Rupert Murdoch Changes His Tune Again on Trump

Joseph Sohm/

He’s been one of former President Trump’s most loyal media vessels, but now the tide has seemed to turn.

Rupert Murdoch owns many publishing enterprises across the country including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post. 

The public was shocked this weekend to see an editorial in the New York Post that lambasted Trump and his failure to stop the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. 

The Murdoch-led editorial team wrote, “As his followers stormed the Capitol, calling for his vice-president to be hanged, President Donald Trump sat in his private dining room, watching TV, doing nothing. For three hours, seven minutes. As a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote a very similar editorial as well. They said that the former president “betrayed his supporters,” and that Trump had an “obligation” to defend the constitution because of his oath of office. 

The widely respected business newspaper noted that Trump did not call the military, he didn’t seem concerned about his loyal vice president, but instead Trump fed the angry crowd and let the whole thing play out. 

The paper also said that Trump has not shown “an iota” of regret and they wrote, “Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr Pence passed his January 6 trial. Mr Trump utterly failed his.”

These editorials had one goal in mind, to pin the blame for the January 6 attack squarely on one person, Donald Trump.

These editorials did not just look to the past, they also urged readers to “Look forward!”

The 2024 field is rich. You have Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley … the list goes on. All candidates who embrace conservative policies … Unsubscribe from Trump’s daily emails begging for money. Then pick your favorite from a new crop of conservatives. Look to 2022, and 2024, and a new era. Let’s make America sane again,” the paper said.

Peggy Noonan from the journal challenged her readers to let go of the anvil that will “sink you to the bottom of the sea.”

A year ago, Murdoch was saying that conservatives have to play an active role in political debate, but it will be hard if President Trump stays focused on the past. 

It’s not just the newspapers Murdoch is swaying away from Trump. Fox News is beginning to waver on its loyalty to the former president. The network did not broadcast Trump’s rally in Arizona, instead, they aired an interview with DeSantis. 

It is likely that Murdoch, 91, is done with Trump saying that the 2020 election was stolen. A judge in Delaware recently indicated that Fox Corp could be sued by Dominion Voting Systems for broadcasting conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

And both Murdoch and his son Lachlan are named in a text $1.6 billion lawsuit for acting with “actual malice” in letting Fox News broadcast claims that the election was rigged. 

Some in the know have indicated that the friendship between Murdoch and Trump has been one of convenience. 

The New York Post was friendly toward Trump during his divorce from Ivana Trump. He said that the Page Six column helped him raise his stature in New York City.

But a year before Trump was elected, the Times reported that Murdoch thought he was a “phony.”

And when Trump went after the senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Murdoch wrote on Twitter: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?” 

But when Trump actually got elected, Murdoch put the friendship back together. 

Could the tide turn again and bring these moguls back together?