Fox News took glee in shockingly calling Arizona for Joe Biden before any major network, putting an end to Donald Trump's reelection chances, author Michael Wolff claims in his new book "Landslide."
Once the favorite news outlet of conservative Americans, Fox turned its back on its right-leaning audience last November when it decided to call Arizona shortly after polls closed — with all other networks, including Newsmax, standing down because the race was "too close to call."
Trump's advisers say Fox's Arizona decision was done to create a sense of inevitability of Joe Biden's win, limiting Trump's ability to justifiably contest other close states like Pennsylvania.
In his book, Wolff says Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox News, personally made the Arizona decision and set off a behind-the-scenes firestorm.
According to Wolff, Murdoch's son Lachlan, the CEO of Fox Corp., was informed of the Arizona bombshell and telephoned his father to ask if Fox should report that Trump had lost the Grand Canyon State.
"His father, with signature grunt, assented, adding, 'F*** him,'" Wolff wrote.
Next, Wolff reports in his book, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer called top Trump strategist Jason Miller to inform him the network was kicking Trump to the curb and going ahead with the Arizona call.
Miller rose from his seat, shouting "What the f***?" Wolff writes.
But despite pressure from the Trump administration to retract the Arizona call, Fox refused.
Fox News has called Wolff's claims of Murdoch's involvement "wildly inaccurate" and "completely false."
Wolff also asserts that Murdoch hated Trump, despite Fox's support of him.
"Trump just made his skin crawl. But then, partly because of Fox News, Trump became the president of the United States, and Murdoch was forced to essentially suck up to him," Wolff told Der Spiegel. "That was incredibly painful to Murdoch."
Trump himself has blamed Fox largely for his election loss. Days after the 2020 election Trump tweeted, "The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews."
Privately Trump has complained to advisers that had Roger Ailes, the late Fox News chairman, still been at the network's helm, he would have won handily.
Fox's election night decision desk was headed by Arnon Mishkin, a long-time Democrat operative who backed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
And, in the run-up to the 2020 election, Fox News hired Danny O'Brien, Joe Biden's former chief of staff, to work as its top Washington lobbyist.
Wolff asserts that Trump himself has helped tear apart the Murdoch family and undermined the chances of the conservative media dynasty continuing.
"Two of his kids are Democrats and can't abide this in any way, shape, or form. That tears the family apart," said Wolff.
Despite differences with Trump, Murdoch himself has been a consistent conservative Republican, as has his son Lachlan.
But Murdoch's other son, James, has been a vociferous opponent of Trump, spending at least $20 million to defeat him in the last election.
James Murdoch has told members of the press that he and his Democrat siblings will someday control Fox News and plan on re-making it into establishment media.
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