What Rupert Murdoch Said Under Oath About Fox News’ 2020 Election Claims


In a deposition under oath, Rupert Murdoch acknowledged that Fox News hosts misrepresented the 2020 election to viewers.


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On February 28 2023, a popular post on Imgur asserted that Fox News “lied … about the 2020 election,” and that chairman and right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch testified to that fact under oath:

Text on the meme was credited to Twitter user Jeff Tiedrich, and it largely matched a tweet by Tiedrich (also shared to Imgur as a screenshot). On the version above, “stupids” was replaced with “Trumpers,” and it read:

listen up, stupids [Trumpers]:

Fox News lied to you about the 2020 election. They lied to you and they knew they were lying. Yell at me all you want, but Rupert Murdoch testified to this, under oath. How’s it feel to be played like a fiddle?

Commenters expressed skepticism that the claim, if true, would have any effects on viewers’ trust of Fox News:

“They literally dont even care. They saw and heard exactly what they wanted. They’ll continue watching fox as if nothing ever happened.”

“They do not care. It fed into their hate and ideologies.”

“They probably believe Murdoch lied under oath. Which is kind of understandable, given how much he lies.”

“Cognitive dissonance is so embedded with some people, it literally physically hurts to think contrary to what they think so deeply.”

A Facebook post by author and historian Heather Cox Richardson addressed many of the same topics. On February 27 2023, a Reddit account shared a related news story to the r/news subreddit — “Rupert Murdoch acknowledged that Fox News hosts endorsed stolen election claims”:

Rupert Murdoch acknowledged that Fox News hosts endorsed stolen election claims | CNN Business
by u/Ecen_genius in news

That post linked to a February 27 2023 CNN Business article. Its general claims covered a series of depositions in the course of a specific lawsuit against Fox News.

deposition was defined by University of Washington School of Law professor Jeff Feldman as follows:

A deposition is an opportunity for parties in a civil lawsuit to obtain testimony from a witness under oath prior to trial. It’s part of the discovery process by which parties gather facts and information so they can be better prepared at trial to present their claims and defenses.


Usually, depositions are held in the offices of one of the lawyers in the case. After the witness is placed under oath, each party is given an opportunity to ask questions and obtain answers about the issues that are raised in the case. Usually, depositions last a maximum of seven hours, but most depositions actually last a bit less than that.

CNN, referencing depositions (some of which took place in August 2022), reported:

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corporation, acknowledged in a deposition taken by Dominion Voting Systems that some Fox News hosts endorsed false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Murdoch’s remarks were made public in a legal filing as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News.

In his deposition, Murdoch rejected that the right-wing talk network as an entity endorsed former President Donald Trump’s election lies. But Murdoch conceded that Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and former host Lou Dobbs promoted the falsehood about the presidential contest being stolen.

“Some of our commentators were endorsing it,,” Murdoch said, according to the filing, when asked about the talk hosts’ on-air positions about the election. “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it, in hindsight,” he added.

The filing also revealed that Murdoch referred to some of Trump’s 2020 election lies as “bulls**t and damaging.”

The New York Times published an “interactive” piece featuring court documents on February 27 2023. A separate article about Murdoch’s deposition indicated that his statements were made in January 2023:

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the conservative media empire that owns Fox News, acknowledged in a deposition that several hosts for his networks promoted the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald J. Trump, and that he could have stopped them but didn’t, court documents released on [February 27 2023] showed.


Mr. Murdoch’s remarks, which he made [in January 2023] as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, added to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation: The people running the country’s most popular news network knew Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway in a reckless pursuit of ratings and profit … The filings also revealed that top executives and on-air hosts had reacted with incredulity bordering on contempt to various fictitious allegations about Dominion. These included unsubstantiated rumors — repeatedly uttered by guests and hosts of Fox programs — that its voting machines could run a secret algorithm that switched votes from one candidate to another, and that the company was founded in Venezuela to help that country’s longtime leader, Hugo Chávez, fix elections.

A nearly 200-page-long document was uploaded to the “interactive” feature. An “Introduction” section of the document highlighted comments made by Murdoch and others in the course of the depositions:

rupert murdoch deposition transcript

A February 28 2022 article focused on other details observed in the depositions, including information about 2020 election night conversations between Murdoch and former White House advisor Jared Kushner:

Murdoch and Kushner communicated during the 2020 campaign and on election night [in November 2020]. Murdoch in his deposition recalled Kushner’s outreach after the network called Arizona for President Joe Biden.

“My friend Jared Kushner called me saying, ‘This is terrible,’ and I could hear Trump’s voice in the background shouting,” he said, according to the filing. “And I said, ‘Well, the numbers are the numbers.'”

“Sorry, Jared, there is nothing I can do,” Kushner quoted Murdoch as saying. “The Fox News data authority says the numbers are ironclad — he says it won’t be close.”

Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett called the revelation that Murdoch passed confidential information to Kushner a “bombshell.”

“Holy s**t,” tweeted Fred Wellman, the former executive director of the Lincoln Project, suggesting that the move may have run afoul of federal campaign finance laws surrounding “in-kind” contributions, or non-monetary campaign contributions.

In a widely quoted February 27 2023 statement, Fox News addressed the newly unsealed depositions and said in part:

… [Dominion’s lawsuit] has always been more about what will generate headlines than what can withstand legal and factual scrutiny … Their summary judgment motion took an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law that would prevent journalists from basic reporting and their efforts to publicly smear Fox for covering and commenting on allegations by a sitting President of the United States should be recognized for what it is: a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

A popular February 27 2023 tweet claimed that “Rupert Murdoch testified … under oath” that Fox News hosts intentionally misrepresented the outcome of the 2020 election to its viewers. On that date, Murdoch’s deposition was unsealed and widely reported upon. In the deposition, Murdoch acknowledged that “some of” Fox News’ on-air personalities “were endorsing” election falsehoods, adding that he “would have liked [Fox News] to be stronger in denouncing it, in hindsight.”