Networks Assail ‘Controversial’ Rupert Murdoch for ‘Crossing the Line’

ABC, NBC and CBS immediately pounced on a tweet by Ruper Murdoch in which the Fox News chairman suggested that Ben Carson would be America’s first “real” black president. These same networks stayed silent this week after a major college professor smeared Carson as a “coon.” 

On Thursday, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach opened the program by blasting, “New overnight: Crossing the line? Billionaire Rupert Murdoch sparking a firestorm, saying Ben Carson would be America's first real black president.” Co-host George Stephanopoulos highlighted “that controversial comment by the billionaire behind Fox News.” 

Reporter Jon Karl alerted viewers of online outrage against Murdoch: “Simpsons star Harry Shearer weighing in: ‘Can you please regularly advise black Americans on which of them is real so they will be's free of doubt?’” 

Over on NBC’s Today, Sheinelle Jones did the same thing, hyping: 

SHEINELLE JONES: Star Jones posts, "The day I start allowing @rupertmurdoch to define what it is to be black is the day I turn in my #blackcard." Mary tweets, "So @RealBenCarson is a ‘real black' and @BarackObama is not according to @rupertmurdoch Rupert: can I be your twitter editor?"

On CBS This Morning, Norah O’Donnell narrated, “Time magazine reports on a controversial tweet by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.” 

Earlier this week, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler tweeted, “If only there was a “coon of the year” award” in response to a tweet Carson made about the Confederate flag. ABC, NBC and CBS ignored the attack on the presidential frontrunner. 

A partial transcript of the October 8 GMA segment is below: 

7am tease        

ABC Graphic: Crossing the Line? 

AMY ROBACH: New overnight: Crossing the line? Billionaire Rupert Murdoch sparking a firestorm, saying Ben Carson would be America's first real black president. And will a Joe Biden meeting with his family shake up the race? 

...

7:04:25
    
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: The race for president now. Your voice, your vote. And that controversial comment from the billionaire behind Fox News, Rupert Murdoch. Jon Karl covering the race and, Jon, this is not the first time Murdoch has stirred up controversy with his quick Twitter finger. 

JON KARL: No, it sure isn’t, George. This was a late night tweet about Dr. Ben Carson and it has ignited a full-blown Twitter firestorm. He's the 84-year-old media mogul worth over $12 billion. Executive chairman of News Corp, which counts Fox News among its holdings in addition to 120 newspapers in five countries. Now Rupert Murdoch is weighing in on his favorite for president with this controversial tweet overnight, “Ben and Candy Carson, terrific. What about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide and much else.” Soon Murdoch was trending on Twitter with speculation about what exactly he meant by a real black president? Simpsons star Harry Shearer weighing in: “Can you please regularly advise black Americans on which of them is real so they will be's free of doubt?” Robert Naylor Jr. tweeted, “I'm so thankful that you are here to explain to me what it means to be black.” And, George, that tweet came out last late night. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it today. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: No question about that.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.