Party? It made headlines when Helen Thomas' seat in the front row of the White House press room was given to Fox (I suggested that the administration might be following Sun Tzu's dictum, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"), but the formal entrance of the Murdoch empire into partisan politics should perhaps move the Obama Administration to throw Fox out of the room entirely.

Democrats have shown a regrettable tendency to act as if Republicans operate on the same assumptions of civic discourse and respect for institutions as they do. The Republicans do not. By their actions they have forfeited any assumption of good faith about their policies, principles or programs. So, when a "news" organization enters the lists on behalf of Republicans, it is perfectly appropriate to declare it persona non grata in the halls of government.

1 comment:

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

To The Supreme Court right wing cabal.

We don't forgive you because you do know what you're doing.

Corporations are treated as individuals for tax and liability purposes, and each has an agent who plays the part of that individual.

That should no give it,her,him the right to donate shareholder money, which by definition ultimately comes from real individuals, not individuals for the sake of legal expediency.

George Will says the Supremes corrected the previous long standing and sensible law which violate first amendment rights. That's just horse shit.

I might not have the legal thing right, but I have been a Corporate Agent, as the CEO of one, and I could have gone to jail should someone in our employ violated Federal or State law. That's in recognition that the corporation could not be sentenced to jail time, so the idea that a corporation is really an individual is nonsense.