Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is freaking out about free expression. In a videotaped monologue upon accepting a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation, Murdoch said:

For those of us in media, there’s a real challenge to confront: a wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate and to ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential. This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility. Too many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy.

Murdoch is the chairman of Fox Corp., the corporate home of Fox News. It’s precious that such a fellow would be bellyaching about the “conformity” driven by social media to mention “awful woke orthodoxy.” That’s because Fox News profits from all the segments, all the interviews, all the comments abhorring these alleged scourges. Inflating the power and influence of lefty Twitter scolds is a centerpiece of the Fox News business model.

Now let’s consider how effective this censorious brigade has been in shaping the Fox News product:

We could go on, of course. The point is that no news outlet accentuates the limitations of “woke orthodoxy” quite like Murdoch’s Fox News. This network, furthermore, gets more mileage out of the First Amendment than most, if not all, other media outlets. Months ago, a federal judge tossed a defamation claim against Fox News over a bogus attack that Carlson had made against former Playboy model Karen McDougal. An argument by the network’s own counsel received a nod in the judge’s opinion: “Fox persuasively argues … that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.” The First Amendment again came to the network’s defense last May, when a Washington state judge bounced a complaint about Fox News’s terrible coronavirus coverage.

And when folks who agree with Murdoch encounter trouble getting their message out, Murdoch properties are there for them. After Simon & Schuster canceled Sen. Josh Hawley’s book contract over his involvement in the Jan. 6 effort to object to the electoral college votes, Murdoch’s New York Post put his op-ed about being muzzled on its cover:

Writes Hawley: “It will get worse. The tech titans have already booted dozens of conservatives off social media, and if they have their way, half the House Republican conference will be expelled from Congress. The corporate titans seem to believe that the only way to get a democracy to their liking is to eliminate all threats to the Democratic Party’s unified control of government.”

For the time being, however, Hawley’s book has a new publisher, Regnery Publishing. When it surfaces, you can bet that it’ll get a few mentions on “Fox & Friends,” “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Justice with Jeanine Pirro,” Fox Nation, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and other Murdoch properties laboring under this so-called suppression.

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