Television networks’ employees reward Democratic candidates

Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008.

The $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.

By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.

Disclosure of the contributions by influential employees of the three major broadcast networks follows on the heels of last week’s controversy when it was revealed that media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

The News Corp. donation prompted Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and son of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, to demand in a letter to Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes that the cable news outlet include a disclaimer in its coverage of gubernatorial campaigns. Fox News is owned by News Corp.

The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.

President Barack Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.

Ninety-six contributions by broadcast network employees to the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senate and House campaign committees totaled $217,881.

Thirty-eight contributions by broadcast network employees to the Republican National Committee and the Republican Senate and House campaign committees totaled $23,805.

Among the individuals in the data is ABC News President Lloyd Braun, who contributed $1,000 to the Our Common Values PAC, which is associated with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson, who gave $250 to GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Multiple writers and producers from ABC News and other ABC outlets also were included in the data.

Notable contributors found in the CBS data include Seth Davis, who gave $2,750 to Obama, CBS Corp. Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Jane Goldman, who contributed $250 to Obama, CBS Radio’s Mike O’Meara, who gave $1,471 to Obama, and Beverly Williams, who donated $200 to Obama.

Among NBC contributors were “Saturday Night Live” producer Jeffrey Ross, who contributed $500 to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and former “Today” weatherman Willard Scott, who gave $500 to the Republican National Committee.

Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott’s Copy Desk blog on www.washingtonexaminer.com.

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