The last few days have not been kind to Donald Trump and, despite his famous detachment from reality, he seems to know it, if reports of him getting angry and blaming everyone around him for the midterm election results are anything to go by. Yet if a sad Trump could once turn to the warm embrace of Rupert Murdoch's media empire to make him feel better about himself, that metaphorical shoulder – or, more accurately, that team of cover professionals – no longer exists. It seems that an unofficial memo has been sent to Murdoch-owned properties to ensure that the ex-president is now seen as nothing more than a has-been loser who, at this point, couldn't win an election to become deputy director of the Mar-a-Lago Parks and Recreation Department.
Take the Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, there were no less than six anti-Trump editorials, one of which was literally titled "Trump is the Republican Party's biggest loser." This article, written by the Journal's notoriously conservative editorial board, notes that Trump "has now flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022" and has "dragged Republicans into one political fiasco after another". He suggests that this week's defeat should be a wake-up call for conservatives "before 2024" and that the party should oppose his much heralded third candidacy.
Then there's the New York Post. On Wednesday, Trump's hometown tabloid ran a cover declaring his current nemesis, Ron DeSantis, to be the future of the Republican party.
But apparently that was just a warm-up for what they had in store on Thursday, namely a cover depicting Trump as the anthropomorphic egg Humpty Dumpty, naturally titled "Humpty Dumpty".
The accompanying article called the 45th president 'Toxic Trump', dubbed him 'perhaps the greatest vote-grabber in modern American history' and urged him to 'get out':
"There is no escaping the cold, hard political reality: the night was surprisingly better for the Democrats and President Biden than anyone, including them, expected. And the reason for that success had little to do with what they did, other than bet correctly that the abortion rights issue would be a boost to their vote – and everything to do with Trump's toxic hold on the GOP.
He can try, as he does, to make it look like some kind of Pyrrhic victory, but the biggest loser last night was the former president, always whining and getting angry, and he has only himself to blame. Make no mistake, these results represent a crushing political defeat for Trump… If they want to win in 2024, it's time for the GOP to get rid of grumpy Trump."
The betrayal of Fox News
And then, of course, there's Fox News, whose rejection must be the most painful given that it effectively served as state television while Trump was in the White House. On Wednesday, FoxNews.com published an article quoting conservatives who said the former president has "never been weaker" and that the results of the midterm elections show it is "time to turn the page" on Trump.
On the same day, one of his biggest cheerleaders, Laura Ingraham, appeared to be referring to him when she told her viewers: 'The populist movement is about ideas. It's not about a particular person. If voters conclude that you put your own ego or your own grudges ahead of what's good for the country, they're going to look elsewhere, full stop."
The jabs continued Thursday when a panelist on Fox's Outnumbered bluntly told Trump not to run in 2024. The panelist quickly apologized to co-host Kayleigh McEnany, who joined the Trump White House in April 2020 and spent months telling lies on Trump's behalf, but the former Trump administration aide responded, "You don't have to apologize to me. To be clear, I did not state that I was voting for any particular person."
Trump, who is addicted to his own press, seems to have noticed the change in vibe in Murdoch-land, and went into meltdown mode on Truth Social on Thursday morning, where he yelled, among other things, "To me, Fox News has always been over, even in 2015-16 when I started my 'journey,' but now they're really over." He also told people to "remember" that he is a "Stable Genius", which you know is true because he inexplicably capitalized both words.
In any case, it remains to be seen how long the Murdoch empire's new anti-Trump stance will last. While the Journal, Post and Fox News all seem to have endorsed DeSantis as the new de facto leader of the Republican party, they will almost certainly line up to support Trump if he wins the party nomination in 2024, in which case they will probably have a convenient case of amnesia to declare him a radioactive loser.
As a reminder, despite its rejection of Trump, Fox News remains an abomination: according to anchor Jesse Watters, if "single women" voted Democrat, they should "marry" them.