Over the weekend, Fox News host Tucker Carlson went on a rant against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (R-MN), claiming that she poses a danger to America and is the reason U.S. immigration laws should be changed.
Writing in The Intercept, columnist Peter Maas points out that while it’s important to call out Carlson’s racism, journalists shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the real culprits are the Murdoch family, which funds the xenophobia and racism of Fox News.
“What should be done about this?” Maas asks.
“It’s absolutely correct to direct our anger at the terrible people we see on Fox and the terrible things they say, but they are not the worst culprits or the most powerful ones. Remember the Watergate-era saying, “follow the money”? Do that with Fox News and you’ll quickly realize that the people responsible for its hateful programming — the people who can shut it off in an instant but don’t because they approve of it or are too cowardly to take a stand against it — are Rupert Murdoch and his heirs, who founded and own a controlling stake in the network’s parent company,” Maas writes.
“The network does not bear the family’s name but make no mistake, Fox News is Murdoch News. Rupert is not a backseat driver of anything he owns — his power and interventions are legendary.”
Maas points out why the Murdochs’ role is not noted more often.
“Why isn’t this happening? There are lots of reasons. Even though Rupert Murdoch has on occasion made reactionary remarks, neither he nor any of his heirs have come close to the flagrant ideological entrepreneurship of, say, Steve Bannon, who engineered the rise of Breitbart News,” he writes.
But he concludes that it’s time the Murdochs stop getting away with this.
“It’s time to attach to the Murdochs the sick consequences of their wealth. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are symptoms of an underlying condition. You can’t hope to make a change unless you talk about the force that makes their hatred possible. It has a name: Murdoch.”