Some things might be best tested out on trusted associates before tweeting them. Some other things might be left unsaid in public, period. Which of the two categories Rupert Murdoch’s commentary on President Obama‘s blackness falls under is up to you. But suffice it to say the media magnate sparked an enormous social media firestorm this evening while drumming up publicity for one of his news network’s shows.
In advance of an appearance tonight by GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife Candy on Fox News’ The Kelly File, Murdoch tweeted out a pro-Carson sentiment in which he praised the couple for being “terrific.” But then the mogul went somewhere he perhaps shouldn’t have, comparing the president unfavorably to Carson on the basis of racial authenticity:
Murdoch followed up the tweet with another, slightly more nuanced comment, urging his followers to read New York magazine for a closer examination of “minority community disappointment” with Obama.
Unsurprisingly, reaction to Murdoch’s hot take wasn’t cold. His name was trending on Twitter within minutes and two hours later sits in the top 10 trending topics in the U.S., albeit behind (depending on where you are) #AHSHotel, #ReactingToOldPhotos and fittingly, #Empire. Thousands tweeted their disapproval of his comments, ranging from funny to very serious, in addition to growing media coverage, but the consensus is that perhaps he should have kept his thoughts to himself. A small sampling of the reaction:
Neither Fox nor Murdoch’s team has issued a statement.