Fox CEO Denounces Trump's Reaction to Charlottesville

Fox CEO James Murdoch slammed Donald Trump in an email to colleagues, saying 'Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President... concern[s] all of us'
  • Murdoch wrote the email Thursday, after Trump's Charlottesville meltdown
  • Trump said there were 'very fine people' among neo-Nazi and KKK protesters
  • Murdoch said he couldn't believe he had to write 'There are no good Nazis'
  • He said Democrats alike Republicans alike 'must agree' with that sentiment
  • 'It compromises nothing for them to do so,' and to stand up to Nazis, he said
  • Murdoch said he donated $1m to the ADL and encouraged others to do the same
  • But Rupert Murdoch is a close friend of Trump and advises him, insiders say 
  • Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson defended Trump's remarks

James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, slammed Trump's equivocating response to the Charlottesville violence in a letter to staff on Thursday.

Murdoch, who is also the son of Fox founder Rupert Murdoch - a long-time friend and ally of Trump - appeared to take umbrage with Trump's claim that there were 'very good people' among the white supremacists that marched in the Virginia city.

'Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern[s] all of us as Americans and free people,' he wrote, in part, according to a copy of the email obtained by The New York Times.

'I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists.'

Murodch said that contrary to Trump's own remarks on Tuesday, 'there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists'James' dad, Rupert Murdoch (pictured), founded Fox and is pals with Trump

Murodch said that contrary to Trump's own remarks on Tuesday, 'there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists.' His dad, Rupert Murdoch (right), founded Fox and is pals with Trump

Murdoch prefaced his email by saying that he wasn't given to political comments, but that Trump's remarks had tipped his hand. 

'The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob,' he wrote.

'Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree [that there are no good Nazis],' he added, 'and it compromises nothing for them to do so.'

He called for his audience to take part in the 'eternal obligation' to be vigilant against hatred and bigotry, calling it 'a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals.'

He concluded: 'To further demonstrate our commitment, Kathryn and I are donating 1 million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, and I encourage you to give what you think is right as well. 

'We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too.'

Trump blamed both white supremacists and antifascists after a neo-Nazi drove into a crowd of liberal protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, killing a woman and injuring 19 others

Trump blamed both white supremacists and antifascists after a neo-Nazi drove into a crowd of liberal protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, killing a woman and injuring 19 others

On Friday, white supremacists (pictured) marched on UVA while wielding torches and chanting antisemitic slogans, and allegedly beat up students on the campus

JAMES MURDOCH'S EMAIL IN FULL 

Subject: Personal note from James Murdoch re: ADL

Friends,

I'm writing to you in a personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father.

It has not been my habit to widely offer running commentary on current affairs, nor to presume to weigh in on the events of a given day save those that might be of particular or specific concern to 21CF and my colleagues. 

But what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.

These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation - a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals.

The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob. 

I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. 

Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.

Diverse storytellers, and stories, can make a difference, and that diversity, around the world, is a crucial strength and an animating force in my business. 

Often times not everyone agrees with the stories and positions that emerge from this, and that can be difficult. Certainly no company can be perfect. 

But I'm proud of the powerful art that can emerge, and I'm grateful to all of my colleagues who make this happen. 

From the potent and compelling narrative of '12 Years a Slave', to the streets of Pakistan and the bravery of an extraordinary young woman that we saw in 'He Named Me Malala', to name just a few, we've never been afraid to help storytellers and artists say important things - hard things, too.

To further demonstrate our commitment, Kathryn and I are donating 1 million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, and I encourage you to give what you think is right as well. 

We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too. 

Many of you are supporters of the Anti-Defamation League already - now is a great time to give more. 

The ADL is an extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry – you can learn more here: https://www.adl.org. 

My very best to you and with all my gratitude,

JRM 

Murdoch's vociferous opposition to Trump's remarks is surprising, given his father's closeness to the president and the broadly pro-Trump tenor of their flagship news channel. 

Rupert Murdoch even advises Trump several times a week, White House and Fox sources confirmed to CNN Money. 

However, James Murdoch is not completely alone at Fox. In the immediate aftermath of Trump's remarks on Tuesday, Fox Specialists host Kat Timpf was visibly upset.

'I'm wondering if it's actually real life what I just watched,' she said. 

'It shouldn’t be some bold statement to say a gathering full of white supremacist Nazis doesn't have good people in it. Those are all bad people. Period.'

'And the fact that it's controversial - I don't know if I should just laugh... I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now. It's disgusting.' 

Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer were among the other Fox hosts who slammed the president.

But Fox's biggest pundits came out swinging in defense of the president, with Sean Hannity saying that Trump was 'right' when he told the press he had wanted to wait for the facts to roll in before condemning KKK members and neo-Nazis.

Trump said on Tuesday that there were 'very fine people' among the Friday crowd, which reportedly chanted 'Jews will not replace us' as they marched

Trump said on Tuesday that there were 'very fine people' among the Friday crowd, which reportedly chanted 'Jews will not replace us' as they marched

On Saturday, the white supremacist groups came armed with shields - some adorned with Celtic crosses, a symbol used by white power groups - and batons

On Saturday, the white supremacist groups came armed with shields - some adorned with Celtic crosses, a symbol used by white power groups - and batons

'Now President Trump, when you think about it, was right,' Hannity said, 'and we need to learn from the mistakes of Barack Obama. 

'Nobody, especially the President of the United States, should ever rush to judgment and make a situation worse.'

Tucker Carlson, meanwhile, offered up a confused commentary in which he said slavery was evil, but also common in the old world, pointing out that 'Plato, Muhammad and the Aztecs' all had slaves.

He also mirrored Trump's other comments by likening the the antifascist groups to neo-Nazis, saying: 'They seem every bit as race-obsessed and angry as the people they’re fighting. But no one acknowledges that for some reason.'

In the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence, there has been renewed call for the removal of Confederate statues across the US, with several having been spontaneously taken down overnight.

Trump himself has since sparked further ire by comparing statues of Robert E Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson to those of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. 

Ironically, Lee had said that he did not want monuments to the Confederacy after the close of the Civil War - and even argued against displaying the Confederate flag - PBS said.

When there was discussion about building a memorial at Gettysburg in 1869, four years after the war ended, Lee wrote: 'I think it wiser…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.'

In the wake of the Charlottesville violence there have been increased calls for the removal of Confederate monuments across the country, with many having already been taken down

In the wake of the Charlottesville violence there have been increased calls for the removal of Confederate monuments across the country, with many having already been taken down

 
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By Mathias Dillion 08/18/2017 04:31:00