Is It Possible That Trump and Murdoch Will Split? It’s More of a Trial Separation, I Guess!

Two recent editorials critical of former President Trump and his role in the Jan. 6 rebellion have sparked a lot of discussion in the media. New York Post and Wall Street Journal editorial boards lambasted Trump, with the Post calling Trump “unworthy” of a second term in the White House, according to the New York Times. Murdoch’s media company has long been seen as an advocate for Trump, therefore some saw these editorials as evidence that Murdoch’s media empire is turning against the former president.

Other people, including myself in a recent newsletter, aren’t so sure Murdoch is done with President Trump. The only way that will happen is if Fox News, Rupert Murdoch’s other major media outlet, begins to relentlessly attack Donald Trump. Murdoch hasn’t entirely turned his back on Trump as long as Fox News’ primetime stars like Tucker Carlson continue to support Trump while downplaying the events of Jan. 6, as well as the House select committee hearings about it.

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For all we know, it could be that Fox News hasn’t openly stepped off the Trump bandwagon, or that they never will. However, it could demonstrate its true colors by hopping on the bandwagon of someone else.” Murdoch has no friends,” said Jack Shafer in a Politico column. No one can count on him. He lacks morality. No, it doesn’t, and it never will. He has consistently supported politicians in exchange for money or favors.

Trump, who is nearing the end of his political career, is now a pawn for the Journal and the Post, whose simultaneous revelations of Trump’s constitutional violations serve as a convenient foil for the orange man. Every time a more attractive political partner appears, Murdoch, ever the political cad, swoons and dumps them. Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, is expected to be Rupert Murdoch’s next love interest.”

Murdoch-Trump was never a solid partnership in the first place. This union has been heading towards breakupville for some time now. As for the rumors of Murdoch-demise, Trump’s Shafer comes to the same conclusion as many others: they’re way overblown. Or, to use Shafer’s phrase, “not the seismic event that some imagine it to be.” There will be plenty of time for Murdoch to do what he typically does: Place his wager on the leading pony if Trump runs for president in 2024 and bury the field.

Is it possible that Trump and Murdoch will split? It's more of a trial separation, I guess..
Is it possible that Trump and Murdoch will split? It’s more of a trial separation, I guess..

There will be a reconciliation between Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump if they decide it is to their mutual advantage to do so. The bottom line is that Murdoch and Trump aren’t getting divorced. We’ll call it a test separation for the time being.

Vox Media Has Announced a Round of Layoffs

Vox Media is shedding 39 employees, or less than 2% of its workforce, as a result. “The current economic conditions are affecting companies like ours in numerous ways, with supply chain concerns cutting marketing and advertising expenditures across industries and economic pressures changing the way that customers spend,” Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff wrote in a message published by multiple media sources. We’re trying to get ahead of more uncertain times by cutting back on programs that aren’t as critical or require less staff in the current context.

Among Vox’s most popular brands are New York Magazine, The Verge, Vulture, Thrillist, and Popsugar. The corporation is cutting off employees in a few critical departments, including recruiting, some editing responsibilities, and sales, according to Sara Fischer of Axios. Some areas inside Thrillist, the company’s lifestyle website, would be affected by the cuts. An insider tells us that the corporation will continue to employ for vital positions, but it will slow the pace of hiring in the future.

The media Has Won this Round

Nick Sandman, remember him? When he attended the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., in 2019, he was a Covington Catholic High School student from Kentucky. Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, was shown face-to-face with him in videos and images that quickly went viral. The New York Times, Gannett, ABC, CBS, and Rolling Stone were all named as defendants in Sandman’s defamation suit against the media giants.

An activist who claimed Sandman was obstructing and intimidating him was the source of the defamation accusation, according to the suit. A federal judge has now decided in favor of the news organizations. The news organizations “were reporting an issue of considerable public interest, and they recounted Phillips’ first-person view of what he experienced,” noted U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman this week. This would let the reader know that Phillips was merely relaying his account of the incident.”

“The Court believes that Phillips’s comments that Sandmann ‘blocked’ him and ‘wouldn’t allow (him) to retreat’ are objectively unverifiable and thus unactionable opinions,” wrote Bertelsman. Reasonable readers will instead deduce that Phillips was simply expressing his point of view on the matter. As a result, the reader would be unable to determine what constitutes ‘blocking’ another person in such a wide-open space as the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.”

Todd McMurtry, Sandman’s attorney, issued a statement saying, “We are dissatisfied with the judgment. “We’re going to appeal.” New York Times spokesperson Ted Johnson said, “We welcome the decision… by the federal district court in Kentucky, granting judgment in favor of The Times along with numerous other news organizations. The decision in the lawsuit reaffirms that The Times offered a fair portrayal of the debate that surrounded the events on the National Mall” on September 11, 2001

Check out Aaron Keller’s Law & Crime piece for more information on the ruling.

What are Your Thoughts on the Current Conditions?

This week, the New York Times announced a new employee. The New York Times has hired John Keefe to serve as the paper’s new weather data editor. A new group under his leadership will work to establish The Times as a go-to source for information on extreme weather, according to the paper. As a senior data and images editor at CNN, Keefe joins the Times. While at the Times, he was a graphics editor. Prior to that, he was a member of CNN’s climate change team.

a memo from associate managing editor Matthew Ericson read: “At The Times, John will manage a team to examine all types of weather occurrences — including hurricanes, severe storms, droughts, heat waves, and the day-to-day weather that influences our lives — on many platforms. Among the projects, he’ll be working on are wildfire maps, storm tracks, and high heat forecasts. The team will work with other departments, particularly graphics and national, to investigate new, always-on tracking capabilities and look for weather data sources for daily and ongoing coverage.” For the team, Ericson said that opportunities will be advertised soon.