Rupert Murdoch draws massive online backlash for Muslim comments
Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News empire were on the receiving end of a massive Twitter counteroffensive this weekend.
The billionaire media mogul ran into an online buzz saw after he offered his thoughts on radical Islam.
“Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible,” Murdoch said Friday in a tweet to his nearly 550,000 followers.
The observation drew a swift round of condemnations, including from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.
But the most scathing rebuttal was courtesy of comedian Aziz Ansari.
Ansari, whose heritage is Tamil Muslim, fired off several tweets mocking Murdoch on Sunday, ultimately introducing a hashtag — #RupertsFault.
With the hashtag, Ansari and his followers jokingly blamed the News Corps chairman for a variety of unfortunate scenarios.
Ansari tweeted: “@rupertmurdoch is responsible for all pedophilia committed by anyone Catholic. @rupertmurdoch why are you pro pedophile :(”
In another tweet aimed at Murdoch, Ansari asked for a “step by step guide” on how his parents can “destroy” terrorist groups.
“Plz advise,” Ansari said.
Murdoch can take solace in knowing that he wasn’t the only one to take so much flack this weekend.
Steve Emerson, a Fox News pundit who claims to be an authority on Islamic extremist networks, also inspired a hashtag with a widely panned remark of his own.
Appearing on “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” Emerson said the British city of Birmingham is a “totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don’t go in.”
It was the type of observation that might have previously only drawn a rebuttal from liberal watchdog Media Matters or other blogs dedicated to fact-checking Fox News.
But with Twitter, anyone can be a media critic.
The hashtag was trending on Sunday, the result of several Twitter users ridiculing Emerson’s assertion. One widely shared tweet included a photo of the Queen donning a head scarf with a caption suggesting that she followed an Islamic dress code when she visits Birmingham.
Emerson eventually apologized and acknowledged that his comments “were totally inaccurate.”