Twitter critics are lining up to demand Australian-born right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch be stripped of his U.S. citizenship and deported after undermining American democracy with a cascade of recently revealed Fox News lies about the 2020 presidential election.
Murdoch, whose media operations frequently rail against immigration, became an American citizen in 1985, which allowed him to circumvent a law barring foreign nationals from owning more than 20% of a U.S. broadcasting license.
(Fox News host Tucker Carlson had an ironic moment on the air just last year about the damage foreign-born billionaires can wreak in a nation.)
Despite Murdoch’s lucrative citizenship switch, he’s apparently no big fan of U.S. democracy. He and Fox News continued to peddle Donald Trump’s baseless claim of a fraudulent presidential election that news hosts and executives didn’t believe, according to a bombshell brief filed earlier this week.
Murdoch blasted a memorably unhinged press conference by Trump ally Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell after Trump’s election loss that bizarrely claimed voting machine software had been manipulated in a plot spearheaded by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who had been in the grave for seven years by then.
“Really crazy stuff. And damaging,” Murdoch wrote in a November 2020 text message, revealed in a brief filed Thursday by attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems. The company is suing Fox News and its parent Fox Corporation for $1.6 billion over alleged defamation.
Carlson said in a message obtained by Dominion that Powell was “lying” about having proof of her wild claims and called Trump a “demonic force,” according to the brief. Fox executives were so worried about the danger Trump posed that they refused to allow him on Lou Dobbs’ program on Jan. 6, 2021, deeming that to do so would be “irresponsible,” the brief noted.
Yet despite that, Murdoch’s Fox continued to support Trump and his tale of a rigged election to pander to the former president’s supporters.
Now, his enemies are raging on Twitter to boot him out of the country.
Murdoch could not immediately be reached for comment.
Fox is defending itself in Dominion’s defamation case by arguing that the company has “cherry-picked quotes,” and that “freedom of the press and freedom of speech are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution.” But courts in the past have not always protected deliberate lying.
Dominion is arguing in its brief that Fox News hosts and executives did not believe Trump’s rigged election lie, yet deliberately continued to peddle the story on the network, which Dominion claims meets the bar for defamation.