Today, John Edwards released a statement criticizing the wave of media consolidation which is most recently typified by News Corp’s impending purchase of the Dow Jones Co. His campaign also took an indirect shot at Hillary Clinton for taking contributions from News Corp. executives. “News Corp’s purchase of the Dow Jones Co. and The Wall Street Journal should be the last straw when it comes to media consolidation. The basis of a strong democracy begins and ends with a strong, unbiased and fair media — all qualities which are pretty hard to subscribe to Fox News and News Corp. The reality is that Americans deserve more news outlets — not fewer. It’s time for all Democrats, including those running for president, to stand up and speak out against this merger and other forms of media consolidation,” Edwards said.

Edwards then said that Democratic candidates should give back any money they have taken from News Corp execs. “Moreover, given Fox News’ consistent efforts to demean Democrats — they have attacked the character of Senator Obama, Vice President Gore, and many others — no Democrat running for president should accept campaign money from top News Corp executives. So, today, I’m challenging every Democratic presidential candidate to refuse contributions from News Corp executives and return any they’ve already taken, beginning with Rupert Murdoch. The time has come for Democrats to stop pretending to be friends with the very people who demonize the Democratic Party,” Edwards said.

Edwards’s campaign spokesman Eric Schultz was a little more specific about who the comments were directed at in an AP story. “Thousands of good people work at Fox News and News Corp., but this is about the bias of top executives, those who make real editorial decisions like Rupert Murdoch, people who continually sanction unfounded attacks on Democrats. And that’s why Democrats like Senator Clinton should either reject their money or return it,” Schultz said.

 Although most of Rupert Murdoch’s donations do go to GOP candidates, he did give $4,200 to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign last year, and he held a fundraiser for her at News Corp’s New York headquarters. This year, he has given $2,300 to the Clinton Presidential campaign, and his son James has given $3,450. All told News Corp execs have donated $20,900 to her presidential campaign. The mental picture of Rupert Murdoch holding a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton should burst the bubble of those who believe that Hillary Clinton is an evil liberal.

I disagree completely with Edwards on giving back the money. Under the current laws, people are allowed to donate to whoever they want, for whatever reason they choose. The reality is that Fox News makes its money by catering to a conservative audience, and no one gets conservatives as wound up as the Clintons do. It would be great for News Corp’s business if Hillary won the presidency.

Just as Hillary Clinton isn’t liberal, News Corp isn’t evil. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the name of the game is money. Hillary wants money for her campaign, and News Corp is willing to spend money because her campaign is good for business and, in case she wins, they won’t be frozen out of a Clinton administration. While Edwards is completely correct about the effects of media consolidation on how and what kind of news we get, he is also playing a political game of feeding into the Left’s distrust of Hillary Clinton, while egging on their belief that Fox News is evil.

All Edwards is doing here is pandering to the liberal base of his party. For all of those people who still think that Clinton is a liberal, ask yourself why Rupert Murdoch would support the “enemy?” There are no good guys and bad guys in politics. Politics is nothing more than a system of shared and competing interests. News Corp and the Clinton campaign have a shared interest in seeing her elected, but John Edwards is pointing this out and framing it in good guy/bad guy terms so that he has something to use on the campaign trail.

Edwards quotes

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Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at

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