Is Rupert Murdoch Turning on Trump?

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

Has Rupert Murdoch — owner of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post — turned on Donald Trump?

Signs certainly are pointing that way, but maybe we all need to tap the breaks before coming to any hard conclusions.

We’ve been down this road before.

Certainly, many conservatives are trying to pin the lack of a red wave in this year’s midterms on Trump. Many of the high-profile candidates Trump backed did not perform well in their elections. And some of those critics have made their voices known on Fox News and other places this week. In addition, Murdoch’s properties appear to be patting the back of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who easily won reelection and is getting lots of buzz as the possible 2024 Republican nominee for president.

On Wednesday, the New York Post front page featured DeSantis with the headline “DeFuture.”

But Thursday’s front page was a stunner.

It featured an unflattering photo illustration of Trump sitting on a brick wall with the headline “Trumpty Dumpty.” It also said, “Don (who couldn’t build a wall) had a great fall — can all the GOP’s men put the party back together again?”

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board had an editorial with this headline: “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.”

So that’s two big Murdoch properties taking shots at Trump.

But before we declare that Murdoch is through with Trump, it should be noted that this is not the first time there were signs that Murdoch seemed to be moving on from Trump. Back in July, following a damning hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, both the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal wrote editorials blasting Trump, saying he was unworthy to be president and “utterly failed” his duties on Jan. 6.

Meanwhile, Trump took to his Truth Social network Thursday to insist he was not “furious,” as some have reported, that many of the candidates he backed did not win their elections. And he blasted Fox News along the way, writing, “Despite having picked so many winners, I have to put up with the Fake News. For me, Fox News was always gone, even in 2015-16 when I began my ‘journey,’ but now they’re really gone. Such an opportunity for another media outlet to make an absolute fortune, and do good for America. Let’s see what happens?”

Then Trump really went off. In more posts on Truth Social on Thursday evening, he blasted Murdoch’s NewsCorp and DeSantis. Trump said the New York Post was “no longer great.” He also wrote, “If CNN were smart, they’d open up a Conservative network, only have me on, and it would be the most successful network in History. Fox only made it because of me.”

He also took credit for Twitter’s success. And he went after DeSantis, once again calling him “DeSanctimonious,” among other insults. His unhinged rant also questioned how his endorsed candidate, Mehmet Oz, lost in Pennsylvania, while, with no proof, accusing Pennsylvania of being corrupt.

And yet you could see a day when Murdoch and Trump kiss and make up, so to speak, because we’ve seen this all before.

And for a bit more, check out this Twitter thread by Washington Post media reporter Sarah Ellison. She writes that this apparent fraying of the relationship between Murdoch and Trump is “not a shock.” But Ellison also smartly points out, “of course, Rupert can always change his mind, as he has done before.”

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