As new excerpts from a pair of new books about the twilight era of the Trump administration begin to circulate in the media to stoke their sales, America has been treated to a generous plethora of voyeuristic pleasures and schadenfreude as the shocking details of the inner workings of the twice-impeached former president are revealed.
It’s not just the malevolent and destructive behavior of Donald Trump that has been exposed, however.
Michael Wolff, the author who has previously enthralled readers with his 2018 tome, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, has a new book coming out next week called Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, and it contains a juicy tidbit about how the decision went down at Fox News on election night 2020 when they made the difficult, but ultimately accurate, call of a Biden victory in Arizona, a state that Trump desperately needed to win.
The prediction and the addition of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to the Democratic column in Fox News‘ tally were quite controversial at the time since Fox News was the first major news network to award the state to Biden and predict his eventual win.
Trump was apparently livid over the fact that the network — without whose support he would have likely not won the 2016 election — would betray him in his hour of darkness and his time of need, particularly since Trump felt that it was the force of his own personality and popularity with Fox‘s misinformed, low-information viewership that kept Fox News‘ ratings soaring during his time in office.
Wolff, for the first time, reveals exactly how the decision to make that fateful call went down in the corridors of Fox News’ corporate headquarters.
While many may have assumed that the call was made by Fox News‘ independent election desk, as opposed to the right-wing political commentators who fill the network’s prime-time hours, Wolff tells us that the decision was made by the company’s CEO Lachlan Murdoch, in consultation with his father Rupert.
Wolff also states that the independent election desk “was merely cover…to bypass the news desk and be directly answerable to the Murdochs.”
“Certainly, there was every reason, if you wanted a reason to delay the Arizona call, to yet forestall it and still have no fear of being preempted by anyone else,” Wolff writes. “Lachlan got his father on the phone to ask if he wanted to make the early call. His father, with signature grunt, assented, adding: ‘Fuck him.’”
It is a sentiment echoed by the over 81 million people who voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election and one that remains a completely valid reaction to a man ranked among the worst presidents in U.S. history.
It’s just that one doesn’t expect to hear coming from a man who reaped copious advertising dollars off the back of Trump’s four years of bad behavior, egging him on all the while.
As they say, there is no honor among thieves.
Michael Wolff’s new book Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency will be available from all major book retailers on July 13th, and you can expect further revelations to come once the entire work is available to peruse.
Original reporting by Harry Siegel at The Daily Beast.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.