Rupert Murdoch has decided Donald Trump is finished, and shifted his media empire’s allegiances
Donald Trump was once the darling of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. But the media mogul appears to have struck upon another right-wing disruptor to back – one without the storming of the Capitol and ludicrous claims of a rigged election among his baggage.
One person familiar with the media mogul’s views has told i Mr Murdoch is now “all in” on backing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the next Republican Presidential candidate after “dumping Trump”.
It is also understood that while Mr Murdoch, who is 91, still holds sway over the direction of his empire, it is his son Lachlan who is leading the charge to back a Republican successor to Trump in the November 2024 Presidential election.
In recent weeks, the Murdochs’ US media outlets – including Fox News, the New York Post and Wall Street Journal – have been increasingly critical of former President Donald Trump and what is viewed as “his increasingly irrational behaviour”.
In a recent column in the New York Post, Morgan showed he had lost his affinity with the former President.
Morgan wrote of Trump: “The once-omnipotent GOP beast bestriding the American political world like a paw-crunching King Kong is now seeing his stranglehold over the party ebb away faster than the infamous gorilla tumbled to his demise from the Empire State Building after being shot by US Navy planes.”
The source close to Murdoch says: “Rupert is all in with DeSantis now. The Senate hearings over the January 6th storming of the Capitol and Trump’s increasing irrational behaviour have convinced Rupert that the former President should stay just that – a former president.”
The source adds that while “Rupert still sets the tone” across his media groups, it is Lachlan – co-chairman of News Corp and executive chairman and chief executive of Fox Corporation – who is implementing his father’s wishes “with gusto”.
“As much as Rupert views DeSantis as the future of the Republican Party, he also sees Lachlan as the future of his business. If anything, Lachlan is even more pro-DeSantis than his father and would have played a big role in turning empire’s back on Trump. Lachlan has taken to dumping Trump with a great deal of gusto.”
It’s not just Morgan who has been vocal in his criticism of Mr Trump. A host of Wall Street Journal columnists have piled in against Trump, including Peggy Noonan who penned a plea for Republicans to looks elsewhere for their next contender for the White House in a piece entitled “Trump Voters Need a New Direction“.
Meanwhile, back at the Post, Michael Goodwin wrote that “although he [Trump] is clearly still a huge power within the GOP, his old feuds and grievances already sound stale and by 2024, they are not likely to inspire the hope and confidence America desperately needs”.Who is Ron DeSantis?Ronald Dion DeSantis born in Jacksonville, Florida, in September 1978, and is Rupert Murdoch current favourite to replace Donald Trump at the top of the Presidential ticket in the next in November 2024.
The son of a TV ratings box installer and a nurse, he made his way to Yale before studying at Harvard Law School. In 2004 he served as an officer in the US Navy, where he was decorated for his service in Iraq.
After returning from service in Iraq in 2007, he worked in the US Department of Justice as a special assistant US Attorney in the Middle District of Florida, a position he held until 2010.
He first gained political office when elected to Congress in 2012, where he became a founding member of the right wing Freedom Caucus and was a fierce ally of President Donald Trump.
During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign in Florida, DeSantis closely aligned himself with Trump, which helped him scrape to victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum with a mere 0.4 per cent margin of victory.
While in the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, DeSantis has proven to be everything Trump was – remains for some – to the populist right of the Republican Party.
He was one of the first US Governors to lift restrictions around Covid-19 in what his critics claim led to many more fatalities, which earned him the nickname “DeathSantis”.
He is anti-choice on abortions, against same-sex marriage, and voted against the re-authorising the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.
He is pro-choice on Covid vaccinations and an advocate of a small state and tax cuts.
DeSantis has also declared war on Florida schools’ alleged attempt to implement Critical Race Theory into education.
One of his key legislative efforts is the Stop WOKE Act, which took effect earlier this month.
The law, which easily moved through the Republican-controlled legislature, would ban lessons and training on race and diversity in schools and in the workplace.
It was one of many nationwide attacks on education in schools under the guise of Critical Race Theory, which is a discipline taught in graduate schools and higher education that seeks to understand how racism has shaped US laws and how those laws have continued to impact the lives of non-white people.
Supporters of the Stop WOKE Act say that Critical Race Theory is discriminatory, and that people should not be taught that some races or sexes are inherently oppressed or privileged.
Pier Morgan recently wrote in his New York Post column that DeSantis had “indisputably proven himself to be a bold, fearless, combative and determined leader”.
The Florida Governor is married to Casey, a former news anchor in Florida, and has two young children, Madison and Mason.Fox News, it was built for Murdoch by the now disgraced Roger Ailes to achieve a single purpose: to replace the smoke-filled rooms frequented by Republican grandees and become the organisation where the party’s Presidential candidate is selected, and then pushed into the White House.
Reference: David Parsley