In Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch, columnist Joe Hallett noted that John Kasich wasn’t measuring the drapes in the Governor’s Mansion yet, but only because he delegated that to his wife, Karen:

Strickland’s Republican rival, John Kasich, is unsure whether he and his family will move into the Governor’s Residence in Bexley if he wins on Nov. 2. Kasich, his wife, Karen, and their twin 10-year-old daughters have a very nice house on the edge of a golf course just north of Westerville.

"That’s taking measurements before the election’s over," Kasich said when asked if the family would occupy the taxpayer-provided mansion.

"We love where we live. …Wait till the election’s over, and my wife will say what she wants."

Since then, John Kasich has seen his average lead on Real Clear Politics halved… and that was by Tuesday.  Today the Dispatch did a story that the Ohio media had so far largely ignored—the nexus between Kasich’s campaign, his numerous Fox News appearances, and Rupert Murdoch’s financial support of his campaign through maxed out donations to his campaign and donations to the RGA through his company.

The news story is not the kind of thing the Kasich campaign wants, and the Dispatch, to its credit for once, did not pull its punches.

It was one of 16 appearances that Kasich has made on Fox television or radio programs since he formally entered the governor’s race on June 1, 2009, according to a count by the Strickland campaign.

Going back to March 2008, when Kasich said he was seriously considering entering the race, there were 42 other appearances, including several times that Kasich was guest host for The O’Reilly Factor.

Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, said in a statement, "Our show bookers have reached out to Strickland and offered him an opportunity to appear on Fox News just like his opponent. But, unfortunately, Strickland has declined those requests more than he has accepted."

The Strickland campaign says the governor turned down only four invitations.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor of communication and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said Murdoch’s gift creates a perception that the network is supporting Kasich and undermines Fox’s status as a news organization.

"The fact that the Fox corporate head is contributing to campaigns is problematic – period, regardless of what else is happening," she said.

The Murdoch gift and Kasich’s frequent airtime effectively have made Fox "an adjunct" to his campaign, said Robert J. Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

"They (Fox) call themselves ‘fair and balanced,’ but I don’t think they’re making any effort to actually appear that way to a rational-thinking person," Thompson said.

When the Dispatch stops being a cheerleader and starts writing critical stories of Kasich, you know it’s getting bad for them.  I wonder if this is the Dispatch’s response to the Kasich campaign shutting out the Ohio media while still giving interviews to National Review, instead, in the final week of the campaign?