FOX Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch shrugged off a recent flurry of criticism from Democrats and Left-wing figures in recent weeks.
In an interview with Axios published Tuesday, Murdoch said that the attacks on Fox, especially Fox News, are part and parcel of being a leader in the news industry. Murdoch defended the network, which has come under fire in recent weeks in the wake of a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. He also dismissed criticisms that Fox News has become divisive.
“Unfortunately, it comes with the territory,” Murdoch told Axios’ Sara Fischer. “You’ve got to kind of realize what it is and how some of it is very organized kind of attacks — very coordinated — but it is what it is.” Murdoch said that many of the attacks stem from the fact that Fox News has remained at the top of the cable news ratings for 20 years. “I think when you’re in the news business, and you’re number one … you get a lot of heat and it just comes with the territory,” he said.
Murdoch also fired back at criticisms that Fox News’ content is dividing the American public more broadly, saying that the public is already divided. “I think the world is more divided and on edge than it has been, you know, for a very long time,” he said. “I think on the noise around it, so much of it is politicized … And so, you’ve got to be tough about it.”
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to Murdoch, Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, and President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace accusing the network of amplifying the so-called “Great Replacement” theory in the wake of the Buffalo shooting. “[This] pernicious theory, which has no basis in fact, has been injected into the mainstream thanks in large part to a dangerous level of amplification by your network and its anchors,” Schumer wrote. He also attacked primetime host Tucker Carlson for allegedly espousing this theory.
Schumer also attacked the network in a speech on the floor of the Senate the same day. “[Let’s] be clear: [The Great Replacement is] a message that has also found a special home in several right-wing outlets, and on one cable news channel in particular: Fox News,” Schumer said. “In a craven quest for viewers and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the craft of stoking cultural grievance and political resentment that eerily mirrors the messages found in Replacement Theory.”
Schumer was not the only Democratic figure to attack Fox News and the Murdoch family in the wake of the shooting last week. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called for a boycott of Fox News, and demanded that the entire Murdoch family be deported to Australia. “I see the brand of Fox being hate, anger, dishonesty and now murder,” Dean said on MSNBC Thursday. “That is the brand. That is the brand of the Murdochs have chosen to be their flagship communication. I agree with Biden: Murdoch has harmed this country more than any other human being in my lifetime, and he should never have been given citizenship. The one thing I would change about our immigration policy is to send Murdoch back to Australia and keep them there, the whole family.”