Rupert Murdoch Does the Fox Trot

Rupert Murdoch Does the Fox Trot March 9, 2023



The Bible records that Moses told two of the twelve tribes of Israel that if they did not keep their promise to God and the other Israelites to assist those ten tribes in driving out the Canaanites, “your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32.23). Likewise, it appears that it now can truly be said of the assertion by the name Fox News–that it honestly reports the news–“your sin will find you out.”

Eighty-nine year old Rupert Murdoch is the founder and chairman of the board of News Corp, the parent organization of the cable television channel Fox News, which is rated #1 in American television news. He was deposed last November by prosecutors representing DominionVoting Systems in its $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News. Dominion has now released to the public, which is legal, much information about its discovery process. It included tons of private text messages and emails internally sent between Fox News employees such as its leading television hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs (who was fired), and some by Sean Hannity.

These communications are absolutely devastating for Fox News in this lawsuit. Some of its hosts denigrated Trump privately while praising him publicly on television.  Fox News’ #1 host Tucker Carlson once said he hates “passionately” the former president Donald Trump. Another time he called Trump “a demonic force.” He admitted privately that Trump and some of his lawyers, such as Sidney Powell, had been lying all along about a 2020 fraudulent election. Yet Carlson regularly indicated otherwise on his TV show, even having Trump people such as Powell on his show espousing her lies about a fraudulent election.

The public should be able to trust that these Dominion accounts of internal Fox messages, which the judge in this case had granted Dominion access to, are indeed messages sent so that Dominion, in quoting these messages, is not lying about them or in any way misrepresenting them. Why am I even having to say this? Because that’s what many of Fox News viewers are now saying–that you can’t necessarily trust Dominion being truthful about this.

Baloney! Dominion’s lawsuit is all about accusing Fox News hosts and some of their guests of charging Dominion with manipulation of its voting machines used by many states in the 2020 election and Dominion saying that some of these Fox News hosts were not only wrong about such allegations but that they knew they were wrong and therefore were lying about it. So, it would be so stupid and devastating to Dominion’s case–accusing Fox News of lying in accusing Dominion of machine manipulation–since the court knows what those messages say. Dominion would therefore be in huge trouble for lying in a defamation case in which the plaintiff claims the defendant is lying, and it’s all about something that can be proved–what in the actual transcriptions of the text messages and emails. So, Fox News viewers saying Dominion may be lying about this is such shortsighted baloney!

So, how did Rupert Murdoch respond in his deposition to the many questions Dominion lawyers asked him under oath about these things? He answered surprisingly and matter-of-factly quite honestly by repeatedly doing the Fox Trot. How so? He would trot out these Fox News hosts such as Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity (although sometimes the lawyers mentioned them) by admitting that after the 2020 election, they privately said Trump lost the election, but on their televised shows they indicated otherwise. So, Murdoch admitted Fox News hosts lied. Oftentimes, they interviewed guests such as Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, and Sidney Powell who were working diligently to convince America the 2020 election was fraudulent to point that Donald Trump really won that election, which is clearly false. And when these guests would makes these false claims, these Fox News hosts would often affirm such claims were true or indicate slightly their approval, but never disagree by saying such claims were false. So, Murdoch was saying that’s what his Fox News hosts were doing–promoting the conspiracy theory of a 2020 fraudulent election and sometimes saying, or leading the audience to believe, it was Dominion’s fault.

But when Dominion lawyers asked Murdoch in the deposition if the cable news outlet Fox News itself said the 2020 election was fraudulent, he denied it. So, I say that’s Murdoch doing the Fox Trot–individually blaming his Fox News hosts of actual lying or misrepresenting the results of that 2020 election, but claiming Fox News itself did not.

Now, the judge in this case will decide and make public his decision on a summary judgment on March 21, thus less than two weeks from now. He could rule that Dominion has no case and dismiss the charges, which is about 100% impossible! He could rule the evidence against Fox News is so overwhelming that there is no need for a trial and therefore he would rule that Fox News must pay up–$1.6 billion in damages to Dominion. But I guess it is most likely that he will decide to let the case go to trial. In that case, I wonder if Mr. Murdoch will keep doing the Fox Trot. What do you think?

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