Fox Corp. executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch is standing by his cable news channel.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Investor Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Murdoch defended Fox News amidst the barrage of negative news coverage stemming from piles of filings unsealed over the past few weeks from Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit.
“A news organization has an obligation, and it is obligated to report news fulsomely and wholesomely and without fear or favor, and that is what Fox News has always done,” Murdoch said, according to The Daily Beast. “I think a lot of the noise you hear about this case is not about the law or journalism. It is about politics. And that’s unfortunately more reflective of a polarized society we live in today.”
Murdoch, speaking publicly for the first time since the filings became public, also used the opportunity to give a vote of confidence to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott. According to CNN, Murdoch said the network is in a strong position, is doing “very well” and that Scott has done “a tremendous job.”
There had been speculation in some circles that Scott might be someone who would take the fall after internal communications amongst Fox Corp, Fox News executives, on-air and production staff came to light and showed a network in turmoil as a result of the way it handled coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
According to the filings, contrary to what is expected of a serious television news network, some on-air talent and executives were irate that calls made by Fox News’ political polling unit showed Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election (to be clear, the polls were accurate). They believed such moves would damage the brand, and in the aftermath, they continued to push and/or endorse the narrative of a stolen election to viewers even though they knew internally such accusations were false.
Murdoch concluded his remarks at the conference by vigorously by defending Fox News, saying that it’s a news channel that “speaks to middle America and respects the values of middle America.”