“Vladimir Putin could only dream of having achieved” the damage to democracy that the Murdoch family and Fox News have accomplished, said Malcolm Turbull, the former prime minister of Australia.
Turnbull did not say the Murdochs colluded with Putin (though he didn’t say they hadn’t) but it may be a distinction without a difference. Turnbull suggested that power for its own sake is the Murdochs' real goal. He said their media empire “is more like a political party, but the only members are the Murdochs.”
TURNBULL: I've known Lachlan Murdoch for many years. And I've spoken to him and his father … I know pretty much all the family. … I would say that Lachlan is more right-wing than his father, more extreme, and he -- I think that the bottom line is, they enjoy the power.
I’m sure the enjoy the money the right-wing extremism earns them, too.
Deliberately aligned with Putin or not, he almost certainly has appreciated the Murdochs' work.
TURNBULL: [W]hat Murdoch has delivered, largely through Fox News in the United States, is exactly what Vladimir Putin wanted to achieve with his disinformation campaigns, turning one part of America against another. So exacerbating the divisions that already exist in American society, and undermine the trust Americans have in their democratic institutions.
Now, that's the -- that was the objective of the Russian disinformation campaign. And that is exactly what has been delivered from -- by Fox News and by other players in that right-wing, populist, you know, media ecosystem.
And it is, in effect, they -- what they have created is a market for crazy. They've become unhinged from the facts. It is now basically, they've worked out that you can just make stuff up. They -- we -- you know, everyone talks about and complains about social media. But what is being done by curated media, mainstream media, including and in particular Fox News, has done enormous damage to the United States.
Whether or not you believe Putin exerted any control over Donald Trump, it's worth considering how Murdoch's role led to just what Putin wanted:
TRUMBULL: It was a very symbiotic relationship. Murdoch knew very well, I'd heard this - he knew very well what Trump's shortcomings were. He didn't think he was qualified to be president. But once he thought he could make him president and have that influence over him, but to what end - he did so.
And so, you ended up again, where did you end? You ended with an assault on the Congress. You ended up with a country that where a third - so I've recently saw, of the public believe that Biden was not legitimately elected. You know, in defiance of all the facts, and all the reality.
Now, that is a -- that is the type of outcome that Vladimir Putin could only dream of having achieved. But it was done by Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan and their organization, and they are not held to account at all, but they should be.
Maybe the billion-dollar defamation lawsuits will help hold Fox to account. Smartmatic and Dominion voting technology companies have sued Fox a combined $4.3+ billion over the Big Lies about the 2020 presidential election.
Meanwhile, watch Turnbull say what many, if not most, U.S. politicians are afraid to say, below, from CNN’s April 17, 2021 Reliable Sources.