Rupert Murdoch has publicly rebuked former US president Donald Trump, telling him to get over the past.
Mr Trump continues to allege last year’s White House election was “rigged” against him, including recently in Mr Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.
Mr Murdoch (90) told News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting Mr Trump should move on.
“The current American political debate is profound, whether about education or welfare or economic opportunity,” said Mr Murdoch, whose family controls Fox News’s parent company,
“It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past.
“The past is the past and the country is now in a contest to define the future.”
The two powerful men, who each command large audiences, have had a tumultuous professional relationship.
Mr Murdoch was seemingly not thrilled by the idea of a Trump presidency, tweeting in 2015: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”
But the tone changed as Mr Trump’s candidacy surged.
The editorial board of the New York Post, a Murdoch-controlled tabloid, was among the first to endorse Mr Trump in 2016.
In 2017, Mr Murdoch introduced the then-president at an event as “my friend Donald J Trump”, making headlines.
But a year later, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House book claimed Mr Murdoch had called Mr Trump a “f**king idiot”.
After Trump’s 2020 election defeat, the New York Post aimed a blistering editorial at him, demanding he accept his loss to Joe Biden and stop falsely claiming mass voter fraud.
During the presidential election, Fox News had also angered Mr Trump and his supporters by calling Arizona, the traditionally red state, for Mr Biden. Fox News stood behind the call, which turned out to be correct. Some Trump fans chanted “Fox sucks” outside vote-counting locations.
Mr Murdoch also used the shareholder meeting to lambast what he called “Big Digital”, including tech giants Google and Facebook, which he said had been silencing conservative voices. (© 2021 The Washington Post)
© Washington Post