Rupert Murdoch ‘checked vaccination status and nose swabbed 90th birthday guests’ despite Fox News Covid stance

Guest were served wine from his vineyard, but only after taking a test

Gino Spocchia
Friday 05 November 2021 13:32 GMT

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Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch allegedly swabbed attendees at his 90th birthday party, and also required proof of vaccination for Covid — apparently ignorant of what Fox News has been telling viewers.

The chairman of Fox Corporation, which has been allowing its right-wing news network to rage against Covid requirements for months, allegedly celebrated his 90th birthday at Tavern On The Green in New York City last Thursday.

It was not immediately known that Mr Murdoch asked all attendees to take a nasal swab for Covid, and were asked to show a form of “Covid passport” to enter. Businesses and restaurants in New York City are required to ask for proof of vaccination.

And Politico reported on Friday: “At his 90th birthday party last week at Tavern On The Green, guests not only had to show proof of vaccination, they had to get a rapid nose swab test in order to enter.”

About 130 guests mingled with Mr Murdoch, who held the party inside a tent adjacent to the infamous Central Park restaurant, as Variety reported. Wine from his own vineyard in Bel-Air was served, and a film was shown about his life.

Among those allegedly in attendance were Mr Murdoch’s eldest son and Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch, as well as Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer and Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

Tucker Carlson was a notable absence from the Tavern On The Green. The anchor is among the Fox News figures to have raged against mandates on mask wearing and so-called Covid passports for taking away “freedoms”.

In recent months, Mr Carlson has compared Covid vaccination requirements to “Medical Jim Crow”, in an apparent reference to laws that separated Black and white Americans until the 1960s.

He has also claimed that revealing vaccination status is like saying you have HIV.

Fox Corporation has meanwhile complied with a federal mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to require proof of vaccination from staff — and other anchors including Sean Hannity have in fact called for viewers to get vaccinated.

The comparisons between Fox Corporation’s own mandate, and the opinions of Mr Carlson and others, has long-been mocked by critics of the right-wing news channel — causing President Joe Biden to remark that it was “fascinating”.

Mr Murdoch, who turned 90 in March, delayed celebrating his 90th birthday because of Covid and the rolling-out of vaccines in New York and the rest of the US, according ro reports.

At 90, Mr Murdoch is at higher risk of falling ill from Covid, or death, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has been fully vaccinated.

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