For Rupert Murdoch in late 2020 it was crazy that

For Rupert Murdoch, in late 2020, it was “crazy” that Trump was yelling at the stolen presidential election

“Crazy” and “biased”: This is the attack that Rupert Murdoch, a conservative media magnate like Fox News, launched in late 2020 against the camp of Donald Trump, who claimed the American presidential election was stolen from him by Joe Biden.

It’s been a few years since the honeymoon ended between the Trumpists and the Fox News nugget of the News Corporation empire of Australian-American billionaire Rupert Murdoch, well-liked by conservatives and the right-wing in the United States.

But the full content of a 2021 defamation lawsuit against Fox News, filed by electronic voting machine maker Dominion, sheds a very detailed light and testifies to a relationship between Trump and Murdoch that appears to have deteriorated.

Rupert Murdoch, now 91, had begun breaking ground against Republican Trump’s camp in late 2020, according to this 192-page court document released Thursday night by the Delaware (Northeast) State Judiciary. in messages to Fox News executives. Though broadcast and public, the claims challenging Democrat Biden’s election on November 7, 2020 thrived on television sets.

Privately, star Fox presenters such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who are known for their conservative positioning, even made fun of President Trump, who was elected in November 2016 but defeated by Democrat Joe Biden four years later.

These revelations, some of which are known, come from the file of the defamation lawsuit filed in March 2021, for which the Dominion company is demanding $1.6 billion in damages.

This manufacturer has been vilified by Fox News, which has claimed that its electronic voting machines have been used in several places in the United States and even in Venezuela in the past to falsify the results on behalf of the late President Hugo Chavez.

But when Donald Trump’s advisers, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, exposed an alleged large-scale fraud to the press, Murdoch immediately wrote to Fox News Media boss Suzanne Scott.

In the email, titled “Watching Giuliani!” at the time, Murdoch called the Trumpist intervention “really crazy stuff. And harmful,” the court document said. The News Corporation founder writes again: “A terrible thing that hurts everyone, I’m afraid”.

Exchanges between Fox commentators also became public: Carlson confides in Ingraham that her colleague “Sidney Powell is a liar”.

“I caught her in the act, it’s crazy,” he wrote, and Ingraham responded that “Sidney is completely crazy” and that “no one is (anymore) going to work with her.”

The very right-handed presenter Sean Hannity also finds in a message that “Rudy (Giuliani) is acting like a madman”.

It must be said that Fox News inflamed the ire of the Trumpists by becoming the first American outlet to announce the victory of … Biden in the state of Arizona on the evening of November 7, 2020.

A Fox News spokeswoman on Friday criticized Dominion for “taking quotes (in the complaint) out of context.”

“Dominion will make a lot of noise and confusion (…) but the heart of the matter remains freedom of the press and freedom of expression, fundamental rights bestowed by the Constitution,” she told AFP in an email.

In fact, defamation lawsuits in the United States are constrained by the sacrosanct freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and cases most often end in a settlement.

Even if it risks damaging the reputation and accounts of Fox, one of America’s five national television networks, along with CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS.