Murdoch Turns on Trump — an Inflexion Point?

This story, on CNN, has not gotten nearly enough attention.

Basically, Rupert Murdoch has had it with Trump, with editorials in his papers like the Wall Street Journal, trashing him.  As reported by CNN:

Murdoch’s most prestigious outlet, the Wall Street Journal, ran an eye-popping editorial in its conservative-leaning opinion pages on Tuesday.

Titled “The Trumps and the Truth,” the editorial scolded the president’s family for withholding information about Russia-related meetings and discussions.

It said the political realities of Washington “will destroy Mr. Trump, his family and their business reputation unless they change their strategy toward the Russia probe. They don’t have much more time to do it.”

The editorial also said that “denouncing leaks as ‘fake news’ won’t wash as a counter-strategy beyond the President’s base, as Mr. Trump’s latest 36% approval rating shows.”

It was the latest in a series of eyebrow-raising editorials. Last week Murdoch’s New York tabloid, the New York Post, labeled Donald Trump Jr. an “idiot” and “criminally stupid.”

Here, by way of reminder, is the Guardian’s 1997 story reporting on Murdoch’s endorsement of Blair and Labor in that election.

The Sun tells its readers today to vote Labour, switching sides after more than 20 years of unswerving support for the Tory party.

In a front page article headlined ‘The Sun Backs Blair’, the paper, which has a daily readership of more than 10 million, says Tony Blair should be the next prime minister.

The Labour leader is the ‘breath of fresh air’ that Britain needs, the editorial says. The Tories are ‘tired, divided and rudderless’ and no longer deserve support.

The paper declares: ‘This is the election for the millennium. In six weeks’ time, Britain will vote for a government to take it into the 21st century.

‘The people need a leader with vision, purpose and courage who can inspire them and fire their imaginations. The Sun believes that man is Tony Blair.’

Editor Stuart Higgins said last night: ‘This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We consider Mr Blair has all the qualities of leadership required to take this great country forward. The Tories are tired, divided and need a good rest to regroup.

No prizes for remembering who won that election, after a long Labour drought, or for noticing the current relevance of the phrase “tired, divided and need a good rest to regroup.”

If this is a precursor of where Fox News is going to go, it’s all over for the Donald.

 

 

The Right Wing Press Loses Its Credibility if They Do Noting to Pressure Trump on Press Access

Fox, the Wall Street Journal and friends, now face a critical pass-fail test.  As the Times put it:

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC and The Huffington Post were among those shut out of the briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer admitted only reporters from a group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fox News also attended.

Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions. The Washington Post did not send a reporter to the session.

Is the response of the right wing press, to paraphrase Martin Miemoeller:

First they came for the mainstream press, and we did not speak out, because we are not mainstream press.   .    .   .

And here the immediate needed action, shown by AP and Time, is simple.  If you want to talk to us, you have to talk to everyone.

If those who attended the gaggle, fail this test again, they will have shown that political loyalty and short term economic interest trump freedom of the press.  So, they have lost all intellectual credibility, and so have any who continue to work for them.

This is a pivotal moment of choice.  History will hold them accountable, whatever else happens.