John Edwards Doesn't Want Murdoch to Buy Dow Jones

Presidential Candidate Calls on Fellow Democrats to Return News Corp. Money

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WASHINGTON ( -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has called on fellow Democrats to oppose News Corp.'s purchase of the Dow Jones Co. and "take the necessary steps to stop the merger" in a major step up of his previous criticism of Fox News Channel.
John Edwards
John Edwards Credit: Nancy Kaszerman

In an e-mail to supporters today, the former North Carolina senator said continuing media consolidation "threatens the health of our democracy."

'The last straw'
"News Corp.'s purchase of the Dow Jones Co. and The Wall Street Journal should be the last straw when it comes to media consolidation," said the e-mail.

"The basis of 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. (Read his full statement here.)

Mr. Edwards didn't say how the Democrats should block the merger. Commissioner Michael J. Copps of Federal Communications Commission yesterday said the agency should look closely at the cross-ownership implications in New York, where News Corp. would own the Journal, the New York Post and two TV stations.

Contributors to Democrats
Mr. Edwards also called on Democrats to refuse to take donations from News Corp. execs. Both Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. President-Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, while contributing to the campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Joe Biden and Sen. Chris Dodd, were co-hosts with Steven Spielberg and Haim Saban of a major Hollywood fundraiser in May for Sen. Hillary Clinton, Mr. Edwards' White House rival.

"I'm challenging every Democratic presidential candidate to refuse contributions from News Corp executives and return any they've already taken, beginning with Rupert Murdoch," the e-mail said. "The time has come for Democrats to stop pretending to be friends with the very people who demonize the Democratic Party."

Mr. Edwards was the first Democratic candidate to decline to participate in any Fox News Channel debates and he has used his refusal in fundraising efforts.

News Corp. declined to comment.
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