What is Rupert Murdoch until? At 92, he takes up the challenge of recharging his batteries FoxNewsyet its management remains as enigmatic as its policy.
Hollywood remembers that for 30 years Murdoch owned, then broke up, a major movie company, but never clarified whether he loved or hated the movies. He resolutely runs what is technically a family business, but his relationship with his family (and with the marriage candidates) remains unsettled.
So who is Rupert? A key player for a generation of global journalism, he wouldn’t be a comfortable mix with the participants in this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Roger Ailes, the first director of Fox News, once explained to me: “Rupert is a great man, whoever he is. Murdoch supported Ailes in building a colossus of news, then reinforced his self-destruction.
If few understand Murdoch, few can define Tucker Carlson either. That’s why Murdoch created it, associates claim, and now promptly rejects it.
“Rupert goes where the money is,” says a longtime billionaire associate. “There are no morality or truth control buttons.” Curiously, the bands of the dominion trial offered insight into the opinions of major newsmakers, but revealed little of Rupert’s beliefs.
News industry gurus predict that he and his son Lachlan will support the hard-right view at Fox News, but with an inclination toward moderation, emulating changes at the wall street journal.
Battered for bias during Donald Trump’s early years, the LogNews coverage is now appreciated by readers for its clarity and objectivity. By contrast, his editorials and editorials are both far-right Trumpian, yet anti-Trump.
Cultural historians are likely to take a critical view of Rupert Murdoch’s long-term impact. Its newspapers around the world have weathered a repeat of bitter scandals and litigation.
It was revealed last week that Murdoch’s press group paid a large sum to Prince William in 2020 to settle phone hacking allegations. This revelation stems from the court records of Prince Harry, who is suing Murdoch’s press group over other royal family issues.
These revelations are reminiscent of previous hacking scandals that led to the shutdown of world news, once a major profit generator Murdoch. In this scandal, Murdoch reporters hacked into the phone of a murdered 13-year-old British girl.
The Fox empire, after reaching a $787.5 million settlement in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit, now faces a $2.7 billion lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting technology company.
THE New York Post, once a respected if hesitant liberal newspaper, has maintained itself as a lively if strident voice of the right. THE Log has in the meantime strengthened its digital initiatives and preserved its results.
By contrast, Fox News, in its dedication to the cultural divide, has drifted into a disaster zone of litigation similar to its former hero, Trump. Some advertisers have taken cover as viewers seek less combative strongholds.
On the entertainment side, some in Hollywood believe Murdoch left 20th Century Fox a much weaker player than when he found it. There’s also some debate over whether Disney overpaid for the assets, prompting it to make drastic cuts at this time.
Meanwhile, Murdoch continues his power plays, confusing his personal role in decision-making. During his cinematic reign, I found myself sitting directly in front of Murdoch for an important screening of a new Fox film called Speed.
At the end of the film, Murdoch stood up. “Well, it’s a movie,” he said.
A key associate glanced over at me, muttering, “And that’s a more accurate opinion than he usually offers.”
Fortunately, Rupert no longer needs to see movies.