“Coordinated effort across Fox News, WSJ and NY Post”: Rupert Murdoch dumps "biggest loser" Trump

"They have turned on him," said MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. "They want him gone"

By Igor Derysh

Senior News Editor

Published November 10, 2022 9:27AM (EST)

Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Right-wing billionaire Rupert Murdoch's media outlets are pleading for the Republican Party to move on from former President Donald Trump after a disappointing midterm showing by the GOP.

Murdoch's outlets — which include Fox News, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal — have blasted Trump with a barrage of negative headlines while boosting Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the future of the party.

The New York Post, which dubbed the Florida governor "DeFuture" on Wednesday, followed up on Thursday with a brutal cover labeling him "Trumpty Dumpty."

"After three straight national tallies in which either he or his party or both were hammered by the national electorate, it's time for even his stans to accept the truth: Toxic Trump is the political equivalent of a can of Raid," columnist John Podhoretz wrote in an accompanying editorial. "What Tuesday night's results suggest is that Trump is perhaps the most profound vote-repellant in modern American history. The surest way to lose in these midterms was to be a politician endorsed by Trump. This is not hyperbole."

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board was even harsher, branding Trump as "the Republican Party's biggest loser," knocking him for flopping in elections in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

"What will Democrats do when Donald Trump isn't around to lose elections? We have to wonder because on Tuesday Democrats succeeded again in making the former President a central campaign issue, and Mr. Trump helped them do it," the editorial said.

Fox News pundits have also increasingly blasted Trump and touted DeSantis as the future of the GOP.

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If Republicans ultimately fail to win control of the Senate, "Donald Trump costs us the Senate twice in a row," conservative pundit Marc Thiessen complained on Fox News Tuesday night. "In 2020, voters didn't reject Trumpism. They rejected Trump," he added, slamming the party for nominating unelectable 2020 deniers and "squandering a historic opportunity."

Even former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany urged Trump to delay his "big announcement" later this month to avoid interfering with Republicans' chances of winning the Senate runoff in Georgia and suggested that DeSantis should be the one to campaign for Republican nominee Herschel Walker.

"I think we've got to make strategic calculations," she said on Fox News. "Governor DeSantis, I think he should be welcome to the state given what happened last night. You've got to look you got to look at the realities on the ground. And Herschel Walker, we've got to win the Senate. That's it, guys. Got to win the Senate."

That message has been echoed across Fox stations since the midterms, according to The Washington Post.

"Trump is the past," said Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney.

Fox News digital headlines have similarly called Trump the "biggest loser" while hailing DeSantis as "the new Republican Party leader."

Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz, a longtime Trump ally, declared DeSantis "probably one of the front-runners — if not the front-runner — to become the next president of the United States of America."

Chaffetz dinged Trump for calling the Florida governor "Ron DeSanctimonious" at a pre-midterm rally.

"Even before the votes were closed, to start to take shots at Ron DeSantis?" Chaffetz asked. "Donald Trump's not going to like this, but I've got to tell you, the people I talk to, they say: 'We love Donald Trump. … But, you know what, we don't like all the drama. We like Ron DeSantis.' That's what I hear."

The New York Times' Maggie Haberman called the message a "coordinated effort across Fox News, WSJ and the NY Post."

"Murdoch holdings are going all in for DeSantis," she tweeted.

"It's not an accident," a person familiar with how Murdoch runs his empire told CNN.

"They have turned on him," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Thursday, listing the barrage of headlines attacking Trump from the right, adding, "They want this guy gone."

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's senior news editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

MORE FROM Igor Derysh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Donald Trump Elections Fox News Politics Ron Desantis Rupert Murdoch