Rupert Murdoch, the influential right-wing media mogul, has announced his retirement from the boards of Fox and News Corp. This decision marks a significant moment in the media industry as Murdoch leaves behind a controversial legacy that has had a lasting impact on politics, global media, and the world as a whole.
One of the most glaring examples of Murdoch’s influence was his media empire’s role in promoting the Iraq War. All 175 papers owned by Murdoch supported the invasion, contributing to the public sentiment in favor of military action. His personal connections to world leaders, particularly his influence on British Prime Minister Tony Blair, played a crucial role in the war’s initiation.
In addition to his involvement in international affairs, Murdoch’s media organization, The Sun, played a major role in supporting the pro-Brexit side in the 2016 referendum. In fact, its parent company registered as an official “leave E.U.” campaign group. The impact of The Sun’s support for Brexit can be seen in the city of Liverpool, where a boycott of the paper resulted in reduced euroscepticism and improved views of the European Union.
Another pivotal moment in Murdoch’s career was the rise of Fox News, which played a significant role in Donald Trump’s presidential victory in 2016. With its conservative audience and penchant for conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant sentiment, Fox laid the groundwork for Trump’s success. Even after Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, Fox News continued to support him, perpetuating the baseless claims of election fraud.
Critics argue that Murdoch’s motive for supporting Trump and pushing the Big Lie was driven by ratings and his pursuit of power and money, rather than any genuine principles or ideology. This further highlights the damaging influence of Murdoch and his media empire on the democratic process.
As Rupert Murdoch steps down from his influential positions, his retirement serves as a critical moment to reflect on the impact of his media empire. His legacy includes promoting the Iraq War, influencing politicians, supporting Brexit, and fostering a conservative audience susceptible to conspiracy theories. The consequences of his actions are far-reaching, leaving a lasting impact on politics, media, and the world at large.
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