Jane Mayer: Rupert Murdoch’s business model is “to drive fear and anger in the working class, class resentment, racial resentment and benefit from it”

Mayer: “Trump got out of Murdoch just an incredibly powerful, useful platform”

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Citation From the March 9, 2023, edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes 

CHRIS HAYES (HOST): Jane, I thought of that piece you wrote because in the Dominion filings, what we see is that struggle for control laid bare. Right? Like the people inside Fox know that what Trump is saying are lies, possibly like lies that will expose them to litigation risk, right? Might endanger American democracy. But their audience likes Trump and wants to hear them and so they decide to go along. What do you think the state of that very fraught intense relationship is now?

JANE MAYER (GUEST): I mean, I think it's more tense than ever, but it's actually been tense, if you go back, almost from the start. I mean when you really think of it, it's interesting. Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump have known each other, by my calculation, for 46 or 47 years. And they've had a kind of a -- sort of -- mutually beneficial, dysfunctional relationship, almost from the start. 

They were introduced by Roy Cohen, who's one the more iniquitous sort of fixers in the world of, you know, history of American politics, who'd worked for Joe McCarthy. And their original sort of deal that they struck up was, at the time, Murdoch-owned The New York Post and he wanted to sell newspapers, and Trump was a rising businessman who wanted to be a celebrity. And so if Trump could get publicity from Murdoch and Murdoch could sell papers by writing up the sort of antics of Donald Trump. And so one got fame, the other got money. One got influence, and the other, sort of you know, media empire. 

And it kept expanding. And it became -- it went from The New York Post to then to Fox. And at that point it started, it widened the audience. And kind of, the business plan, though, for both of them was to drive fear and anger in the working class, class resentment, racial resentment and benefit from it. 

And, I think what you've seen, though, is that all the way through there's been some tensions. I mean, basically Murdoch, apparently, for years has wanted to have a president that he was close to. He's known every president since JFK, but he's never really had a close associate in the White House until Trump, someone he could call on the phone and he calls him "Donald" and they've known each other that long. And Trump got, out of Murdoch just an incredibly powerful, useful platform, given to him by the man who's arguably the most powerful media mogul in the world.