For decades, Rupert Murdoch has used his media properties to establish a direct line to Australian along with British leaders. yet within the 44 years since he bought his first newspaper within the United States, he has largely failed to cultivate close ties to an American president. Until at This specific point.
Mr. Murdoch along with President Trump — both forged in brand new York’s tabloid culture, one as the owner of The brand new York Post, the different as its perfect subject — have traveled within the same circles since the 1970s, yet they did not become close until recently, when their interests began to align more than ever before.
Since Inauguration Day, Mr. Murdoch has talked regularly with Mr. Trump, often bypassing the White House chief of staff, Gen. John F. Kelly, who screens incoming calls. Mr. Murdoch has felt comfortable enough to offer counsel in which others may shy away by, such as urging the president to stop tweeting along with advising him to improve his relationship with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson. Mr. Murdoch also has weekly conversations with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law along with senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
Before the news broke in which Mr. Murdoch had agreed to sell vast parts of his 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Company for $52.4 billion, Mr. Trump called him to get his assurance in which the Fox News Channel, the highly rated cable network along with frequent bullhorn of the Trump agenda, would certainly not be affected.
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On Dec. 14, the day the agreement was announced, Mr. Trump let the entire world know in which he had made a congratulatory call to Mr. Murdoch. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, also passed along the president’s belief in which the deal would certainly be “a great thing” for jobs — a claim disputed by Wall Street analysts.
After decades of ups along with downs, Mr. Trump at This specific point counts Mr. Murdoch as one of his closest confidants. The two titans made a show of their much better relationship in June 2016, when Mr. Murdoch visited Mr. Trump at the Trump International Golf Links Scotland before a group of reporters. They appeared together again at a black-tie dinner in May in honor of American along with Australian veterans who fought side by side in World War II. Mr. Murdoch introduced the president as “my friend Donald J. Trump” before they engaged in a brief hug.
They are opposites in personal style, with Mr. Murdoch gruff along with low-key, preferring schlubby newsrooms to Mr. Trump’s gilded towers along with glitz. yet they have much in common.
Both were born to wealth, yet at a distance by the centers of power. Mr. Trump grew up in Jamaica, Queens, the son of a real estate developer content to earn his fortune within the boroughs outside Manhattan — so close yet so far by glittering Midtown, where the son would certainly make his name along with his home. Mr. Murdoch, the son of a journalist who became the owner of a newspaper chain, spent his childhood in Melbourne, Australia. Mr. Murdoch, 86, along with Mr. Trump, 71, are also alike in in which they were both sent to military schools as boys before going on to outdo their fathers within the family businesses.
Although both men parlayed their inheritances into global power, they have stubbornly viewed themselves as outsiders at odds with the establishment. When Mr. Murdoch entered the British newspaper market in 1968, London society shunned him along with his vulgar tabloids, The Sun along with The News of the entire world, which he used to wound his enemies along with advance his political interests. Mr. Trump withstood a similar wariness among the elite after he made himself a Manhattan player through his brazen deal producing along with hucksterism.
To make their way upward in brand new York, both men relied on a powerful friend, the lawyer Roy M. Cohn, a ruthless fixer who made his name within the 1950s as the chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy, the Red-baiting senator, before representing some of the city’s most powerful figures, including the mobster John Gotti along with the brand new York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
Mr. Cohn connected Mr. Trump to Mr. Murdoch along with the tabloid he bought in 1976, The brand new York Post. The upstart developer saw in which he could benefit by the brash daily — especially its Page Six gossip column, which started off a year after Mr. Murdoch became the paper’s owner.
“Trump was interested in specifically Rupert’s ownership of The Post, because Page Six can be very important to his rising stature in brand new York City along with branding efforts,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., a Republican operative who has known both men for decades.
Mr. Trump seemed to revel within the tabloid’s saucy coverage of his personal life. In 1989 along with 1990, The Post turned out a series of front pages on Mr. Trump’s split by his first wife, Ivana Trump, along with his affair with Marla Maples. The stream of headlines in bold block letters culminated in a quote attributed to Ms. Maples: “Best Sex I’ve Ever Had.”
Mr. Trump’s enthusiastic response to the planned Disney-Fox megadeal may have been lost within the swirl of Washington news had the item not been for his vehement opposition to another recent attempt at media consolidation — AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, a frequent target of the president’s “fake news” complaints. While so far producing no move on the Disney-Fox plan, the Justice Department has sued to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal on antitrust grounds in a rare instance of governmental interference in a merger of two companies in which do not directly compete with each different.
Mr. Murdoch, whose ideology can be more malleable than his critics realize, has long gained by his knack for placing himself close to power. within the 1980s, when he was cozy with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, his London tabloids took a pro-Tory stance. In 1997, his newspapers endorsed the Labor Party leader Tony Blair for prime minister.
