Although Fox News Channel has long been seen as the conservative — or at least more moderate — alternative to left-leaning cable news networks like MSNBC and CNN, the past several months have derailed that narrative.
Of course, such decisions did not come as a total surprise to those who have been skeptical of the network’s true motives for some time — particularly in light of the much different ideological stance embraced by parent company Fox Corporation.
This week, Federal Election Commission records revealed that Fox Corporation funds are being used to prop up a struggling Democratic senator’s re-election campaign.
WEST VIRGINIA POLL: Joe Manchin Favorability hits new low
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Earlier this year, FOXPAC — a political action committee operated by the media company — reportedly donated $8,500 to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). A number of prominent corporate executives have also sent money to the senator’s campaign.
According to the FEC, at least three executives — Viet D. Dinh, Adrian Farley, and Jamie Gillespie sent $6,600 each to the incumbent lawmaker. Reports indicate Fox TV Stations CEO John Aberneth donated $3,300, Fox Corp attorney Joe Di Scipio donated $1,000, and both attorney Elizabeth Casey and Fox TV executive Stephen Brown sent Manchin $500.
Manchin, who attempts to portray himself as a moderate Democrat despite having caved to the Biden administration on massive spending measures, is among the few members of his party willing to appear on Fox News.
In a statement on the matter, Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti confirmed that FOXPAC has a history of donating to politicians across the political spectrum.
As Tulane University political science professor Stan Oklobdzija explained, these donations represent “the buddy network” to which political and media elites belong.
“The world of extremely rich and influential people in the United States is kind of small,” he said. “Manchin has been around on the Hill for a long time, he’s a known commodity. These donors probably come across Manchin, they like him, they see him as reliable, and want to keep him in office.”