Who’s the Loser Now: Murdoch news organisations and The Donald

It was love at the first sight of an election win, and a bitter parting as news of election defeats rolled in.
When the anticipated “red wave” turned out to be a disappointing little puddle on election day, it was bound to have brought out the knives from Republican supporters. Even so, the pace at which Rupert Murdoch‘s New York Post and Wall Street Journal broke ranks with their once favourite Donald Trump has been dizzying.
They turned on the former president overnight. WSJ editorialised on November 10 that amid conditions where GOP should have coasted at least to a normal midterm victory, its failure was down to nominating to “too many lousy candidates who courted Donald Trump more than they did voters”. Also overnight the Trump legacy was rewritten to name him the party’s biggest loser: “He has now flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.”
This echoed John Podhoretz writing in New York Post that the midterm results suggested that Trump is “the most profound vote repellent in modern American history”. True to its tabloid blood, the Post wielded the more animated knives on November 10. Its meme-like front page featured TRUMPTY DUMPTY: “Don (who couldn’t build a wall) had a great fall – can all the GOP’s men put the party back together again?” The inside pages included titbits like how Trump has reportedly been blaming others, including wife Melania, for urging him to support the now-failed candidates. Columnist Michael Goodwin went, “Bore! Donald Trump has gone and lost his swing.” He also put out two themes that have since spread like wildfire, that if Trump insists on running again in 2024 that will guarantee four more years of a Democrat in the Oval Office, and a much better GOP candidate would be (Florida governor) Ron DeSantis, now pronounced DeFUTURE itself.
Another columnist, Piers Morgan, wrote about how election day had likely morphed Trump’s worries about the Florida governor stealing his thunder into outright horror: “American conservatives have tired of the MAGA/Trumpism constant chaotic circus. In DeSantis, they see a fresher, calmer, better-focused version of The Donald without all the baggage. If they want to win in 2024, it’s time the GOP dumped Trump the Grump.” In subsequent days the two Murdoch papers have doubled down on inveighing against the “King Lear-level madness” of Trump. The conservative media mogul’s properties do have a penchant for going “full on, full frontal, day in, day out” once they turn against someone. Over at Fox News, however, the conversation remains more mixed, with those blaming others like Republicans’ Senate leader Mitch McConnell still duking it out with the voices now pleading with Trump not to run again.
Not that the “stable genius” is one to take things lying down. He has also got his gloves on, running down “fake narratives” day and night, especially night. Since Elon Musk still hasn’t allowed him back on Twitter this is all playing out on Truth Social, which remains unavailable in India. What’s The Donald said there though? “I am not at all angry, did a great job (I wasn’t the one running!), and am very busy looking into the future.”
The Murdoch press will be busy, too.

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