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An Open Letter to Rupert Murdoch: What Exactly Do You Mean?

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Dear Mr. Murdoch:

On July 28th, Glenn Beck said that President Obama has a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," and went on to call him a "racist." These statements were indefensible, angering and offending not only Black Americans, but Americans of every color. They led more than 285,000 people to call on sponsors to pull their support from Beck's show. And more than 80 advertisers of conscience have done just that.

On Friday, November 6th, you endorsed Glenn Beck's statements, saying "if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right." We would like you to explain yourself. Do you really think President Obama is a racist? What part of Beck's statements do you agree with, and why?

It has been an open question as to whether or not News Corporation or FOX News would rein in Glenn Beck. It seems that we may now have our answer. Since his attack on the president, Beck's pattern of race-baiting has continued unabated. Perhaps he feels so secure spouting this outrageous rhetoric, Mr. Murdoch, because you personally agree with his most inflammatory statements.

While Beck is the worst offender on the Fox News Channel, your network has a long, deep history of engaging in inflammatory racial rhetoric: attacking black leaders, black culture, and black institutions. And a number of your recent business decisions suggest that you're consciously building a media empire -- at Fox News and elsewhere -- that attracts viewers by appealing to racial fear and paranoia.

A month ago, you put Don Imus back on television on the Fox Business Network. Days later, the New York Post fired a Latina editor, Sandra Guzman, apparently as retaliation for her public criticism of the Post's notorious 'chimp' cartoon. And a few weeks ago, you personally fired Marc Lamont Hill -- one of Fox News' few black commentators -- in response to a racially charged smear campaign led by a News Corp shareholder.

It's becoming increasingly clear that Fox News and News Corp have a problem with race. It is also becoming clear that the problem starts at the top with you, Mr. Murdoch. Are we missing something, or do your words indeed speak for themselves?

James Rucker

Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org

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Here's what Murdoch said to Sky News: