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Bannon vs. Murdoch, Breitbart vs. WSJ: The proxy war over Trump

Posted August 15

Steve Bannon and Rupert Murdoch don't care much for one another.

Bannon, the chief White House strategist and former Breitbart chairman, has long seen Murdoch as a corrupting influence on the president: a globalist who jumped on the Trump bandwagon because he enjoyed the proximity to power.

Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, believes Bannon is toxic, and his extreme "alt-right" worldview detrimental to Trump's presidency. At a recent dinner, the New York Times reported Monday, Murdoch told Trump that Bannon had to go.

Related: Rupert Murdoch and President Trump met after Scaramucci exit

The struggle between these two media kingpins isn't limited to private White House conversations. It has spilled over into the media outlets connected to the two men, pitting Breitbart vs. The Wall Street Journal in a proxy war for power and influence over the Trump presidency.

Within days of Murdoch and Trump's dinner, the Journal published an editorial slamming Bannon for, it said, using right-wing media allies to advance his own agenda in the West Wing. "The former Breitbart publisher has been a White House survivor, but his warring habits have also been responsible for much of the White House dysfunction," the Journal said.

On Tuesday, Breitbart portrayed Murdoch as a man working in cahoots with White House Democrats to stop Bannon's populist agenda: "Murdoch & [White House Democrats] Urging POTUS to Dump Bannon, Give Trump Voters Middle Finger," the headline read.

"Murdoch now apparently sees an opportunity to align with Democrat [Jared] Kushner and the White House's Democrats and globalists and take over the White House in a way he could not do with [Jeb] Bush or [Marco] Rubio," Breitbart reported.

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