As has been evident for some time now, the power base of the Murdoch mafiosi has gradually been shifting. It was James Murdoch who allied with the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks to consign the deeply unpleasant and disgraced former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth to the Sun’s dustbin of history. And it is most likely to be with James’ support that current editor Tony Gallagher is sent down the road.
The new umpire says he's out
So it also appears to be across the North Atlantic: although Rupert Murdoch has taken personal charge at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), it is James who is taking the lead in speaking out against the recent upsurge in far-right protest, which culminated in the confrontations in the city of Charlottesville, VA last weekend, when one person died and many were injured, some seriously.
Murdoch Junior has taken the exceptional step of issuing, by email, what amounts to a denunciation of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, whose implicit support for the far-right, and the memory of the Confederacy - for which read slavery - has so repulsed many pundits and neutrals, if not (yet) many voters from the Republican base.
He tells “I’m writing to you in a personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father. It has not been my habit to widely offer running commentary on current affairs, nor to presume to weigh in on the events of a given day save those that might be of particular or specific concern to 21CF and my colleagues. But what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people”. And there is more.
“These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation - a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals. The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob”. Then comes the unequivocal denunciation.
“I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so”.
Moreover, “To further demonstrate our commitment, Kathryn and I are donating 1 million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, and I encourage you to give what you think is right as well. We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too. Many of you are supporters of the Anti-Defamation League already - now is a great time to give more. The ADL is an extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry”. Forget his Dad, this is now the Murdoch line.
The behaviour of the President has “concerned” James Murdoch. He is publicly donating generously to a body opposed to those over whom the President has equivocated. He has denounced those people explicitly. He has, effectively, told Trump the game is up.
James Murdoch is now the voice of his Father’s empire. He has told Trump that that empire no longer supports him. The 45th President is now on borrowed time.