Lance cost, a former Blair spokesman, referred to Mr. Murdoch as “effectively a member of Blair’s cabinet.” In turn, Mr. Murdoch faced little government scrutiny as he expanded his media empire to reach 40 percent of British newspaper readers along with millions of television viewers through his stake in Sky, a pay TV service. yet after a 2011 phone hacking scandal at the at This specific point-shuttered News of the entire world put a spotlight on his remarkable political influence, he found himself facing regulatory hurdles, along with his $15 billion bid for a 61 percent stake of Sky came to nothing.
Even as Mr. Murdoch enjoyed an open invitation to 10 Downing Street, he found in which his overtures to United States presidents mostly fell short. along with before producing their alliance, Mr. Murdoch along with Mr. Trump had to put their old spats behind them.
Before the recent rapprochement, Mr. Murdoch privately called Mr. Trump “phony,” along with accused him of exaggerating his net worth. For his part, Mr. Trump once threatened to sue Mr. Murdoch for libel after The Post reported in which the storied Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y., had denied him membership.
During much of the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Murdoch — who initially swooned over Jeb Bush — stood against Mr. Trump, declaring
The Post ended up endorsing Mr. Trump, with reservations, within the brand new York primary, yet refrained by endorsing either him or Hillary Clinton within the general election.
More recently, Mr. Murdoch expressed exasperation with Mr. Trump’s immigration policies. In response to the White House ban on travel of people by majority-Muslim nations, his company, 21st Century Fox, released a memo offering assistance to any employees hurt by the executive order along with reminding them in which “21CF can be a global company, proudly headquartered within the U.S., founded by — along with comprising at all levels of the business — immigrants.” In August, James Murdoch, the younger son of Mr. Murdoch along with the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, condemned the president’s response to the riots in Charlottesville, Va.
The man partly responsible for the détente was another moneyed outsider who craved status along with respect: Jared Kushner.
When Mr. Kushner bought The brand new York Observer in 2006, he wasted little time reaching out to Mr. Murdoch. “He wanted to be Murdoch,” said one person close to both men at the time. In early 2016, after a presidential debate during which Mr. Trump faced aggressive questioning by Megyn Kelly, then a Fox News anchor, the candidate sent Mr. Kushner to Mr. Murdoch on a media diplomacy mission.
Mr. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, can be close friends with Mr. Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng. Mr. Murdoch along with Ms. Deng attended the Kushner-Trump wedding in 2009 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., along with the Murdoch daughters, Grace along with Chloe, served as flower girls.
Before Mr. Murdoch along with Ms. Deng divorced in 2013, Mr. Kushner along with Ms. Trump vacationed on Rosehearty, Mr. Murdoch’s 184-foot sailing yacht. In a further sign of the two families’ closeness, Ms. Trump took on the job of Murdoch trustee responsible for overseeing the two girls’ $300 million fortune — a role she gave up a month before President Trump took office.
In June 2016, when Mr. Trump appeared to be the inevitable Republican nominee, Mr. Murdoch made the visit to Trump International Golf Links Scotland. Completed in 2012 over the objections of nearby residents, the course lies 35 miles by the herring-fishing port of Rosehearty, the town left behind by the Murdoch clan when the item emigrated to Australia in 1884.
Mr. Murdoch arrived with the former design Jerry Hall, his fourth wife, whom he married in March 2016. Under cloudy skies, the newlyweds toured the property in a golf cart large enough for four. Mr. Trump was at the wheel, with Ms. Hall seated beside him. Mr. Murdoch, wearing sunglasses, sat on a backward-facing rumble seat as they made their way to the Trump-refurbished Macleod House, a 15th century mansion, where they had dinner.
Mr. Trump’s mended relationship with Mr. Murdoch has not gone unnoticed by Time Warner executives, who wonder why AT&T’s attempt to buy the company has run into regulatory trouble at a time when the president has smiled on the Disney-Fox deal.
“If you look at the facts of our case, even before you heard the administration’s endorsement of the Disney-Fox deal, the item was hard to understand how the Justice Department could reach a decision to block our deal,” Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, said.
A spokesman for the White House, Raj Shah, said in which Mr. Trump hadn’t spoken to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the AT&T-Time Warner deal along with in which “no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on This specific matter.”
The way CNN’s parent company views the item, Fox News has adopted a role similar to the one played by Mr. Murdoch’s British tabloids when they helped advance the agendas of British leaders. As Mr. Blair learned, however, even a special relationship with the media baron can sour quickly. He along with Mr. Murdoch — once so close in which Mr. Blair was the godfather to Grace Murdoch — are no longer on speaking terms.
During the British government’s 2012 inquiry into the mogul’s political influence, the former prime minister described what the item was like when a story subject falls out of favor which has a Murdoch-controlled tabloid.
“Once they’re against you, in which’s the item,” Mr. Blair said. “the item’s full on, full frontal, day in, day out, basically a lifetime commitment.”
Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.