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Rupert Murdoch: Will he be damaged by the Fox News and Dominion case?

The 19 July 2011 was the “most humble day” of Rupert Murdoch’s life.

Until now, at least.

The 19 July 2011

The 19 July 2011 was the “most humble day” of Rupert Murdoch’s life.

Until now, at least.

On that day in 2011, the world’s most powerful media mogul was called before Parliament’s culture and media committee as the phone hacking scandal engulfed his UK newspaper operations.

The final straw had been the revelation that the News of the World had listened in to the voicemails of the murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler.

The horror of it still resonates (and the story of phone hacking is far from over).

Back then, Murdoch’s damage limitation exercise was swift. He shut down the 168-year-old newspaper and apologised privately to the Dowler family.

The man who has had such a hold over Britain’s media since he arrived in London in the late 1960s to buy the News of the World was forced into that humiliating one-liner.

“This is the most humble day of my life,” he told MPs (with the theatre of the event heightened by his then wife Wendi Deng later launching herself at a protester who attacked her husband with a custard pie).

Now Murdoch has been forced into another humiliating climbdown, this time in relation to his US operations.

  • Fox settles Dominion defamation case for $787.5m
  • Can Fox News afford the $787.5m Dominion payout?

Yet again, it’s the Murdoch empire’s approach to truth that is in the spotlight.

Fox News argued it was fighting a court case against voting machine company Dominion in the interests of free speech, a US First Amendment right.

Instead, it appeared that the network relegated fact-based journalism for fiction in the wake of America’s 2020 presidential election.

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