A few weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch said that Glenn Beck was right when he called Obama a racist, and since then he has been dodging questions about what exactly he meant. Through one of his staff, Murdoch issued a brief statement saying that he doesn't believe Obama is a racist, but not explaining what he meant when he said he agreed with Beck. I wrote Murdoch an open letter asking for an explanation, and more than 135,000 people have signed petitions to Murdoch with the same message: Murdoch should either say clearly that he meant what he said and that he stands by Beck; or he should acknowledge there's a problem with what Beck said and take responsibility for stopping the continued race-baiting at News Corp and Fox. But Murdoch has refused to respond.
Yesterday, Rupert Murdoch spoke at the Federal Trade Commission as part of a conference on the future of journalism. ColorOfChange organizers and others in the audience confronted Murdoch about his comments and asked for an explanation, but as you can see, Murdoch made a quick, silent exit:
This is the second time that Murdoch has dodged this question when confronted; last time it was Media Matters that asked him:
Murdoch doesn't want to stand by his comments -- he clearly sees that he made a mistake in publicly admitting that he agrees with Glenn Beck's race-baiting. But he also refuses to disown them.
Of course Murdoch is ultimately responsible for what occurs in the media he controls. Every time Murdoch dodges this question, it helps illustrate a fact that should already be obvious, and should follow him everywhere he goes: the divisive, dangerous race-baiting on his cable network exists because he allows it to, and apparently because he agrees with it.