The Chamber and Fox News: The Price Is Right

The door to the U.S. Chamber’s “shadow RNC” operation was kicked open just an inch more yesterday when Ben Smith of Politico reported that News Corp, the parent company of conservative leaning Fox News, gave one million dollars to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the summer and has given even larger sums to the Chamber in the past for “general business advocacy.” We already know that Fox helps alleviate the Chamber’s financial problems by renting its roof, but how else is Fox helping the Chamber advance its agenda? What could the Chamber buy with Fox’s million?  It’s time to play the Price is Right!

With News Corps’ Million…

U.S. Chamber Could Have Bought…

…Its Attack Ad Against Charlie Crist. The U.S. Chamber’s ad buy against Charlie Crist in FL cost $1 million.  Florida Inpendent blog also noted the connection. [Federal Elections Commission Report]

…Its Attack Ads In CO, KY, and IN. The U.S. Chamber’s ad buy against Michael Bennet in CO cost  $250,000; It’s ad buy against Jack Conway in KY was $500,000, and its ad buy against Brad Ellsworth in Indiana was $250,000. [Federal Elections Commission Report]

…Attacks on Robin Carnahan in MO, Joe Sestak in PA, Paul Hodes in NH, and Michael Bennet in CO. The U.S. Chamber’s ad buy against Robin Carnahan in MO cost $324,640, while its ads attacking Joe Sestak in PA totaled $203,176. In NH, the Chamber’s ad attacking Paul Hodes cost $322,579 and its ads against Michael Bennet in CO cost $147,763. [Federal Elections Commission Report]

U.S. Chamber Could Be Helping Fox Crush Robin Carnahan in MO…

The Chamber Spent $324,640 on ads against MO Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan and endorsed her Republican opponent Congressman Roy Blunt.  Incidentally, Fox News is currently suing Carnahan for using footage in one her ads that makes is “appear – falsely – that FNC and Christopher Wallace” are endorsing Carnahan.  Coincidence?  [Federal Elections Commission Report; Washington Post, 9/21/10]

U.S. Chamber’s Cozy Relationship with Fox News

U.S. Chamber Rents Roof to Fox News To Alleviate Financial Problems. In July 2010, ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang wrote, “In a profile piece on U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue, the Washington Monthly’s James Verini…notes that the Chamber has alleviated part of its financial problem by earning ‘extra income’ through renting its roof to Fox News for the network’s White House news coverage…by quietly bringing Fox News into his business strategy, Donohue and the executives at Fox News are blurring the lines between media and lobbying. While it is unclear exactly how long Fox News has been a business partner to the Chamber, Fox News has aggressively defended the Chamber during the Obama presidency.” [ThinkProgress, 7/9/10]

September 2009: Fox News’ Glenn Beck and Tom Donohue Were Keynote Speakers At Michigan and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Forum. According to ThinkProgress, in September 2009, Glenn Beck and U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue were keynote speakers at the 2009 Future Forum held at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center  sponsored by the U.S. Chamber, the Michigan Chamber, and several large corporations such as Comcast and AT&T. [ThinkProgress, 9/11/09]

Fox News Mocked Activist Group’s Call for A Reward For Information Leading to Arrest of Tom Donohue. In December 2009, activist group StopTheChamber.com launched a campaign offering “a $200,000 reward for insider information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Donohue…” In response, a Fox News article featured a picture with Tom Donohue’s picture on an old fashioned looking “Reward” poster that read “Hunted by the Left, Bounty Put on Head of Chamber Boss.” [Huffington Post, 12/14/09]

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Whose opportunity does U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue talk about when he talks about opportunity?

The Chamber’s policies might give the largest corporations the opportunity to grow, but that is often not the same thing as growth and opportunity for the American people. After-tax corporate profits in the third quarter topped 11 percent of GDP for the first time since the records started in 1947. But everyday Americans aren’t doing so well, with real median household income declining 4.4 percent since 2009.

When the Chamber opposes increasing minimum wages to coincide with growth in productivity and the economy overall, one must ask whose growth and opportunity the Chamber is pushing for.