In the closing weeks of the 2020 presidential election, the bad news for Donald Trump just keeps piling up. Every new poll that is published shows him falling farther behind Joe Biden, including those that are devotedly biased toward Trump. He’s losing in most of the critical battleground states. His crazed rhetoric keeps descending into an abyss of dementia. He’s even threatening to go to war against aliens (from Mars, not Mexico).
Now the chairman of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, is predicting that Trump is going to lose to Biden in a landslide. This is an election year defection that should rattle the rafters of Trump’s campaign operation. Murdoch has been a reliable supporter of Trump for years (even if that support has been reciprocated). And his cable network is Trump’s de facto Ministry of Propaganda. According to the Daily Beast (via Talking Points Memo)…
“Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has predicted privately that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will defeat President Donald Trump in the presidential election in a landslide victory, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.
“The Australian-born billionaire who has been an influential supporter of the President in the past has remarked to close associates that Trump is his own worst enemy, according to the Daily Beast. Murdoch suggested to at least three Daily Beast sources that Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic poorly and ignored advice on how to better manage it, which has created a never-ending crisis for his administration.”
The suggestion that Trump has “handled the COVID-19 pandemic poorly” is a gross understatement. The deaths of more than 216,000 Americans, along with 7.5 million infected, many of whom will have permanent disabilities, is better described as mass murder. And it is Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance, that is directly responsible. And Trump’s newly adopted position on “herd immunity” would guarantee more than two million fatalities according to epidemiology experts.
Murdoch’s opinion on the likely outcome of the presidential race does not immunize him from criticism for his years of disseminating lies aimed at Democrats. He is not endorsing Biden. He is merely expressing his analysis of the direction of the campaign. But the harm that Fox News has done to the nation under his direction is immeasurable.
That’s especially true with regard to the coronavirus pandemic that Murdoch is suddenly so worried about. Fox News has been relentlessly supporting and advancing Trump’s tragically misguided view that COVID-19 is nothing to be concerned about. They say that it’s no worse than the flu and will disappear like magic (never mind that thousands are still dying every week). And they continue to air, and positively comment on, Trump’s Coronavirus Super Spreader Rallies wherein he recklessly repeats these lies that will undoubtedly bring more suffering and grieving.
What’s more, instead of reporting on the health crisis, Fox News is deflecting to ludicrous conspiracy theories about Biden and his family. Most recently they are obsessing over a baseless story in Murdoch’s New York Post that purportedly connects Biden to some sort of chicanery in Ukraine. Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that the story has no evidence of any wrongdoing, or even that what they allege is unlawful. The Post’s story has been documented to be aligned with Russian propaganda aimed at disrupting the U.S. election. So Murdoch, Fox News, and Trump (who has been tweeting about this and raising it during his cult rallies) are now actively abetting Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election. As reported by David Corn in Mother Jones:
“The key point of the article was predicated on false information that [Rudy] Giuliani has been spreading for a long time—and that appears to be linked to a Russian disinformation operation that the Post neglected to note in its article. That is, the Post piece, based on an unproven smear, is in sync with Moscow’s ongoing effort to influence the 2020 election to help President Donald Trump retain power.”
Corn poignantly notes that “The New York Post has provided all reporters a wonderful tutorial on how to be a useful idiot for Russia.” And the same goes for Fox News since they are plastering this story all over their air. Which makes Murdoch’s lament about Trump’s floundering reelection campaign utterly meaningless. It doesn’t immunize him from the guilt of having helped Trump to spread lies along with a deadly virus. He is as responsible for the tragic consequences as Trump, because he’s been right by his side as Trump led America down a deadly path. And if Trump does lose in a landslide, Murdoch can take at least half the credit for it. As well as the blame for all the harm that Trump’s has caused in the past four years.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.