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March 31, 2023
A flurry of complaints have been made to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) stating that Rupert Murdoch, who is the chairman of Fox Corporation, disclosed political advertisements, which had not been aired, along with debate strategy from President Biden’s 2020 campaign with Jared Kushner, who is the husband of Ivanka Trump and was former President Donald Trump’s senior advisor at the time.
A complaint was filed by nonprofit company Media Matters, who argued that Murdoch broke the law by sharing the ads. NBC News reported on Friday that End Citizens United PAC made a similar complaint to the FEC.
The news about the shared ads was first made public by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion is suing Fox for defamation. Dominion have alleged that Fox coverage spread disinformation in relation to vote tampering at the 2020 election.
The FEC complaint by Media Matters argues that the sharing of rival political ads with the Trump campaign, means that Murdoch is guilty of making “an illegal corporate in-kind contribution” that can’t be protected by a press exemption and was also illegally accepted by the Trump campaign.
“This ‘distribution’ is diametrically opposed to Fox Corporation’s regular press activity broadcasting news programming through television and radio outlets and online publications,” the complaint read. “Murdoch’s secret conveyance of the Biden advertisement is even less like press activity than a cablecasting company sending campaign flyers in its bills — and neither can be protected by the press exemption.”
The complaint goes on to say that Murdoch sent over Biden’s ads “through a private, and secret, direct communication.”
“Fox Corporation, through Murdoch, appears to have engaged in the exact type of campaign activity to which the Commission has repeatedly affirmed the press exemption does not apply. Therefore, Fox Corporation cannot try to exploit the press exemption to avoid the consequences of making an illegal corporate in-kind contribution,” the complaint read.
“Respondent’s actions are not only an egregious violation of the Act and the Commission’s regulations, but also a nefarious attempt by people in power to operate a press entity as a political organization, in blatant disregard of the rules that govern our elections and democracy,” the complaint also stated.
Media Matters have requested that the FEC fine Murdoch the “maximum amount permitted by law and take appropriate remedial action.”
Murdoch admitted last week that some Fox hosts did take part in spreading disinformation about election fraud.
“Some of our commentators were endorsing it” Murdoch said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE HILL