UK

James Murdoch's Brutal Rebuke Of Donald Trump Over Charlottesville Is Awkward For Fox News

But is this the beginning of the end for Fox News' pro Trump stance?

18/08/2017 11:24 BST
DAVID MOIR / REUTERS
James Murdoch, the younger son of Rupert Murdoch, is the CEO of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News

James Murdoch, the younger son of Fox News founder and acting CEO Rupert Murdoch, has come out swinging against President Donald Trump’s response to the recent violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The younger Murdoch is the CEO of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, potentially creating an awkward dilemma for the network and his father.

Rupert Murdoch is a supporter and friend of Trump, who earlier this week was overwhelmingly criticised for equating white supremacists in Charlottesville to the activists protesting them. 

In an email obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, James Murdoch told friends that Trump’s reaction was concerning. 

“These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation — a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals,” he wrote. “The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob.”

And in a line that seemed to take on Trump’s claim that there were some “very fine people” among the white supremacists, many of whom carried swastikas and shouted anti-Semitic chants, Murdoch wrote:

“I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”

Murdoch also said was pledging $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism andvwhich has repeatedly condemned Trump’s treatment of white supremacist groups. He urged friends to do the same.

21st Century Fox confirmed the authenticity of the email to the New York Times.

Murdoch’s response represents not only a break from his father, but of the news network that he oversees, raising questions over the future editorial direction of the station. 

Many of Fox News’ hosts have emerged as close allies of the president. 

A Harvard Study of Trump’s first 100 days in office found that the network covered the president more positively than any other major media outlet. Trump has in turn spared Fox News, which he reportedly watches daily, from the criticism he’s given most other major media outlets.