Spotlight on Fox News after Murdoch admits hosts ‘endorsed’ Trump’s election lies

Planet Business: Klarna chief executive’s pay rise, Esther Crawford’s Twitter sleepover and companies investing in the World’s Most Exciting Economic Zone

Image of the week: Foxed in

He owns a massive cattle ranch home to elk, antelope and deer, but it’s a cat that Rupert Murdoch has set among the pigeons following his admission under oath that several Fox News hosts endorsed Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him.

“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he said.

The media mogul’s acknowledgment came during his deposition in a $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) defamation lawsuit taken by voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, which claims that Fox News and its parent, the Murdoch-controlled Fox Corporation, have damaged its reputation.

Murdoch agreed that hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro – he called them commentators – “endorsed” Trump’s false narrative. He also admitted he could have ordered the network not to put Trump’s lawyers on air, but chose not to do so: “I could have. But I didn’t.”


Cue protests outside Fox’s New York headquarters, where placards read “Fox Lies”, “Fox Made Lying Normal” and “Rupert Murdoch: Lies Have Consequences.”

Indeed, with rising expectations that Dominion might actually win its case, it looks like lies could have a price tag, too.

In numbers: Earn now, earn later

$46 billion

Valuation commanded by Swedish buy-now-pay-later company Klarna back in the heady days of 2021.

$6.7 billion

More modest valuation for the fintech as of June 2022. The company said this week that its annual net loss for the year deepened to 10.4 billion Swedish krona, or about €932 million.


Pay rise collected last year by Klarna chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski, bringing his remuneration package up to about €1.18 million.

Getting to know: Esther Crawford

November 2022 was a fun month for Esther Crawford, erstwhile Twitter director of product management. That was when the social media executive, eye mask on, was photographed wrapped in a silvery sleeping bag on the floor of the company’s San Francisco headquarters as one of Elon Musk’s ambitious deadlines approached.

She proudly shared this accommodation choice on her Twitter account using the hashtag #SleepWhereYouWork – the logical evolution of Twitter staff’s pre-Musk mantra #LoveWhereYouWork.

Alas, her loyalty to Musk’s vision of “hardcore” commitment ultimately did not save her job and Crawford was one of 200 Twitter employees laid off this week. She has sharp words, however, for anyone who thinks this proves she was foolish to camp out on some corporate carpet in the first place.

“The worst take you could have from watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0 is that my optimism or hard work was a mistake,” she tweeted.

A sleeping bag endorsement deal surely follows.

The list: World’s most exciting economic zone

According to UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, Northern Ireland is now the “world’s most exciting economic zone” – just as the people of Northern Ireland have always wanted. But which high-octane companies have been making thrilling investments in the North of late?

1. Coca-Cola: Self-described “total Coke addict” Sunak was speaking at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Lisburn, Co Antrim, where the soft drinks company recently announced a £17 million (€19 million) expansion.

2. Four Star and Apache Pizza: Both takeaway chains have been raking in enough dough in the North to open new stores there over the past year.

3. Fintech start-ups: Belfast has gained a reputation of late as a fintech hub.

4. Pret A Manger: The British sandwich shop chain has started its colonisation of Dublin – the North is also in its sights.

5. Amazon: Blade Runner 2099, an Amazon Prime Video series spin-off from the 1982 science fiction dystopia film, will soon start filming in Northern Ireland. Replicants! Flying cars! Super-fast hairdryers! Now that is exciting.