Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch is cooling on Donald Trump, report says, amid wider signs of discontent

Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch is cooling on Donald Trump, report says, amid wider signs of discontent
lachlan rupert murdoch
Lachlan Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch at Day 10 of the US Open held at the USTA Tennis Center on September 5, 2018 in New York City.Adrian Edwards/GC Images
  • Rupert Murdoch has lost his enthusiasm for Donald Trump, associates told The Washington Post.

  • The backing of Murdoch publications has been crucial to Trump's political success.

  • Trump is facing possible prosecution over the Jan. 6 riot.

Rupert Murdoch has lost his enthusiasm for Donald Trump amid a series of ongoing investigations into the former president, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Citing several associates of Murdoch, The Post said that Murdoch's enthusiasm was ebbing away, driven partly by the Congressional hearings on the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

A shift in Murdoch's favor — long seen reflected in approving coverage from outlets like Fox News and the New York Post — could be unwelcome should Trump choose to run for president in 2024.

The Post cited its sources as other signs appeared of a turn against Trump.

In the wake of the January 6 hearings both the New York Post and Wall Street Journal published scathing editorials admonishing Trump's behaviour.

A spokesman for News Corp, the umbrella company for several of Murdoch's businesses, declined to comment on the report.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump has expressed concern that his appearances on Fox News are becoming more infrequent.

But on Sunday, Fox News host Howard Kurtz pushed back against the report, saying there was "no edict" against Trump appearing on the network.

Relations between the two men have swung back and forth. Murdoch criticized Trump in public as Trump sought the 2016 GOP nomination, but embraced him thereafter.

Fox News veered towards adulatory coverage of Trump through his four years in office. Hosts including Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity even acted as informal sounding boards and advisors to Trump.

Trump has lashed out at Fox News at any sign that the network is deviating in its loyalty. The network's CEO is Murdoch's son, Lachlan Murdoch.

In 2020, Murdoch reportedly said that Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic would cost him his job, and the network infuriated the then president by being the first to call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night.

But after Trump's defeat the network helped to promote the baseless election fraud claims pushed by Trump and his allies that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

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