Rupert Mudoch Regrets His Decisions

Oh, gracious, Trump is pissed. From Daily Beast:

Donald Trump is furious with his former ally Rupert Murdoch after the media mogul made astonishing admissions that some of his Fox News hosts “endorsed” lies that the 2020 election had been “stolen.” Murdoch, 91, also said in a deposition unsealed on Monday that he wished his organization had been “stronger in denouncing” the false narrative that the election was rigged by corrupt voting machines. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion over the issue—but the network denies defamation. “Why is Rupert Murdoch throwing his anchors under the table, which also happens to be killing his case and infuriating his viewers, who will again be leaving in droves—they already are,” Trump fumed on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday. “There is MASSIVE evidence of voter fraud & irregularities in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump continued, pointing to Dinesh D’Souza’s conspiracy film 2000 Mules as evidence.

The new opposition brief filed by Dominion Voting Systems yesterday was full of new goodies. From Charlotte Klein at Vanity Fair:

While Murdoch denied that Fox as a whole endorsed Donald Trump‘s bogus claims of election fraud, Murdoch did pass the buck to Jeanine PirroLou Dobbs, and Sean Hannity, admitting that “they endorsed.” Later in the filing, Murdoch is asked whether he could have told CEO Suzanne Scott or those hosts to take Rudy Giuliani off the air. “I could have. But I didn’t,” he replied. At another point, Murdoch appeared to express regret over his network’s coverage of Trump’s conspiracy theory: “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight.”

There’s quite a good overview of what happened at Fox after the 2020 election as revealed in the Dominion the Bulwark, by Amanda Carpenter. It’s titled Exposed: Fox’s Pander-for-Profit Business Model. The Fox News brand had to be protected above all else, and if that meant spreading lies — lies they knew to be lies — to the viewers to keep the ratings up, so be it. What’s interesting to me is that the execs and bobbleheads justified keeping up the pretense as “respecting our viewers,” even though it pretty much reveals they thought their viewers were fools.

Of course, as I wrote back in May 2020, “dealing with American right-wingers is a bit like dealing with hyenas. You can’t reason with them; all you can do is try to placate them so they don’t bite you.” Note that Fox News isn’t covering the Dominion lawsuit, so maybe they’re hoping their viewers don’t find out about it.

And as Hymen Roth told Michael Corleone, “this is the business we’ve chosen.” Don’t ask questions. Stick to business.

Some other tidbits that came out of the new brief. Before the election Rupert Murdoch shared “confidential information” about then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign ads and debate strategy with Jared Kushner, the filing said. And he had Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott tell Sean Hannity to say “something supportive” about Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham ahead of the 2020 election. Murdoch said, “We cannot lose the Senate if at all possible.” In other words, Murdoch was explicitly using his “news” business on behalf of the GOP. I know that’s not a surprise, but it’s a tad unusual for them to be caught with their pants this far down, so to speak.

All of this has made Kevin McCarthy’s decision to hand House security tapes over exclusively to Tucker Carlson even more appalling. But this didn’t just piss off liberals. From Rolling Stone:

McCarthy’s gift to Carlson immediately triggered a right-wing media feud, and drew the scorn of multiple high-profile Donald Trump allies. And it quickly led to McCarthy getting legally threatened by the former president’s favorite election-attacking pillow mogul who’s using a pair of extremely pro-Trump lawyers, one of whom sued the January 6th House committee.  …

… On Monday, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — a close Trump associate who has been one of the largest financial backers of the election-denialism movement since late 2020 — told Rolling Stone he’s now working with two attorneys, Doug Wardlow and Pat McSweeney, to file a lawsuit against McCarthy as soon as within the “next few days.” Lindell says he and his legal team have drafted a suit arguing his streaming program, Lindell TV, is being “injured” and discriminated against by not enjoying equal access to the unreleased Jan. 6 trove. The Trump ally, who often finds himself to the pro-Trump right of Fox News, notes that he doesn’t trust Fox’s “agenda” with these tapes, and dubs McCarthy’s decision “disgusting” and allegedly unconstitutional.

