Presidential candidate John Edwards, who pulled out of a Fox News-sponsored debate earlier this year, has called on other Democratic candidates to refuse or refund contributions from FNC parent News Corp. to protest its purchase of The Wall Street Journal.
Calling it "the last straw when it comes to media consolidation," Edwards said that "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."
"Given Fox News' consistent efforts to demean Democrats — they have attacked the character of Senator Obama, Vice President Gore, and many others," Edwards said in a statement released by his campaign, "no Democrat running for president should accept campaign money from top News Corp. executives."
In the wake of Edwards' and others' pullout from the debate, Fox News Chairman/CEO Roger Ailes warned political candidates at a March industry dinner in Washington not to allow themselves to be pressured into bypassing his news operation by groups that don't like the way it reports the news, saying it would be a "terrible mistake."
A News Corp. spokesman was not available for comment, but Brit Hume reported on the Edwards' statement during FNC's Special Report Thursday night.
Hume quoted Edwards as saying "the time has come to stop pretending we're friends with the very people who demonize the Democratic party." Hume said it appeared to be a jab at Hillary Clinton, who he said had received more than $20,000 from News Corp. executives. According to OpenSecrets.org, Clinton has also received $78,650 from News Corp., one of her top 20 donors.
Hume went on to say that no candidate had received as much money as Edwards. He pointed to the $500,000 advance and $300,000 in expenses News Corp. says it paid Edwards, though its Harper Collins subsidiary, for his book, Home, which was published last fall.
The Edwards campaign said that all the proceeds from that book went to charity, said Hume.