Murdoch newspaper editorial boards slam ‘unworthy’ Trump who ‘utterly failed’ on Jan 6

Liz Cheney cites blistering critiques as she calls Trump ‘unfit’ for office

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 24 July 2022 20:04 BST
Liz Cheney notes on Fox News that other Murdoch entities have turned on Trump

The editorial boards of both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, stalwart conservative publications owned by Rupert Murdoch, have published blistering critiques of former President Donald Trump following Thursday’s eighth January 6 committee hearing.

They variously described the former president as having “utterly failed” by not defending the Capitol from the mob, and said he had proved “himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again”, withdrawing any support for another White House run.

Published by Dow Jones & Company, a division of Murdoch-owned News Corp, the Journal’s editorial slammed Mr Trump’s actions on 6 January 2021 in a piece titled: “The President who stood still on Jan 6.”

“No matter your views of the Jan. 6 special committee, the facts it is laying out in hearings are sobering,” the op-ed begins. “The most horrifying to date came Thursday in a hearing on President Trump’s conduct as the riot raged and he sat watching TV, posting inflammatory tweets and refusing to send help.”

Recounting the desperate appeals to the then-president to call off the mob and the danger to Vice President Mike Pence, the board writes: “Still, the brute facts remain: Mr Trump took an oath to defend the Constitution, and he had a duty as Commander in Chief to protect the Capitol from a mob attacking it in his name. He refused. He didn’t call the military to send help. He didn’t call Mr Pence to check on the safety of his loyal VP. Instead, he fed the mob’s anger and let the riot play out.”

Contrasting the two men, then at the helm of the US government, the op-ed concludes: “Character is revealed in a crisis, and Mr Pence passed his January 6 trial. Mr Trump utterly failed his.”

News Corp-owned tabloid the Post was more visceral in its condemnation of the former president in its op-ed “Trump’s silence on Jan 6 is damning.”

Emphasising that Mr Trump did nothing to stop the violence for three hours and seven minutes and that he was the only person that could, the editorial board wrote: “To his eternal shame, as appalled aides implored him to publicly call on his followers to go home, he instead further fanned the flames by tweeting: ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution’.”

The article continues: “His only focus was to find any means — damn the consequences — to block the peaceful transfer of power. There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence.”

Concluding, the editorial board of the influential tabloid is clear in their opposition to a second Trump term: “It’s up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.”

The significance of this condemnation from two leading conservative publications was not lost on Liz Cheney, Republican vice chair of the January committee when she appeared on Murdoch-owned Fox News on Sunday morning.

Speaking to host Bret Baier, she said: “It’s not just me that’s saying that Donald Trump is unfit for office. It’s other entities owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s The New York Post in their editorial on Friday. It’s The Wall Street Journal.”

She added: “They said the same thing after our hearing on Thursday night. So I’m going to continue to be guided by making sure I do my duty and making sure the American people understand the truth.”

Many leading Fox News hosts continue to show steadfast support for the former president and the network did not broadcast the primetime hearings of the committee on its main channel’s feed.

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