Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed Sunday that Fox News delivered the disinformation campaign that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted.
Turnbull spoke with CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources,” arguing that Fox News and Rupert Murdoch have created “a market for crazy” and then satisfied that market, “exacerbating the divisions that already exist in American society.” (RELATED: ‘Cause It’s None Of Your F*cking Business’: Greg Gutfeld Torches Brian Stelter On Vaccination-Selfie Criticism)
Stelter began the interview by suggesting that Turnbull was “more disturbed by the attack on the U.S. Capitol than a lot of people here in the United States.” Claiming that some conservatives were trying to explain away the January 6 riot at the Capitol, Stelter praised Turnbull for “seeing it for what it was.”
“Well it was an assault on democracy,” Turnbull replied. “It was — and you see, what Murdoch has delivered, largely through Fox News in the United States, is exactly what Vladimir Putin wanted to achieve with his disinformation campaigns. Turning one part of America against another. So exacerbating the divisions that already exist in American society. And undermine the trust Americans have in their democratic institutions.”
“That was the objective of the Russian disinformation campaign and that is exactly what is being delivered from — by Fox News and by other players in that right-wing populist media eco-system,” Turnbull continued. “And it is in effect, what they have created is a market for crazy. They’ve become unhinged from the facts, that is now basically, they’ve worked out that you could just make stuff up.”
Turnbull went on to note that while people have complained about the impact and influence of social media, what was being done by major media outlets was just as damaging.
“I mean the question you have to ask yourself is, is America a more divided country than it was before, thanks to Murdoch’s influence? The answer must be yes. Do Americans have less faith in their electoral institutions, in their legitimate institutions of government as a result of Murdoch, yes. Now that is a terrible outcome. That is a terrible outcome,” Turnbull said.
“You said Murdoch’s created ‘a market for crazy.’ I’ve never heard someone say it quite like that before. ‘A market for crazy,'” Stelter repeated, going on to suggest that if Fox News aired the clip of Turnbull talking about the network, it would be framed as an attack against conservatives and anyone who had supported former President Donald Trump.
“Look, when somebody tells lies and spreads information and you call them out, you are calling out the liar, not the people that have been taken in by the lies. They’re the victims,” Turnbull replied, arguing that Murdoch should be “held responsible” for his role in “spreading disinformation.”