CNN's Phil Mattingly: Dominion's filings “are laying bare the fallacy of the idea that there is a separation between opinion and editorial” at Fox

John King: “During Trump's campaign. Rupert provided Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner with Fox confidential information about Biden's ads along with debate strategy that is putting your thumb on the scale, period.”

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Citation From the February 28, 2023, edition of CNN's Inside Politics with John King

JOHN KING (ANCHOR): Fox writ large. Rupert Murdoch's the CEO, isn't he Fox writ large?

SEUNG MIN KIM (CNN REPORTER): And he is. And certainly, of course, there are reporters at Fox News who were saying the truth about the election. But the fact that its own CEO, the boss says many of its personalities who are, by the way, the most influential personalities on air, that they were the ones saying this is is really, really quite remarkable. And I would be very anxious to see how this turns out. And I also think the other thing that was really interesting to me about all of this is just that scramble and the concern from behind the scenes about how if they do tell the truth about the election, that they are concerned that they will lose their viewers, lose their viewers to another channel like Newsmax or OAN. And the reason I find that interesting on many levels, one of them is that, you know, former President Trump is actually trying to capitalize on that. You saw a comment from him yesterday at his social media site where he said, you know, when he was criticizing Ron DeSantis, who he is now not a fan of saying, you know, isn't there a big, beautiful network which wants to do well and make a fortune when taking a shot at Fox News, which now is kind of seeming to get on the DeSantis train? So there's just a lot of direct political impact here, in addition to just the fact that they're not telling the truth.

KING: And Paul Ryan, the former House speaker, who I believe at the time was on the Fox board, I know he was on the Fox board at one point, writes to Rupert Murdoch, essentially saying, you've got to stop this, you've got to stop this. You're damaging your own brand and you're ruining the country. God forbid we've got to think about the country, that you're ruining the country by lying to reviewers and telling me there was fraud. Murdoch response. Rupert. thanks, Paul. Wake up call for Hannity, who has been privately disgusted by Trump for weeks but was scared to lose viewers. That's straight to the point Seung Min just made that I'm sorry, it's inexcusable.

RHONDA COLVIN (WASHINGTON POST): Right? Privately disgusted about it. But, you know, in public, not so much. My mind went back to the January 6 hearings when I heard these revelations from the Murdoch testimony and how when I covered it, there was so much evidence that showed that Fox played some sort of role. Their hosts discussing the election by the panel, the January 6 panel continuously mentioned that they kind of dropped breadcrumbs suggesting what Murdoch has just confirmed.

But I was also thinking about how when I was sitting in that hearing room and I would hear testimony, whether the live testimony of one of the rioters who was there and told his story or some of the taped interviews, how baked in the misinformation was, how people said, yes, I believed that the election was stolen. And I kept thinking to myself, how did that how did they get to that point that they stormed the Capitol? And I feel like this is just a personification. They are personification of what we've heard from Murdoch, that the misinformation did lead to these events.

KING: Right, and it has been a long, long, long time since especially in prime time. Fox is not about news, it's about opinion. But Rupert Murdoch specifically named Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs. There are others as well. If you go back in time, Phil Mattingly, it was not just once, it was not twice. It was this over and over and over again.


KING: All eyes and all eyes that at least the CEO knew about if and he says that the individuals did as well. You made a key point I reached. I'll just tell our viewers. I asked the show's staff to reach out to all you guys report because I don't put you in a tough spot. I used to cover the White House. I covered a beat. I know it's hard sometimes. You make a key point that when I covered the White House, it was Jim Angle and Wendell Golar are two great guys who worked for Fox News. In those days. They were good reporters. There were a lot of good Fox reporters out there who get blown out of the water by that.

PHIL MATTINGLY (CNN REPORTER): No question about it. Look, these filings are laying bare the fallacy of the idea that there is a separation between opinion and editorial. And yet on the editorial side, there are real reporters, real producers, real photojournalists who go to work every day and do their job in a very professional manner. And I think my frustration for I understand the broader systemic issues, the dangers, the absurdity of everything that's going on here. But there's also real-life people. And you were watching text messages about wanting to get one of my colleagues at the White House fired because she told the truth about one of their colleagues who now works with us to delete tweets or get fired because they told the truth, telling them to shut up because they're killing the stock price.

These are journalists that are trying to do it the right way. And yes, they may have different angles, different approaches, different questions than I might have or Seung Min might have, but they are professional in how they do things and they work hard. And what they were doing was simply telling the truth. And that was enough to have these personalities which very clearly have more power than anybody else, try and have them fired. And I think the thing that just keeps catching me as I go through these filings beyond kind of being mind-blowing, but what we all kind of thought or perceived is very much the reality here is that there are people who work at Fox News who are providing for their families, going to work every day, doing good reporting, working hard, even if it's at a different angle than perhaps you might take. And they are being thrown under the bus, not just in terms of the perception of the network. They're being potentially destroyed career-wise because they dared tell the truth, and that's as offensive as anything else you can possibly imagine.

KING: And, this sounds ridiculous, but if you think it's the fraud, the dishonesty is limited just to the election lies. Just one last one before we go. This is from the [unintelligible] filing: During Trump's campaign. Rupert provided Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner with Fox confidential information about Biden's ads along with debate strategy that is putting your thumb on the scale, period. To borrow a phrase we report, you decide.

Note: Rupert Murdoch is the chairman of Fox Corp, Fox News' parent company; his son Lachlan Murdoch is the CEO of Fox Corp.