Steve Bannon blasts Murdochs, Fox News in fiery CPAC speech
Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist under the Trump administration, tore into Fox News and the Murdoch family on Friday afternoon over the network’s coverage of former President Trump, who is mounting a second bid for the presidency.
“Note to Fox News senior management: When Donald J. Trump talks, it’s newsworthy,” Bannon said during a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), blasting Rupert Murdoch, the owner and co-chairman of Fox Corp, saying, “You’ve disrespected Donald Trump for long enough.”
Bannon, an icon in the conservative media ecosystem who has been hosting his popular “War Room” podcast from CPAC this week, blasted Fox for cutting away from Trump’s speech announcing his candidacy for president last November and what he said was a lack of coverage of his recent visit to East Palestine, Ohio.
“Is there really that much going on at two in the afternoon on Fox News that you can’t cover him live,” Bannon said. “They don’t respect you, read the depositions. They have a fear, a loathing and a contempt for you.”
Trump’s former top aide was referencing recent court filings from a deposition of Murdoch and other top Fox executives as part of a defamation lawsuit the outlet is facing from Dominion Voting Systems.
The filings show Murdoch and other leaders at Fox casting doubt on Trump’s false claims of a stolen election and worrying how fact-checking those claims might upset the conservative media giant’s massive audience.
The filing also shows that Murdoch testified that he had “probably told Fox News to close off certain guests from being on air completely, including “the Trump advisor, Bannon” because Rupert “see[s] him as a fringe character.”
While some of the top Fox News hosts remain supportive of Trump, the network’s news segments about the former president have grown increasingly cool in recent months.
Trump himself has relentlessly attacked the cable news giant over what he says is overly positive coverage of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to announce a bid for the Republican nomination for president, challenging Trump in 2024.
Bannon also argued that former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — who is quoted in other depositions warning the Murdochs that Trump’s rhetoric could be damaging to the country — should be removed from the board of Fox Corp.
“The Murdochs immediately have to start covering President Trump. No special deals, just cover the man, ask the tough questions,” Bannon said. “But we need to hear the voice of Donald J. Trump.”
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