“As you correctly and publicly stated, the footage ‘belong[s] to the American public.’ Accordingly, I request the same access for my media company, Lindell TV,” the MyPillow CEO wrote to McCarthy in a Feb. 23 letter he provided to Rolling Stone. “Please have your staff reach out to me to arrange for access.”

Some other GOP House creatures have also objected to Carlson getting exclusive access. David Kurtz reports at TPM that “House Republicans as a whole aren’t completely onboard with Speaker McCarthy’s wholesale turning over of the Jan. 6 surveillance footage to Tucker Carlson.” Some GOP House members have expressed concerns about security. They also probably understand there’s only so much manipulation Carlson can do, and they’d rather not have more January 6 videos going viral, thanks much. And it’s  bad look to give one guy exclusive access to what amounts to government property.

In other news — let us take a moment to note the end of Disney World as we’ve known it.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday to take control of municipal services and development for the special zone encompassing Walt Disney World. The move deals a major blow to the company’s ability to operate with autonomy.

DeSantis says that the special district surrounding Disney World has enabled the park to unfairly skirt local rules and building codes.

It’s my understanding that Disney wanted to keep control of its property to be sure that roads stayed in good repair and utilities functioned properly. Their business model depends on presenting a gleaming, perfectly functioning experience. Well, that’s about to end.

“The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said during a news conference announcing the move on Monday. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”

The heart of the bill is the appointment of a five-person state board to oversee municipal services, such as fire protection and road maintenance, where Disney World operates.

But the oversight board that DeSantis assembled is a pack of culture warriors, not people experienced with municipal services. The Orlando Sentinel:

A GOP political donor, an evangelical minister who defends Christian nationalism and a co-founder of the conservative Moms for Liberty group are among the new board members chosen by Gov. Ron DeSantis to oversee Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

“It’s incredibly alarming,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said of the governor’s nominees, describing them as a group of “extremists and Republican operatives” picked based on cronyism and not merits. “He has these extremist culture war demagogues, and Republican Party operatives.”

I suggest that if you have “Disney World” on your bucket list, you shouldn’t put it off. There’s no way this won’t negatively impact the place.

6 thoughts on “Rupert Mudoch Regrets His Decisions

  1. Sounds like desantis is either:

    A) Becoming a communist ruler like Fidel Castro by nationalizing an industry and taking control of it for purposes of getting a cut of the action and living either higher on the hog (i.e. the backs of the common people) all the while claiming he is the savior of the very Florida he is tearing down for his and his cronies profit. Odd, isn't that what desantis and his RWNJ's refer to as "socialism"?

    B) A childish jerk who does not like being opposed, gainsaid, or proven wrong and holding grudges, trying to get even with his supposed foes to the exclusion of any rational thinking.

    C) Living proof that there are terrible flaws in the admission standards of once great Universities like Harvard and Yale.

    D) Dreams of being Baby Dump to a former president known as Papa Dump. Both can already do that weird hand spreading gesture they use while they are spewing hate and gobbledygook.

    Ms. Maha, you are correct in urging people to see Disney soon before it becomes a desolate hellscape. The first change will be desantis' wet dream of allowing all freedom loving citizens to carry concealed weapons without requiring a permit. Can you imagine the thrill children and their parents will have when they discover the former disney (to be renamed desantis dumpster) is about as safe to be in as a typical Florida middle school?

    Oh, the inhumanity of Florida Man!

    • Agreed, a DeSantis World with infrastructure held hostage by grifting cronies will sink into third world infrastructure mediocrity like the rest of the state.

      A lot of Europeans go to Orlando, but they’ll dump it from their plans like a hot potato the first time there’s a mass-shooting event at the Rodent Park splashed all over the international news.

  2. I am budgeting time tomorrow.  Why?  Because this seems to be one of the best and most topical and best written pieces I have ever read, or need to read again.  

    Fox news is ubiquitous in this area.  IMO it is a horrible detriment to the mental health of this country.  

    At this point in time, I only want to add the highly reported (but of course deniable fact) that Rupert and company will not report anything from the trial.  Yes, there are whores that pretend to be journalists in this country.  That is a fact.  

    We are dependent on having a majority whose BS meter is functional.  And those who can write with vision. 


