Watch Bloomberg's Tim O'Brien lay the blame for Fox News’ delusion and propaganda on Lachlan Murdoch

O'Brien: “Tucker Carlson exists because Lachlan Murdoch wants him to exist”

Video file

Citation From the June 10, 2022, edition of MSNBC's Deadline: White House

NICOLLE WALLACE (HOST): You know, I had this thought, Tim, that what I thought this signaled was the weakness internally of people like Dana Perino and Brett Baier, I guess Chris Wallace is over at CNN now, and the strength and the almost, you know, abandonment of fighting for anything resembling a news network by -- I guess Martha McCallum sometimes anchors news events. I actually thought that inside Fox, it was an interesting moment that -- where there might have been a path to have been a battle between people like Chris Wallace and Brett Baier and the forces like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. It looks -- it's not even clear that battle was waged. 

TIM O'BRIEN (GUEST): Well, and you're leaving the most important actor out, Lachlan Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch's son runs that network. The family controls the company. If they wanted that network to do something other than engage in propaganda and to delude people and to serve other goals, he could put anybody he wants in that anchor seat. Tucker Carlson exists because Lachlan Murdoch wants him to exist. So, the Murdochs also have to be held accountable as owners in terms of what they're putting on the air every night. 

WALLACE: Eddie, I also came to the conclusion as this night wore on that we don't need 100 percent of Americans to do anything. And so I'm not -- I think, you know, Adam Kinzinger, a member of the Select Committee, sort of fixated on Fox and gave them a hard time for not carrying it. I don't think that's the point. I think it's about reassembling the coalition, the voting coalition in 2018, the voting coalition in 2020, and reminding them what President Obama reminded them today that nothing less than the state of our democracy is on the line. 

EDDIE GLAUDE (GUEST): Right. There are -- there's a segment of the American population that's concerned about government taking away their guns, government taking away their liberty, but there's also a segment of the population who's concerned about folks trying to take away our democracy. And I think this committee has to make not just simply truth claims. It has to appeal at the visceral level, at the level of the passions around our commitment to democracy.

But I should say this to connect it to our first segment, Nicolle. Remember, there are three -- there are four elements to democracy functioning. They are, of course, the legislative branch and we've experienced a gerrymandered House, a dysfunctional Senate. There's the executive branch. We've experienced the distortions of an imperial presidency. We've experienced the politicized judiciary. But there's also the fourth estate. The fourth estate. The role of the press in creating the deliberative space so citizens can engage in the back and forth exchange.

And so we've seen the kind of corruption of the other -- the three other various portions, our institutions of democracy. With Fox News, it's not about the fragmentation of media. It's not about social platforms or social media. With Fox prop, as it were, we're seeing the corruption of an aspect of the fourth estate that contributes to the crises of American democracy. That we began with, with President Obama's remarks, and we need to understand it as such.