Media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corporation and one of the most powerful opinion leaders in the US, has admitted that his TV network hosts have been spreading lies about the presidential election.
The background is a legal dispute with Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of electronic voting machines and software. She had sued the conservative television broadcaster Fox News because false claims were repeatedly made in programs that the 2020 election had been rigged. Fox News is part of Murdoch’s media empire.
“Bullshit and Harmful”
In his statement, Murdoch rejected the fact that the entire broadcaster had specifically supported and disseminated the conspiracy theories of ex-President Donald Trump. However, he did admit that some of the right-wing anchors, such as Sean Hannity, had been spreading the “stolen election” lie.
“Some of our commentators supported this,” Murdoch said when asked about the moderators’ opinions on the election, according to the court filing. In front of the camera, some comments would have supported the conspiracy theories. “I would have liked us to denounce it more in hindsight,” he added loudly.
The filing also revealed that Murdoch himself called some of Trump’s claims “bullshit and harmful.”
Moderators mocked Trump’s claims
However, another interesting aspect emerges from the files: the “opinions” represented are said to have been primarily a show for the quota and conservative viewers. Because the court files revealed texts and emails from employees and senior executives that show they were privately amused by Trump’s conspiracy theories. The myth of the stolen presidential election was repeatedly proclaimed in front of the camera – but behind the scenes, even the makers of the programs were amused by the allegations.
The news showed that even the most well-known Fox faces and Trump advocates Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham mocked the lies being spread by former President Donald Trump’s camp.
Fox News company accused of voter fraud
In its reporting, Murdoch’s broadcaster accused several voting software companies of being in cahoots with billionaire George Soros and wanting to overthrow Trump. Among other things, the Canadian manufacturer Dominion was accused – and this is now defending itself with a lawsuit worth billions.
To this day, Trump and his camp maintain that Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election was only possible through manipulation. Despite lawsuits and investigations, however, there is no evidence of this.