HERE’S A TRICK question about the controversy over Hunter Biden’s laptop: Who’s most to blame for giving this pseudo-scandal more attention than it deserves? The New York Post for publishing the first sketchy article, or Fox News for elevating it in broadcast after broadcast? The answer is neither. The guiltiest party is the Murdoch family, which owns both outlets.
Fox and the Post are key parts of a media empire assembled over the decades by 89-year-old Rupert Murdoch, who now shares ownership with his six children, one of whom is chief executive of the family’s main company, Fox Corporation. Given that Fox is a “central node” of the far-right conspiracy machine, it’s fair to regard the Murdochs as America’s first family of disinformation.
There’s no shortage of reporting about the wretched content created by the Murdoch machine, but remarkably little reporting about the fact that the Murdochs are behind it. As MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes noted on Twitter after the first laptop story came out, “If you’re just choosing from people in OECD countries, ostensible liberal democracies, Rupert Murdoch has to be up there as the most-single-handedly destructive person of the last three decades, right?”