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There may be no more important figure in preparing the Republican Party and President Trump himself for the post-Trump era than the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Among his assets, notably the most highly regarded Fox News Channel, its role in shaping conservative thinking and Republican politics is unrivaled, at least in the media. . Murdoch is allied with Trump, despite retaining his position as an underrated reality TV presenter. And Fox is one of Trump’s strongest sources of support. So how the channel presents Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s rising electoral fortunes matters. Deep.
On Tuesday night, Fox News became the first major news outlet to announce that Biden would win against Arizona. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, called Murdoch to ask him to reverse the network’s call. Trump supporters in Maricopa County, Ariz. – some of them armed – leading chants of “Too bad”. And for days, the network’s top opinion hosts have been confronted with the president’s unfounded and corrosive statements about Democrats’ voter fraud, seeking to discredit Democrats. the credibility of the entire electoral process.
In general, Fox News journalists are trying to navigate a gentle landing point for their audience so that if Biden beats Trump, they will recognize the results. The network’s stars, however, are lining up their shows with Trump supporters, who make unfounded but unfounded allegations to ensure that viewers never accept Biden as appropriate. France.
Murdoch threw his weight and his media behind the president very early, though Wall Street JournalTrump’s news sites have also reported muscular investigation into Trump. That alliance served Murdoch well, giving him full and regular access to Trump, as well as the president’s seal of approval for the sale of his entertainment assets to Disney despite concerns. on antitrust.
The President considers many of Fox News’s characters among his closest advisers, including Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro and others. He has pulled out of the ranks of Fox contributors to fill senior White House appointments and has even been seen as a star for Cabinet positions. And in their turn, they were very aggressive in forwarding the president’s unfounded statements, earning his regular appearances on their shows and in response to the stratosphere ratings.
Earlier this year, Fox News stars helped ignite protests against Covid-related closures and the masking order. Fox News stars have sparked potential scandals involving Biden’s son, Hunter, based on unconfirmed reports from Murdoch’s New York Post Office – Fox reporters’ own documents largely can not confirm.
As a small indication of the ways Republicans Fox and Trump might arrange the program, on Friday night, the NPR reviewed an internal GOP memorandum sent to top party officials for was prepared for Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel to appear on Hannity’s program that night. It specifically sets out the entire intended flow of the show’s lengthy opening segment – including guest speakers, articles and topics, and the main point Hannity will work on. Both focus on raising suspicions of voter fraud. (RNC confirmed the authenticity of the memo but declined to comment, as did Fox News.)
Tuesday night’s prediction of Biden’s victory in Arizona means any further determination of Biden’s victory will result in his winning designation on a national scale. Trump’s campaign released a statement that prompted the head of Fox’s election decision desk, Arnon Mishkin, who later appeared on the air to admit that he had worked for the Democrats in the past. A Republican senator, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, accused Fox of covering up in a radio interview and called for the network to fire Mishkin. “Fox News owes the American people an apology,” he said.
So far, the network is still standing on its decision table.
But others argue that Murdochs needs to do more to help viewers accept the judgment of the American public. CNN spokesperson Jake Tapper said, on television, “Murdochs and the people at Fox have an obligation to put their country ahead of their profits.” Murdoch’s freelance daughter-in-law Kathryn Murdoch tweeted that she agrees. She is married to James, the youngest son of Murdoch, who is no longer the top executive in the home media empire, though he retains a large stake.
And the cultural clash between the network’s top news anchors and its brightest stars, many of whom have climbed the Trump train for glory judgments, was the most notable.
“The [question about] Transparency and viewing of ballots are different from fraud searches that bridge the gap, “anchor Bret Baier told GOP chairman McDaniel on Friday morning. There are all kinds of content on the Internet. But when we do review it, it’s nothing to worry about. “He and mistress Martha MacCallum sounded like they were staging an intervention: They are asserting, even appeasing McDaniel, while still mentioning the content of her statements.
Compare that with Hannity’s rhetoric on Thursday night: “Americans will never be able to believe in the integrity and legitimacy of [election] result. “Or Dobbs, who condemned GOP lawmakers on Thursday for not being loyal enough to Trump:” I didn’t even hear thank you, let alone join in to do the right thing and stop it. this corruption is on the Democratic Party’s vote. “
Conservative Fox stars gave guests the unnecessary time to make unfounded statements based on the integrity of the electoral system, as Trump did for weeks.
“President Trump has won this election,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, without providing any evidence. “So everyone is listening: Don’t be silent. Don’t be quiet about this. We can’t let this happen before our eyes.” (McCarthy then stated that he was referring to Trump winning a seat in the Republican House, not the White House, but that would leave the rest of his comments incomprehensible.)
CNN reported Friday that Fox News officers received a memo warning them not to call Biden “president-elect” even as the network predicted he had won six electoral votes. tri of Nevada. (Because of Arizona’s prediction, that should help Biden enough to secure the network’s call for the presidency.) Fox News declined to comment officially. An employee reading aloud from the exchange for NPR said mid-tier producers are advising online journalists to wait for more specific direction from the Washington network’s desk before handing over that title.
At the end of the day, Baier and Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace was extremely opposed when he said Biden would win the presidency if he won in Pennsylvania or another state.
On Thursday, New York Post has online published two stories deeply discounting Trump’s statements during his White House speech that night and in an earlier tweet from his son Donald Jr.
What Trump and his supporters can forget is that Murdoch’s conservatism is countered by his pragmatism. He always struggled to find a way to business. And he really wants to support a winner. Meaning, at times, Murdoch and his assets pivot – seriously.
Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney failed in 2012, Hannity announced he had an “evolution” of the immigration issue. It happened within 24 hours after then Fox News President Roger Ailes told his radio group that people in America without legal status were no longer considered illegal immigrants. (Ailes, and Fox, would then contradict that conclusion.)
And indeed, on Friday, after a rather fiery hour of Sean Hannity’s performance, Laura Ingraham encouraged Trump to properly leave the scene, if given the chance. (And yes, the host Fox communicates with Trump by talking face-to-face even when talking online.) “President Trump’s legacy will only become more important if he focuses on moving the country forward,” Ingraham said. “And then the love and respect that his supporters have for him? It will only get stronger.”
You can now watch Fox’s conservative hostages on air – those who make net profits for the network – maintain their loyalty to Trump while the news side gently pulls the net in. the trajectory of political gravity. How cleverly the network negotiates for more radical change – and how early it does it – will help determine the readiness of viewers, fans of the president, and the president itself. of emerging political reality.
Murdoch’s Fox will always appear to welcome another day. It flourished under Clinton and Obama. “The news cycle will be just right,” Fox Corp CEO and CEO Lachlan Murdoch (Rupert’s eldest son) told investors this week. “We fully expect to be number one and maintain market share through that.”
And it’s pretty clear what Fox News will look like under the Biden administration: spend time airing for potential Republican candidates and attack Joe and Hunter Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the progressive young stars of the House of Representatives, include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.
Murdoch coveted access to power the most, but his media was always at home in muscular opposition.