Lachlan Murdoch, the successor to his father Rupert as the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation., has made news himself in recent days for standing up to the woke mob that was, yet again, clamoring for the head of a Fox News host.
This time --- for the umpteenth time --- the host in question was Tucker Carlson. Tucker had drawn the wrath of the mob for pointing to the obvious. Which is to say the American left is deliberately creating and using the chaos at the US southern border as a way of re-populating the US, in this case with poor illegal immigrants who would presumably be the political pawns of the Democratic Party.
Cue the outrage. This time in particular was a much reported-on demand from Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, condemning Tucker for anti-Semitism and demanding he be fired. Here’s the headline from The Washington Post: "ADL demands Fox News fire Tucker Carlson over anti-Semitic trope: ‘This has deadly significance.'"
The story said this:
“Last week on Fox News, Tucker Carlson argued that immigration to the United States would “dilute the political power” of Americans in a segment that also referenced “white replacement theory” — a discriminatory trope, often weaponized by white nationalists, suggesting people of color are “replacing” White Americans.
The segment left the Anti-Defamation League urging Fox News to fire Carlson for his “open-ended endorsement of white supremacist ideology,” the first time the group has made such a demand, according to the Associated Press.
On Sunday, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive and national director of the ADL, repeated those demands on CNN, slamming Carlson for his remarks and condemning the network’s owners, the Murdoch family, for not immediately taking action.
“I think we’ve really crossed a new threshold when a major news network dismisses this or pretends like it isn’t important,” Greenblatt told to CNN’s Brian Stelter. “This has deadly significance.”
Catch that line? Mr. Greenblatt was “condemning the network’s owners, the Murdoch family, for not immediately taking action.”
In fact, there was soon a response in letter form to the demand from the ADL. A response from no less that the head of Fox, the aforementioned Lachlan Murdoch. The Murdoch response drew headlines, as here at The Hill: "Lachlan Murdoch responds to call for Tucker Carlson's firing."
The Hill had obtained a copy of the Murdoch letter and ran it in full. Here it is:
Dear Mr. Greenblatt,
Thank you for your letter of April 11, 2021 and also for your good work over the years. Fox Corporation shares your values and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind. In fact, I remember fondly the ADL honoring my father with your International Leadership Award, and we continue to support your mission.
Concerning the segment of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on April 8th, however, we respectfully disagree. A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: "White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.”
Throughout our news and opinion programming, our management and Board are focused on fair, accurate and informed reporting and commentary on matters of public interest. We thank you for participating in this important national conversation.
Lachlan K. Murdoch
The news stories about the ADL demand did not mention that Mr. Greenblatt’s past includes a stint with in the Obama administration - which is to say he has a past as a Democratic operative.
The leftward tilt of the ADL was, however, noticed and responded to quite vividly by some 1500 Jewish rabbis. The headline, also in The Hill:
1,500 rabbis accuse ADL of 'grossly misplaced charges of anti-Semitism' in attack on Tucker Carlson
A Jewish group of conservative rabbis are defending Tucker Carlson against the ADL.
The story says in part:
“Fifteen hundred Orthodox Jewish rabbis called the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) have signed a letter to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), supporting Tucker Carlson in response to the organization's demand to have the Fox News host fired.”
Good for them.
But the point here is Mr. Murdoch’s serious leadership in defending both Tucker Carlson and Fox News itself.
There is an interesting dynamic in any family business, and the Murdoch family’s News Corporation is no exception.
I first began to realize that dynamic after my first appearance on CNN in 2009. I had looked into a group called So We Might See. Formed by liberals in seven major mainstream religious denominations, they were petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to take Rush Limbaugh off the air because he was dealing in hate speech. In my research I realized they had linked to another group --- the “Drop Dobbs” campaign.
At the time Lou Dobbs was on CNN, where he had been literally since CNN began with founder Ted Turner. Lou had drawn the wrath of left-wingers because of his staunch opposition to illegal immigration. In my column I went after the Drop Dobbs group as well for its anti-free speech campaign. Long story short I was quickly invited to New York to CNN to be on with Lou himself. Standing in a CNN green room, in came Lou himself to say hello to his guests. Then into his studio he went and as we watched, stunned, he announced at the very top of his show that he was quitting CNN and this was to be his last show. Suffice to say his guests were astounded.
In retrospect this a class A early exhibit of what we now know as cancel culture. But it sent me researching what I had just seen up close and personal. The fact was that CNN in 2009 was already no longer the CNN it was when founded by Ted Turner. Change had come to CNN (and continues to come.) But the realization dawned that there are two stages of life for a business.
The first is its creation with the driving vision of its founder, its creator. But life moves on. Founders of companies age and eventually pass away like every other human being on the planet. Somewhere in there the creation is handed over to someone else. Sometimes it’s a family member, quite frequently it is someone outside the founder’s family. But in all cases the person who takes over is not the creator. He or she is a manager of the original dream. And sometimes this works - and sometimes it doesn’t.
As events have unfolded in the Fox Corporation, son Lachlan Murdoch has been handed the baton --- and quite fortunately, as this latest episode with the demand to fire Tucker Carlson attests, the younger Murdoch has more than measured up the task of running Dad’s dream. He is making Fox his.
Says The Sun of the son:
“Congratulations are in order to the chairman of Fox News, Lachlan Murdoch, for his refusal to bow to a demand that he fire Tucker Carlson. The demand was made by the Anti-Defamation League after a broadcast by Mr. Carlson on immigration. The ADL reckoned Mr. Carlson’s ‘rhetoric was not just a dog whistle to racists — it was a bullhorn.’ Mr. Murdoch rejected the claim with a polite note.
It’s nice to see a press baron standing up for a controversial newsroom star for a change. ADL’s complaint is that Mr. Carlson had given, in a broadcast with Mark Steyn,* ‘an impassioned defense of the white supremacist ‘great replacement theory,’ the hateful notion that the white race is in danger of being ‘replaced’ by a rising tide of non-whites.’ In fact, Mr. Carlson had distanced himself from that view.”
Three cheers for Lachlan Murdoch. Without question he understands what is really at play here. He did indeed show his mettle, making it plain that yes, in fact, he is very much in charge of the Rupert Murdoch dream and is running that dream well, with skill and mettle. He is not about to back down.
Mettle, to remind, is defined by the dictionary as “vigor and strength of spirit or temperament” and “staying quality: stamina.”
Quite clearly this episode illustrates that Lachlan Murdoch does indeed have mettle - and so too does his company. He is without doubt in charge.
Good for him. And good for Fox.