Rupert Murdoch Speaks His Mind on Trump

Says former president should stop focusing on the past
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2021 1:20 AM CST
Rupert Murdoch Issues Rare Criticism of Trump
In this Oct. 30, 2018 file photo, Rupert Murdoch introduces Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the Herman Kahn Award Gala, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Rupert Murdoch doesn't often speak poorly—or, for that matter, at all—about former President Trump, but the News Corp founder let his opinion be known at the annual meeting of company stockholders Wednesday. Speaking of "the current American political debate," he said, "It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past. The past is the past, and the country is now in a contest to define the future.” The Guardian calls it a "rare rebuke" of the former POTUS, while Vanity Fair puts it more bluntly in its headline: "Rupert Murdoch Tells Trump to STFU About 2020."

Axios points out that Murdoch's relationship with Trump soured after Murdoch-owned outlets including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal called Arizona for Joe Biden; it was reportedly Murdoch who OKed making the call. These are the first public comments by Murdoch on the 2020 election, but Murdoch biographer and Newser founder Michael Wolff says that in private conversations, Murdoch has referred to Trump as a "f---ing idiot." At the Wednesday meeting, Murdoch also claimed Facebook and Google are trying to "silence conservative voices," referring to what he sees as "censorship." (Read more Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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