How Robert Murdoch Quietly Helped Mike Johnson Survive Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Impeachment Attempt

In New York, Robert Murdoch may not have been strutting in front of the cameras, but he subtly showcased the clout he still holds within the Republican Party.

The right-wing media empire – including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post – did not skillfully support Mike Johnson while Marjorie Taylor Greene launched a comprehensive attack against the House Speaker for his decision to pass the aid package to Ukraine. Murdoch’s media group not only expressed support for Johnson but also launched scathing attacks on Greene, with The Washington Post even criticizing her on its cover, describing her as “Moscow Marjorie.”

But Murdoch was largely an outlier in the world of right-wing media. While his media group backed Johnson, the extremist faction in MAGA Media spent weeks attacking him. These outlets and figures – including Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, Breitbart, The Gateway Pundit, and others – portrayed Johnson to their audience as a turncoat Republican who betrayed the conservative movement, instead of following the orders of the Democratic Party.

However, the barrage of rockets launched directly at Johnson failed to deliver a fatal blow to the House Speaker on Wednesday, as the House swiftly voted to overturn its decision to oust Johnson from his leadership position. The embarrassing end to the debacle came after Greene failed to garner support from Donald Trump and other Republican allies, alongside the fact that Democrats rallied behind Johnson.

On Fox News, the vote was handled with such disdain that the network only provided brief coverage as members voted in real-time. In contrast, CNN and MSNBC provided much stronger live coverage.

Fox News did not regularly cut into its scheduled programming from “The Five” to switch to the House chamber to broadcast the vote in its entirety as CNN and MSNBC did. However, this incident proved useful in studying power dynamics within the Republican Party, highlighting the immense influence Murdoch still wields over the party. Despite Murdoch’s diminishing power in recent years, his empire remains a gravitational force in the right-wing media world. Without Murdoch Media joining the chorus and condemning Johnson, Greene’s efforts to expose Johnson to danger failed to gain enough momentum.

The events could have unfolded entirely differently if Murdoch had chosen to go the other way. If Murdoch had allowed Fox News or ordered it to pour gasoline on Johnson’s criticisms, the Speaker could have been engulfed in flames. Rather than just confined to the troubled video blogs of Carlson and the raucous Bannon podcast, it could have spread to the mainstream of the Republican Party, likely putting its leadership at serious risk. Moreover, if Fox News had spotlighted the attacks, it could have spurred other Republicans to join the efforts.

More importantly, it could have significantly influenced Trump’s ultimate response to the situation. Instead of expressing support for Johnson, it’s not hard to imagine a world where Trump, influenced by Fox News, turned on the House Speaker and gave the green light for other Republicans to do the same.

But none of that happened at all. Instead, Murdoch – invisibly – helped Johnson escape what could have been a terrible situation. The 93-year-old billionaire may have been Johnson’s most important ally, but he was the least talked about.

In other corners of conservative media, Johnson was depicted as a traitor. Without Murdoch Media playing the effective iron dome around Johnson and preventing the ugly attacks from penetrating the heart of the Republican Party, he would undoubtedly have faced a serious threat to his power.

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