Rupert Murdoch is losing his tabloid empire -- which makes Fox News more dangerous than ever
Rupert Murdoch (AFP)

A decades-old hacking scandal and the overall decline in the tabloid industry has dealt body blows to Rupert Murdoch's media empire, and made Fox News more vicious than ever.

British government investigators recently linked Murdoch's media holdings to "criminality" associated with the unsolved 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, perhaps dealing a fatal blow to his tabloids, making the elderly mogul more reliant than ever on his popular conservative U.S. cable network, reported The Daily Beast.

"Fox News is for Murdoch now what the tabloids were 40 years ago, a profit gusher that keeps his business prosperous," wrote columnist Clive Irving. "The latest quarterly numbers for Fox show revenues at $3.22 billion, and growing. Furthermore, the New York Post has become a profitable part of the Murdoch empire, especially as it joins Fox in laundering Murdoch's preferred political agenda."

The network briefly faced post-election challenges from right-wing upstarts Newsmax and One American News, but it maintained its dominance by pushing Donald Trump's election lies through hosts like Tucker Carlson, who leads cable news prime-time ratings by peddling white nationalism to nearly 3 million nightly viewers.

"More and more, Murdoch looks like being a willing accomplice and enabler in a slow-motion Republican coup d'état," Irving wrote. "That's a far more dangerous game than any he has played before, but it's the only one he's left with."

"This time, unlike the hacking scandal, will he be held accountable for the monster that he created?" Irving added.