Fox News head honcho Lachlan Murdoch is threatening to sue an independent Australian news site, Crikey, for suggesting that he and Daddy Rupert Murdoch share some blame for the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Titled “Trump is a confirmed unhinged traitor and Murdoch is his unindicted co-conspirator”, it alleged Lachlan and Rupert, through their control of right-wing TV network Fox News, were to blame for the January 6 attack on the Capitol, which attempted to prevent the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
The article has already been taken down from the website and various social media platforms, but lawyers are continuing to negotiate.
Murdoch is demanding an apology for the claims, which he says are defamatory. A spokesperson for Murdoch was unavailable for comment.
As Vanity Fair pointed out, you’d think Lachlan Murdoch would have bigger things to worry about. Like those billion-dollar defamation lawsuits by election technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic over the lies spewed on Fox News about the 2020 election.
As it happens, the Dominion lawsuit has been heating up in Delaware of late. Despite the recent prediction by Eriq Gardner that the cases will settle, possibly with an insurance company picking up the full tab, New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters recently painted a different picture.
“There have been no moves from either side toward a settlement,” Peters reported. “The two companies are deep into document discovery, combing through years of each other’s emails and text messages, and taking depositions.” Also, Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch are expected to be deposed in the near future.
According to Peters’ article, the case has put Fox “on its heels.” Maybe Lachlan Murdoch, too. Peters wrote:
The case has caused palpable unease at the Fox News Channel, said several people there, who would speak only anonymously. Anchors and executives have been preparing for depositions and have been forced to hand over months of private emails and text messages to Dominion, which is hoping to prove that network employees knew that wild accusations of ballot rigging in the 2020 election were false. The hosts Steve Doocy, Dana Perino and Shepard Smith are among the current and former Fox personalities who either have been deposed or will be this month.
Dominion is trying to build a case that aims straight at the top of the Fox media empire and the Murdochs. In court filings and depositions, Dominion lawyers have laid out how they plan to show that senior Fox executives hatched a plan after the election to lure back viewers who had switched to rival hard-right networks, which were initially more sympathetic than Fox was to Mr. Trump’s voter-fraud claims.
So, you can't blame Lachlan Murdoch for feeling a little touchy about the subject of the 2020 election or the Jan. 6th attempt to overthrow it. But the fact that he’s going after an independent website instead of demanding rigorous truth from his own people speaks volumes about his priorities.
(Murdoch image via screen grab)