BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Over the years, Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch has weighed in on political candidates the cable news channel should support or not support, including a contentious one in Alabama, according to court documents.
On Jan. 20, Murdoch was questioned during a deposition that is part of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News, whom they claim spread false information regarding them in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. The 400-page deposition was released earlier this week.
Many parts of the deposition that were previously released pointed to popular Fox News personalities, such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, allegedly having doubts about election fraud conspiracies, but continuing to push them on-air. However, one point dealt with a race in Alabama five years ago.
On Page 59 of the deposition, Murdoch briefly mentioned the 2017 Alabama Senate primary between former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
“There was a senatorial election. I don’t know whether it was Alabama or what it was. And we were– the candidate who won the primary, I think– and I think he was supported by (Steve) Bannon– went on to lose the election, and for two years, whatever it was, there has been a Democrat there,” Murdoch said.
After some additional questions, Murdoch clarified that the Democrat in question was Doug Jones and that the Bannon-supported Republican candidate was Moore.
“I just remember the issue,” Murdoch said. “The Republican was entirely unsuitable, and I’m not sure whether there was an independent, but I don’t think so.”
Murdoch went on to say that in the lead-up to the primary, he wanted Fox News to support Strange, whom had already been endorsed by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, once Moore had won the primary, it was “not in our hands.”
In the days before the election between Moore and Jones, several women came forward in a Washington Post piece with sexual misconduct allegations against him, which he denied. Ultimately, Moore lost the election in a tight race, with Jones getting 49.9% of the vote to Moore’s 48.3%.
Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion.
CBS 42 has reached out to Moore for comment through the Foundation for Moral Law.