ABC News’ Raelyn Johnson reports: Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., has upped the stakes in his battle with Fox News, challenging his Democratic rivals not to accept campaign donations from top executives of News Corp, a company that includes Fox News under its large media umbrella.
Ultimately News Corp’s single top executive is Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who has donated to Sen. Clinton’s Senate reelection campaign as well as her ’08 presidential campaign.
Clinton set tongues wagging last year when she attended the "Fox News Sunday" anniversary party.
"No Democrat running for president should accept campaign money from top News Corp executives," said Edwards in a statement released Thursday.
"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 time has come for Democrats to stop pretending to be friends with the very people who demonize the Democratic Party."
Edwards has said in the past that Fox News advances a right-wing agenda. His statement comes just days after Murdoch successfully purchased the Dow Jones Co. and The Wall Street Journal, a deal Edwards said was an unhealthy media consolidation.
Earlier this year Edwards further solidified his liberal base by pulling out of a Fox News sponsored debate planned by the Nevada Democratic Party. The state party ultimately dropped Fox as a sponsor due to lack of support among Democratic candidates. In April when Edwards dropped out of a Fox News and Congressional Black Caucus debate, Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., followed suit a week a later.