As Trump hangs on, his conservative allies mostly stick by his side — except for Rupert Murdoch. It’s Wednesday, and this is your politics tip sheet. Sign up here to get On Politics in your inbox every weekday.
Biden putting on a mask after delivering remarks on the Affordable Care Act in Wilmington, Del.
As Trump fights the election result, has Murdoch moved on?
In his efforts to paint the election as illegitimate, Trump may have thought he could count on Rupert Murdoch. After all, more than arguably any other force in American politics, Murdoch’s media empire served to seed the ground for Trump’s brand of reality-denying, screen-savvy political domination — and then defended his narratives once he reached the Oval Office.
But in the past week, as our media correspondent Michael M. Grynbaum reports, Murdoch’s publications — from Fox News to The New York Post to The Wall Street Journal — have broadly refused to take the bait as the president pushes a series of vague, nonspecific arguments about election fraud and mismanagement.
Fox has refused, despite the Trump campaign’s calls to Murdoch himself in England, to retract its call of Arizona for Biden. The Post emblazoned its front page on Sunday with the words “IT’S JOE TIME,” accompanied by an image of Biden posing and beaming. And The Journal’s editorial page has been gently urging Trump to gracefully accept defeat.
Not all of Fox’s anchors are ready to move on. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have criticized some of their colleagues on-air for pushing back against the Trump team’s falsehoods. But the Murdoch empire appears more or less prepared to confront a new day, with Biden in the White House.
As one longtime Murdoch lieutenant told Michael, “They don’t tend to back losers.”