The Lookout

Rupert Murdoch apologizes for tweet criticizing ‘Jewish owned press’ coverage of Gaza

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

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Murdoch (AP)

Rupert Murdoch apologized Sunday for criticizing coverage of the ongoing conflict in Gaza by what he described as the "Jewish owned press."

On Saturday, Murdoch turned to his favorite medium for unfiltered commentary—Twitter—to weigh in on the new "Lincoln" movie and the crisis in the Middle East.

"Middle East ready to boil over any day," the 81-year-old News Corp. chairman and chief executive wrote. "Israel position precarious. Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment."

"Can't Obama stop his friends in Egypt shelling Israel?" he continued.

"Lincoln film magnificent," Murdoch, whose Twentieth Century Fox co-produced the film with DreamWorks, tweeted. "Acting and directing best [in] world. Proud to be associated, even modestly."

"Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?" Murdoch wrote.

The comment was quickly criticized.

"Displaying his typically staunch pro-Israel stance," Natasha Lennard wrote on Salon.com, "Murdoch also managed to play on an anti-Semitic trope."

"[It] is equal parts troubling and illuminating," Dan Murphy wrote on the Christian Science Monitor's website. "[Murdoch] seems to believe that the owners of media outlets should require their reporting to conform to their owners political preferences and world-views, rather than reflect observed reality. It's fair to assume that's what happens at his sprawling press holdings, particularly his US-based flag-ship Fox News."

"That's the illuminating part," Murphy continued. "The troubling part is his apparent belief that Jewishness should be synonymous with support for the current Israeli government, even for Jewish-Americans."

"When you say 'Jewish owned press,'" Bloomberg Businessweek's Edmund Lee tweeted in response, "do you mean @nytimes?"

Murdoch subsequently issued an apology—on Twitter.

"'Jewish owned press' [has] been sternly criticised, suggesting link to Jewish reporters," he tweeted. "Don't see this, but apologise unreservedly."

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