Rupert Murdoch Wants A ‘Real Black President,’ Later Apologized For Tweet

Rupert Murdoch tweeted his support for presidential candidate Ben Carson Wednesday evening, but he also appeared to make the assertion that President Barack Obama isn’t really black. Murdoch later apologized, saying that he finds both Carson and Obama to be “charming” men.

News Corp founder and CEO Rupert Murdoch doesn’t tweet a lot, but when he does, he tweets about Ben Carson. In the last week, the 84-year-old CEO mentioned Putin and Russia’s involvement in the Middle East once, and then it was all Ben Carson all the time.

According to Murdoch, the media “underestimates” Carson, and the soft-spoken doctor may be closer to front-runner Donald Trump than anyone realizes.

Murdoch tweeted an advertisement for Ben Carson’s then-upcoming appearance on The Kelly File, which airs on the Fox News Channel, which is owned by News Corp.

rupert murdoch black president tweet

The next day, Murdoch tweeted his support for Dr. Carson and his wife, Candy, which was business as usual for the media mogul’s Carson-centric week of tweets. Except for the fact that Murdoch seemed to call into question Barack Obama’s ethnicity.

Five minutes later, Murdoch suggested that people read New York Magazine to learn about “minority community disappointment with POTUS.” However, he neglected to provide a link.

Ben Carson black president tweet

Murdoch apparently turned off his smartphone and went to bed at that point, as the Twittersphere proceeded to unload on the News Corp. CEO for 12 solid hours with no reply.

Some poked fun at the strange way Murdoch ended his tweet.

Others specifically took issue with Murdoch seeming to question whether or not Barack Obama is really black.

And that touched off another round of an age-old debate regarding race in America.

Rupert Murdoch, at 84 years of age, was also compared to a certain senile cartoon character.

Murdoch was silent throughout the night. NBC News contacted 21st Century Fox, which Murdoch co-chairs, for a comment on the tweet, but none was forthcoming.

“We don’t comment on his tweets,” Nathanial Brown, a spokesman for 21st Century Fox, told NBC News.

Early the following morning, Murdoch returned to Twitter to apologize for the comment, saying that he hadn’t meant to offend anyone.

barack obama black president tweet

It’s hard to imagine the context in which suggesting that Carson would be a “real black president” wouldn’t be offensive, since using the word “real” suggests that there was, at some time, a fake black president.

Unless Murdoch was referring to Bill Clinton, who was once called the first black president by Nobel and Pulitzer Prize laureate Toni Morrison, it seems clear that the News Corp CEO meant Barack Obama.

A report by the Washington Post suggests that, beyond the questionable wisdom of calling President Obama’s ethnicity into question, it is also beyond the ability of any president to “address the racial divide.”

The Washington Post reached out to writer and cultural critic Touré, who suggested that it is simply beyond the ability of any president to personally solve the problem of institutional racism.

“The contours of institutional racism are outside the reach of the presidency,” Touré wrote to the Washington Post. “Racism is so ingrained, systemically and mentally, that not even a President could reasonably be expected to solve race in America.”

Do you believe that this was an innocent misunderstanding and people should just accept Rupert Murdoch’s apology for his tweet?

[Photo credit: Pool, Sean Rayford, Mark Wilson / Getty Images News]