On almost every stop of my book tour for HoaxTheBook.com, I've been asked about the future of Fox News. And I've talked about the battle for control of Fox that will erupt in the event of Rupert Murdoch's death. Time for a #thread...
Rupert's four adult children all hold power through their shares in the Murdoch Family Trust. In HOAX, I outlined a theory: Could James "partner with his sisters to wrest control of Fox Corp" from brother Lachlan, who currently runs the company?
On Page 313 I wrote, "sources said that Elisabeth would surely side with James, and Prudence likely would as well—three votes against one. Was this a serious possibility, or just a liberal fantasy? 'Time will tell,' a source said." It all hinged on the passing of the patriarch.
>> @maxwelltani wrote about this "potential Murdoch family civil war" in August. The theory is that James, a Biden supporter, could wrest control of Fox News someday... install a new CEO... and put an end to the propaganda programming that disgusts him.

In this weekend's NYT, @maureendowd has new reporting – making a Fox power play sound like a matter of WHEN, not IF. "Murdoch watchers across media say James is aligned with his sister Elisabeth and his half sister, Prudence, even as he is estranged from his father and brother."
James went *on the record* with Dowd for multiple interviews...but isn't quoted talking about this takeover theory. He says he still watches Fox News sometimes, "if there's an important thing, like an important interview or something like that, sometimes." nytimes.com/2020/10/10/sty…
My takeaway: There WILL be tug of war for Fox Corp, including Fox News. No one knows when. But it will happen. Will Fox stars like Sean Hannity fit into a version of Fox News that is controlled by James Murdoch, who assails right-wing extremism and disinformation?

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More from @brianstelter

7 Oct
Today is Fox News Channel's 24th birthday. Time for a #thread about how much has changed since Fox's founding on October 7, 1996...
Fox was #3 behind CNN and MSNBC. In a high school yearbook, it would have been voted "least likely to succeed." But as I write in HoaxTheBook.com, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes converted the jeers into fuel. Ailes vowed that Fox would become #1.
Here's how CNN covered Fox's launch day:

"For Murdoch, Fox News is the culmination of a long-held ambition -- building a U.S-based global television-news network."

Read 13 tweets
29 Sep
Is this a "Fox News debate?" Well, no, because it is live on EVERY big channel and website tonight. But in a broader sense, yes it is. #Thread time...
Tonight's moderator, Chris Wallace, stands alone at Fox. His Sunday program primarily airs on broadcast, not Fox News. He has his own producers. He has said that he doesn't regularly watch the right-wing talk shows that make Fox #1 in the cable ratings.
But here's the thing: Everyone at Fox is affected, in some way, by the Trump-Fox merger. Everyone "feels" it. The pressure from the audience, the pressure from management, the expectation that Fox will be "fair" to Trump – and I don't mean "fair" in the good faith definition.
Read 8 tweets
29 Sep
I'm up next on @JohnKingCNN's program with headlines from my interview with Dr. Fauci... 📺
Fauci said he is concerned about misleading info getting to President Trump – "that sometimes things are said that are really taken either out of context or actually incorrect." edition.cnn.com/world/live-new…
Fauci reiterated the basics... the info that can't be repeated often enough... "Masks are critically important in preventing the transmission and acquisition of SARS coronavirus 2." Also: "We're nowhere near herd immunity as a nation."
Read 5 tweets
22 Sep
4 weeks since HOAX came out — and today I discovered it in the front window at Barnes & Noble Union Square — best surprise of the month. Right behind RAGE, appropriately! ImageImage
A book tour is like... well, I was going to say it's like a roller coaster 🎢 , but when the experience is entirely virtual from your home studio, that doesn't make much sense. But I'll tell you the best part...
The best part: Digesting the reviews and emails and comments from 📚 readers. Even the supremely critical ones. I learned things *about Fox and Trump* by reading the reviews. Gained ideas for future stories too.
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
Is America slouching toward autocracy?

That's the Q I opened Sunday's @ReliableSources with. Almost every day there are new signs of democratic backsliding, new warnings from political scientists. Alarm bells are ringing for all to hear, like Trump mocking @AliVelshi's injury
Gloating about a reporter being hit by a rubber bullet is autocratic, not democratic. We all know this, don't we? cnn.com/videos/busines…
A segment of the U.S. population, a minority, has long held authoritarian leanings. E.g.: Polls showing a preference for a strongman leader to provide protection. Trump has enlivened that segment. E.g.: Rallygoers cheered when Trump told the Velshi story.

Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
With Trump calling into "Fox & Friends" today, here's a thread about the morning show's power, from the sources I interviewed for HoaxTheBook.com (1/7)
The length of Trump's phoners is something of a punchline among rank-and-file Fox staffers. "When Trump was booked for 8:10, and we had an assignment for 8:40, we didn't bother writing it, because we knew he'd talk until the end of the hour," a morning show producer said
Another running joke among the staff: The fact that Trump rates the hosts. Ainsley Earhardt: a 10. Steve Doocy: a 12. Trump graded Brian Kilmeade to his face in a 2019 interview: "I used to say you, you were a solid 6, maybe a 7, but you're getting much better."
Read 7 tweets

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