Fox Divide Grows as Donald Trump Lashes Out Over News Pal Sean Hannity was ‘Disgusted’ by Him
Once upon a time, Donald Trump and Fox News were as close as a person could be with the sycophantic
Once upon a time, Donald Trump and Fox News were as close as a person could be with the sycophantic news organization that only airs positive stories about you.
Fox went so far as to spin facts in a way that looked favorable to Trump, making it his favorite network and place to turn when it was time to give the spin machine a whirl.
That’s probably why their breakup has been so public and nasty – with Fox scrambling to find new politicians to support and bury its now-embarrassing promotion of news it knew to be false. And on Trump’s part, he’s pulled every rude nickname possible out of his book to trash the network.
But the former POTUS and his once-favorite network are at odds even more after news broke that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is spilling the tea about its time in Camp Trump – and Trump is furious.
Rupert Murdoch Admits to Fox Hosts Bolstering Donald Trump Lies
A voting technology company named Dominion is currently trying to clear a high legal bar set by the Supreme Court to levy a defamation lawsuit against Fox News.
Fox, owned by Murdoch, spent an inordinate amount of time after the 2020 election pushing the idea that Dominion was corrupt and that their voting technology was compromised and rigged the election in favor of President Joe Biden.
In a deposition last month, Murdoch admitted that some of Fox’s hosts had peddled false “rigged election” conspiracies as fact.
The New York Times reports, “‘They endorsed,’ Mr. Murdoch said under oath in response to direct questions about the Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, according to a legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems. ‘I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,’ he added, while also disclosing that he was always dubious of Mr. Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Asked whether he doubted Mr. Trump, Mr. Murdoch responded: ‘Yes. I mean, we thought everything was on the up-and-up.’ At the same time, he rejected the accusation that Fox News as a whole had endorsed the stolen election narrative. ‘Not Fox,’ he said. ‘No. Not Fox.’
Mr. Murdoch’s remarks, which he made last month as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, added to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation: The people running the country’s most popular news network knew Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway in a reckless pursuit of ratings and profit.”
Murdoch is attempting to throw his hosts under the bus and say that they alone pushed the false idea that the election was stolen, not Fox itself.
And in pursuit of that effort, Murdoch threw Sean Hannity under the bus.
Trump vs Rupert Murdoch (But Really, Sean Hannity)
Murdoch reportedly said that popular Fox host Hannity was privately “disgusted” by Trump, but pushed the rigged election lies anyway in order to keep viewership up because he was afraid of losing viewers.
On Monday, the court considering the Dominion/Fox lawsuit published filings which included several emails sent by Murdoch in 2021.
One such exchange was between Murdoch, his son Lachlan Murdoch (CEO of Fox Corporation), and Paul Ryan, former Republican Speaker of the House. The emails were dated January 12, 2021, just six days after the riot at the Capitol.
Business Insider reports, “In the email exchange, Ryan, a one-time Republican House speaker, told both Murdochs that after the 2020 election, ‘some high percentage of Americans’ thought the election was stolen from Trump because of the right-wing media.
‘Thanks Paul. Wake-up call for Hannity, who has been privately disgusted by Trump for weeks, but was scared to lose viewers,’ Rupert Murdoch wrote in response to Ryan. Hannity anchors one of the most-watched shows on Fox News, just behind ‘The Five’ and ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’
In response, Ryan told Murdoch he thought Fox and its hosts should try to ‘put down the echoes of falsehood from our side.'”
Trump was seemingly enraged by this revelation that his once-favorite host was actually disgusted by him and just using him for viewers.
But instead of turning on him openly – and perhaps losing a chance at favorable coverage in the future – he set Murdoch squarely in his sights, a risky proposition for a man who needs fundraising ahead of 2024.
Trump wrote on Truth Social, “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. There is MASSIVE evidence of voter fraud & irregularities in the 2020 Presidential Election. Just look at the documentary ‘2000 MULES’ and you will see large scale ballot stuffing caught on government cameras, or votes cast without Legislatures approval, or just recently, the FBI/Twitter Files Scandal. RIGGED!!!”
He added, “There was so much Voter Fraud & Irregularities in the 2020 Presidential Election that it amazes me how weak and ineffective FoxNews is at portraying itself in the lawsuit against them. They look too scared and frightened to reveal the massive amounts of voter fraud & Irregularities already found, and it would actually help them in the lawsuit. Instead FoxNews wants to silence its anchors and reporters, the reason so many of their viewers fled. The Election was that of a Third World Country!”
But Trump’s lashing out at Fox is more than just sour grapes.
After all, this lawsuit could feed into legal peril the former POTUS himself is facing.
If the lawsuit can gather evidence proving that the people who peddled Trump’s “rigged election” lies knew that they were lies and did it anyway, it feeds back into the idea that Trump knew the election wasn’t stolen when he inflamed a crowd at the Capitol on January 6 which turned into a bloody and violent attempt at insurrection.
The Fox/Dominion lawsuit could well be make or break for Trump – and that’s beyond his need for free coverage in the press.