In an interview at the New York Times’ Dealbook conference on Thursday Murdoch said “our biggest critics of Fox News are not watching Fox News,” referring to the stream of outrage on social media by those reacting to short clips of the cable channel’s programming.
When asked about the growing anger in Hollywood and elsewhere among those who view the tone of Fox News’ coverage as fear-mongering in support of Trump, Murdoch said Fox was just one of many news platforms in the Murdoch empire.
“You have to look at the Wall Street Journal and the Times of London,” he said.
He also noted that “far more” people watch Fox News’ news reporting than watch the prime-time line-up of opinion hosts.
Murdoch was also asked about the pledge made by Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan that he will not work with Fox Broadcasting so long as Fox News remains “a destructive voice” in the culture.
Modern Family is produced for ABC by 20th Century Fox TV and has been a big driver of profits for the studio.
“I completely understand this. He feels the anger and intolerance of opinions that we’re seeing across all of our communities in America,” Murdoch said of Levitan.
He described his own political views as “conservative economically and more liberal on social policy. I don’t fit neatly into a left-right, Republican-Democrat bucket.”
Murdoch was also asked if he was embarrassed by some of the content on Fox News.
“I’m not embarrassed by what they do at all,” Murdoch said.
“Fox News is the only mass media company in America with conservative opinions. It’s the only one. Frankly, I feel in this country we all have to be more tolerant of each other’s views. We’ve come to this point where we are more and more intolerant of each other and frankly that has to change.”
Murdoch described Fox News as the outlet that President Donald Trump “dislikes less than everyone else” rather than being a cheerleader for the President’s agenda.
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