News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch had a nasty forecast for former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, stating in an email later that month that he thought Trump’s family businesses would be devastated and called his brand poison.
In prior court filings in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit, numerous comments made by Fox News executives and on-air personalities to one another in emails and private text messages have been revealed.
These comments acknowledged that Trump had lost the 2020 presidential election, that his claims the election had been fraudulently stolen from him were unfounded, and lamented the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
The emails between Murdoch and Ryan from January 12, 2021, have a similar tenor and are included as Exhibit 666 (yes, really) in the most recent brief submitted by Dominion. On the emails, Lachlan Murdoch, Murdoch’s son, is copied.
In his opinion, not many Fox News viewers had switched to their rival conservative networks Newsmax and OANN, but rather, many more just turned off depressed, he said. During President Joe Biden’s term, he prophesied, Fox will emerge as the steadfast conservative opposition and regain our natural viewers.
Bill Barr and Mike Pompeo, two members of Trump’s cabinet, were expressly mentioned in Murdoch’s letter as two good voices he desired to hear on the radio. Then he criticized what he viewed as the terrible failure of the Trump family businesses, mentioning Ivanka Trump’s fashion and jewelry lines as well as the golf courses and hotels owned by the Trump family.
Rupert Murdoch on Trump’s Election Claims
In a deposition sample that was made public last week, Rupert Murdoch said that Fox News anchors supported the mythical idea of a stolen election. He almost appeared pleased to admit it.
Murdoch’s deposition was viewed by a number of media outlets as a gotcha opportunity. There was a 91-year-old businessman who headed a conservative media conglomerate admitting to lying to harm democracy.
His remarks were made public as a result of a legal dispute between Fox and Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion claims that Fox Corporation and Fox News Network defamed the election technology business by enabling Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, attorneys for then-President Donald Trump, to disseminate conspiracy theories.
Murdoch was open when questioned by Dominion’s attorneys in a January deposition whether he believed Fox anchors were telling the truth about the election. Murdoch, meanwhile, believes that none of that matters. He believes Fox Corporation shouldn’t be involved in the defamation action in any way.
The company that broadcasts Fox News and Fox Business News, where Dominion claims hosts spread false information about its election equipment, is called Fox News Network.
Fox Corporation, the company that owns Fox News, is presided over by Murdoch. The Fox Company also oversees a variety of businesses, including TMZ, Tubi, Fox Sports, a number of local TV stations, and a blockchain business. The CEO of the Fox Corporation is Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son.
Rupert Murdoch doesn’t have granular editorial control over what happens at Fox News, thus in the eyes of Fox Corporation, it doesn’t matter what he does or doesn’t think about it. The corporation claims that Fox Corporation has no business participating in Dominion’s legal action.
Both corporate law and Supreme Court precedent from New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark case that established US libel law, holding that a parent corporation is not automatically responsible for the companies that fall under it.