  3. Interesting stuff. Regarding Murdoch/Fox, Trump, and DeSantis. Murdoch decided yo dump Trump – exactly when and why I'm not sure. Remember that Hannity was damn near a member of Trump's cabinet. I think there's evidence that Sean influenced policy in the Trump White House, IMO, this is very much what Murdoch wants and intends – that Fox becomes a powerful partner with government. Turning over Biden;s future ads and strategizing with Jared confirms my speculation. 

    To return to the previous point, Rupert has been grooming Ron DeSantis – emails show that people in the governor's office are in contact with Fox in a two-way exchange about how to best present Ron to the Fox audience, I would presume, as the alternative to Trump in the 2024 election. My guess is that many of the anchors would prefer Trump but Trump hasn't been on Fox since April 2022 (according to my research, I'm willing to be corrected.) Fox cut away from Trump's announcement that he's running (November '22). They are not televising Trump events. As of Aug  21 (Not '22) DeSantis had been on Fox 113 times since Trump lost. Trump says he has a 15 point edge on DeSantis in recent polls, but DeSantis has not even announced he's running and Trump has not been criminally charged. The polls are gonna change in the next 20 months. My guess: Fox is prepared to air the bad news about Trump from the moment he's charged. By "bad news" I mean, factual evidence. I think Fox will slant the emotional component for Trump (Look what the Democrats are doing! Weep, wail, gnash teeth) But I think Fox will air the facts to demonstrate how wounded and weak Trump is. Trump, as pointed out here, is encouraging his cult to avoid Fox, but there's not a lot of quality alternatives. Direct TV dumped Newsmax. Truth Social is a bust. Trump is contractually locked into a delay clause – he can't post to Twitter until six hours AFTER he posted on TS. As the propagandist network of the GOP, Fox owns the inside track. Nobody else is close.

    So what? DeSantis is enacting fascist policies in Florida that Trump only dreamed of. It's like choosing if you'd rather be the victim of Alien or Predator. Except this is a political remake in reality of Alien vs. Predator.

    Opinion: Trump hopes to delay the criminal prosecutions until after the election. If he wins, Trump will bend and break the machinery of government to ensure he's never prosecuted. Trump expects everyone to get out of his way – if Fox and the GOP do not drop everything to save Trump's ass, he will destroy them both to the best of his ability. Trump can split the GOP to the extent that his minions will never cooperate with the GOP. (Yeah, still opinion.) I see this as the most likely outcome.

    One does not antagonize the House of Mouse. Not lightly. DeSantis said this:

    "But I think all of these board members very much would like to see the type of entertainment that all families can appreciate.”

    Paying attention? DeSantis appointed culture-war idealogues to the board that's supposed to deal with infrastructure. Disney had controlled that board (and footed the bill.) What DeSantis is implying is that if Disney wants stuff to run, Disney has to let the planning commission dictate standards or censor Disney content. (Disney revenue for 2021 was 67 Billion.)  As a media company, I expect they communicate with other media companies. Will Disney privately sound the alarm? We either take DeSantis and his brand of fascism down or we may all be taken down separately. Of all the nasty things I've read about Disney, "stupid" wasn't one of them. I'm not predicting Disney will try to turn Florida into a 'woke' utopia – but they could infuse enough cash, possibly through dark (secret) channels into key state elections to change the Florida balance of power in 2024. (A boycott of Florida tourism, domestic and international, would wake up big money in Florida.)

  4. So the evangelical minister and the mom for liberty are going to be in charge of trash collection and making sure parking space lines are painted.

     How exciting for them.

    Control theater

  5. Fox has been a destructive force in American politics for decades. These lies being documented are good but certainly no surprise, we all know what is going on over there. Another positive of Murdochs testimony is that it has enabled other networks to finally hit Fox on moral and journalistic grounds. What is slightly infuriating is that it takes sworn testimony from the CEO of Fox to get the other networks really talking about the obvious and ongoing corruption. Fox has brainwashed a couple generation of people in this country and the rest of our corporate media has stood by and let it happen. And in many cases they have helped Fox along by picking up on the propaganda and giving it more oxygen on other platforms. Sometime it seems like there is an agreement between Corporate media big wigs not to go too hard on one another? Fox needs to be taken down, quickly.


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