5 stunners from Rupert Murdoch’s interrogation at the Dominion
Rupert Murdoch’s two-day testimony as his Fox News empire seeks to thwart a $1.6 billion lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems has been widely cited for his candid assessments of former President Donald Trump and his network’s top anchors.
Among those widely reported revelations, Murdoch testified that some of Fox’s prime-time stars effectively “endorsed” the 2020 election conspiracy theories, which he called “really crazy stuff.” It is now known that he gave Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner confidential information about the advertising and campaign strategy of then-candidate Joe Biden. Dominion highlighted Murdoch’s expression of regret: “I wish we had done more to denounce it in hindsight.”
All of these revelations made countless headlines as Dominion and Fox News prepare for a six-week trial in April.
More detailed passages of Murdoch’s testimony, released Tuesday night, show that it only scratches the surface.
1. Before denouncing the conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election, Murdoch was ambivalent.
For a statement generally filled with scathing assessments of Trump and Fox personalities, Murdoch began his questioning quite reluctantly about his beliefs about the election.
When asked multiple times if he believed Dominion rigged the election and committed fraud, Murdoch replied, “I haven’t seen any evidence.” Dominion’s attorney, Justin Nelson, said he was asking for Murdoch’s personal opinion.
“I honestly don’t know,” Murdoch replied.
“You don’t know?” Nelson needled.
“I haven’t seen any evidence of that,” Murdoch replied.
When asked about theories about voter fraud by algorithms, Murdoch got philosophical: “With algorithms, I never know. In our business, we suffer from other people using algorithms.” He emphasized that he “isn’t saying anything happened to Dominion”.
“I’m just saying that algorithms are a bit mysterious,” Murdoch said.
After this back-and-forth, Dominion Murdoch’s attorney recalled that the testimony was “as if we are facing a jury,” adding that an actual jury would assess his credibility based on his answers. Nelson pressed for yes or no answers – and quickly got them from Murdoch.
“According to your current knowledge, do you believe that Dominion software and algorithms manipulated the 2020 vote count?” asked the attorney.
“No,” Murdoch replied.
He gave the same answer when asked if he had seen credible evidence that algorithms had rigged the vote.
2. Murdoch’s attacks on Trump and Fox personalities are more brutal than you thought.
Despite this cautious start, Murdoch has elsewhere given honest, even scathing, statements about Trump and election conspiracy theories.
“You called Mr. Trump ‘just nuts’?” Dominion’s attorney asked.
“I’m sure,” Murdoch replied.
“You called him ‘unable to express his egomania’?”
“Can’t help it,” Murdoch corrected.
Murdoch agreed that he “maybe” said the former president was “crazy, maybe clinical”.
“You called him crazy a few times?”
“I call a lot of people crazy, yes,” Murdoch replied.
Murdoch said he agrees that the “Republican Party is destroying itself on Trump’s altar” and that he believes Trump is an “overblown braggart”.
His assessment of Fox presenter Lou Dobbs was even more rending.
“What was wrong with Lou Dobbs other than being an extremist?” asked Nelson.
“That’s a very big thing to go wrong,” Murdoch quipped.
In the statement, Murdoch stated that when the late Fox CEO Roger Ailes hired Dobbs, he knew “nothing” about Dobbs and had hardly heard of him.
Murdoch also testified that he did not consider Trump an extremist.
“He uses a lot of exaggeration sometimes, but not really in action,” he said.
When Dominion’s attorney noted that Trump was asking for the constitution to be suspended, Murdoch said simply, “I think that’s profoundly wrong.”
Murdoch also gave a scathing assessment of Maria Bartiromo’s breakfast show: “It has zero viewers,” he said.
3. Murdoch denied giving Kushner unaired Biden promotional information — before admitting it.
On the second day of his testimony, Murdoch spoke of his friendship and conversations with Trump’s son-in-law, whom he judged much friendlier.
When first asked if he had allowed Kushner a look at Biden ads, Murdoch replied briefly, “No.” He changed that answer when he was shown exhibits that suggested he had done just that.
“My folks tell me his ads are a lot better than yours creatively,” Murdoch was quoted as saying in an email to Kushner on Sept. 24, 2022. “I’m just passing it on.”
Dominion’s attorney urged him whether it was “appropriate” to give an opposing campaign a hint at a rival’s ad before it goes public, and Murdoch passed it off as more personal than politics.
“I was trying to help Mr. Kushner,” Murdoch testified. “He is a friend of mine.”
Under pressure, Murdoch agreed that he was also trying to help the Trump campaign.
“Right,” said Murdoch. “I guess so.”
In mid-October, Murdoch wrote to Kushner again: “More material was coming out on Biden, hopefully before the debate,” the statement said.
4. Murdoch said things have been “downhill” for “extreme partisan” Rudy Giuliani since his time as New York City mayor.
When Rudy Giuliani held his much-mocked press conference announcing his failed 2020 election lawsuits, Murdoch famously branded his performance as “really crazy stuff” and “harmful.”
Murdoch agreed when asked that the mere fact that he was advising Trump was “really bad”.
“It was a personal observation,” Murdoch said. “I’ve known Mr. Giuliani for 20 years when he was a very good mayor of New York, but things have been going downhill since then.”
Murdoch said Giuliani’s “judgment was bad” and that he “became an extreme partisan”.
5. Rupert Murdoch has claimed under oath that he had not read Law&Crime’s sister site, Mediaite – until evidence showed otherwise.
Law&Crime’s sister site Mediaite went on a winning streak after a Dominion filing revealed that Murdoch acknowledged working on her founding editor Colby Hall’s column entitled “Fox News Identity Crisis: Indulge Trump’s Election Conspiracy or Reject It … and Watch Its.” Audience” “something true” is fleeing?”
The published portions of Murdoch’s testimonies reveal more of the backstory, including his emphatic denial of being one of their readers.
“Is it your testimony under oath?” Nelson said.
“I don’t read Mediaite,” Murdoch replied.
Pressured to have his quote accept part of the truth of the column, Murdoch deflected: “I’m sure there are elements of truth in it, but not all.”
Murdoch branded Mediaite an “old left enemy” and defended Tucker Carlson for his pushback against Sidney Powell.
“The way he challenged this crazy wannabe lawyer was really awesome,” Murdoch said, referencing Carlson’s slur against Powell.
Private communications later showed that Carlson referred to Powell as “f—ing b—-” away from her presence and off the air.
Read the Murdoch statements here.
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https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/5-surprising-passages-from-rupert-murdochs-deposition-you-probably-didnt-hear-about/ 5 stunners from Rupert Murdoch’s interrogation at the Dominion