Rupert Murdoch Tweets About Gun Control, Overweight Woman

2:49 AM PST 01/16/2013 by Georg Szalai

The News Corp. CEO says he "did not mean to be unsympathetic" after a comment on a "fat lady" who fell through a sidewalk draws criticism from Keith Olbermann.

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch started off the year fairly quietly on Twitter. But on Tuesday night, he once again drew attention with Twitter posts about gun control and an overweight woman from New York whose fall through a sidewalk drew tabloid coverage.

"Hopefully we'll get some real actions on guns tomorrow, not just some stage managed stunt," Murdoch tweeted late Tuesday. "This is federal imperative, not for states."

President Barack Obama is set to unveil on Wednesday new gun control proposals that, according to some reports, will include universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

Murdoch later added that the U.S. Constitution included the right to bear arms for good reason. "Constitution right about guns for self defense and hunting," he said in a follow-up tweet. "Founders did not mean modern weapons of war."

The media mogul late last year had suggested that the U.S. needed stricter gun laws similar to his native Australia.

In Murdoch's first controversial tweet of 2013 late Tuesday, the media mogul referenced a story covered by tabloids, including News Corp.'s New York Post, about an overweight woman from Queens who fell through the sidewalk in Manhattan.

"How did fat lady who fell thru street get to 400 lbs? Welfare, stamps, etc? Then leave us all with 20yrs immense health bills," Murdoch wrote.

The comment drew criticism from Twitter users, including political commentator Keith Olbermann. "This is like assuming all media moguls achieved success thru bribery, bullying, phone hacking," Olbermann said.

Murdoch later didn't quite tweet an apology, but explained his first post further. "Did not mean to be unsympathetic to 400 lb lady, but fact remains unhealthy eating by rich and poor driving up premiums for all," he said.

The media mogul had joined Twitter at the start of 2012 and last year drew attention with comments on such topics as Katie Holmes' decision to divorce Scientology member Tom Cruise and media coverage of the conflict in Gaza, as well as a tweet attacking "scumbag celebrities."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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